The K-12 teacher shortage has made finding, hiring, and retaining amazing teachers extremely challenging. When a talented teacher walks out your door, everyone in the district can feel the impact. U.S. districts lose $7.3 billion per year on teacher turnover, and each new hire costs an average of $20,000 in urban and $9,000 in rural districts. You can calculate your own K-12 district’s teacher turnover costs using this calculator.
But an effective onboarding program, powered by data-based technology, can break the teacher turnover cycle and encourage new teachers to stay in your classrooms and in the profession.
Here’s an overview of what effective onboarding is and how it can increase your teacher retention rates.
What’s the difference between onboarding and orientation?
In a nut shell, orientation is the paperwork and onboarding is the supportive process that happens along the way.
Teacher orientation may include new hire paperwork and a review of the employee handbook and policies. Onboarding helps new hires settle into a new work environment, and it goes beyond the classic orientation paperwork that comes with a new job.
Teacher onboarding takes a more in-depth approach to help teachers adapt to their new work environment socially, culturally, and professionally.
How can onboarding increase teacher retention?
Effective onboarding programs can increase teacher retention rates up to 93%. So keep your talented teachers and reduce teacher turnover by incorporating an effective onboarding program into your existing orientation procedures.
When done well, onboarding programs improve retention by helping new teachers:
- Feel welcomed and engaged
- Build relationships with coworkers and mentors
- Grow their social and professional skills
- Embrace school culture and understand district goals
How to build an onboarding program
The building blocks for a valuable onboarding experience for teachers starts with the four C’s: compliance, clarification, culture, and connection. Simply put, onboarding should:
- Comply with all laws, policies, and regulations
- Clarify their job expectations
- Explain your team’s culture
- Help new hires develop interpersonal connections
The best onboarding programs pair new teachers with a buddy, or mentor, so they can start developing connections and have someone supportive to help them navigate their new position.
You can also use the ABC’s to improve your district’s engagement with candidates: ambassadorship, branding, and communication. Learn more about these tactics in the on-demand webinar Best Practices for a Successful Onboarding Experience.
How technology can power effective onboarding
Data-backed edtech helps teachers and administrators provide an effective and efficient onboarding experience. Using a digital talent management solution gives teachers a valuable resource for answers to their Day One questions, reduces administrative burden by eliminating paper processes, and centralizes HR operations to increase district transparency.
Only 23% of districts measure talent management performance. But Jefferson County Schools (WV) is using PowerSchool Unified Talent to improve their talent management and deliver a more engaging onboarding experience. “Onboarding shouldn’t be painful,” says Joseph Pettiford, the district’s former Chief Human Resources Officer. “We want to create a situation where people say, ‘Wow! I can’t believe how easy that was!’ Once people experience that, they’ll share the experience with others, which will attract strong candidates to our district.”
A digital onboarding tool can help teachers assimilate into their schools faster and find opportunities for improvement—which can increase job satisfaction and improve teacher retention rates.
Ready for a deeper dive into K-12 teacher onboarding?
Watch this webinar for more details on designing and implementing a successful onboarding program in your K-12 district.
- https://teachereducation.steinhardt.nyu.edu/high-teacher-turnover/ ↑
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/11/27/why-its-a-big-problem-that-so-many-teachers-quit-and-what-to-do-about-it/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.06154607acb0 ↑
- https://tntp.org/assets/tools/TNTP_NewTeacherOnboarding.Toolbox2012_TSLT%203.12.pptx ↑
- https://www.powerschool.com/whitepaper/talentindex/ ↑
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