Guest Blog — Written by Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind
There are so many careers to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start, or what to change to if you want to try something different. If you’re looking for a career with real meaning, where you’ll be able to make a difference and genuinely improve people’s lives, advocacy could be for you.What is advocacy?
An advocate is an independent professional that speaks for someone who may not be able to speak for themselves. Advocates help their clients achieve their goals by listening to them, helping them understand their rights, providing them with options and choices to help empower them to take control of their lives. Advocates do not make decisions on behalf of their clients.
Advocates all work towards the Advocacy Charter that underpins and governs the work they do.What you need to work in advocacyEmpathy
Advocates need a high degree of empathy to be successful. Being able to understand how your clients feel, and why, is important in being able to help them be fully understood by organisations that have the power to make a difference in their lives.Independence
You are working for the client and take instruction from the client to ensure their voice is heard.
Advocates must ensure, at all costs, that they take instruction from the client and do as instructed.
The advocate should not be influenced by other organisations or work in a way that disempowers clients.Communication and Listening Skills
A good advocate is able to listen to their clients and understand what their clients’ issues are.
A good advocate is also able to communicate effectively to everyone they work with, whether that’s their client, the organisation they’re liaising with, case workers, or the local authority.
With the client, and advocate needs to be able to explain processes or situations. They need to take instruction from their client on how the client wants to proceed with their case. They also need to help empower the client to speak up for themselves.
With organisations, advocates need to be able to explain the needs of their client, why their clients want certain changes made, and how this should proceed.
Communication isn’t only knowing what to say, it’s about knowing when to not say anything. Advocates often need to keep information confidential. This is incredibly important and helps keep people safe.Why advocacy is a great field to work inYou directly help resolve clients’ problems
One of the most rewarding things about working in advocacy is that you get to help people improve their situations.
Whether it’s creating action plans, improving access to resources or infrastructure, or just helping a client feel understood, advocacy has a direct positive impact on people who need help.
Advocates may play a role in helping vulnerable people take the first step to recovery, or greater and more secure sense of wellbeing.You help to improve services
A large part of working in advocacy is dealing with social services, community organisations, and government agencies. Advocates facilitate meetings to discuss their clients’ needs with the organisation that can help. Throughout this process, as an advocate, you have a unique position to point out how processes could be smoother, simpler, or more effective.
The systems that influence these processes aren’t set in stone. Advocates have regularly made the case for why things need to change or improve, and had a great impact on making things better for other advocates and clients who they will never even meet.You help clients improve their self-advocacy skills
One of the most important things advocates do is help their clients improve their ability to articulate their own needs and desires, to make them able to advocate for themselves.
Advocacy often starts with gathering information on behalf of the client, helping them understand their position, their rights, and who they need to speak to in order to make changes.
Eventually, advocates may be able to help their clients understand this information, and act on it, to such a point that they no longer require an advocate at all.
At this point, the client can be considered able to self-advocate, and are better able to navigate things by themselves.
Advocacy is an incredibly rewarding field, where you can directly help people in difficult situations, and empower them to improve their own lives.
Learn more about advocacy, or check out Morgan Hunt’s candidate section.
The Mental Health Sector
With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem each year in England and 1 in 5 people with suicidal thoughts, Mental Health charities all over England are fighting to tackle stigma and support those who are struggling.
Only a small fraction of people experiencing poor mental health can afford private therapy and for those who can't, there are thousands of charities offering a range of Mental Health services for those individuals.
What do Morgan Hunt do?
Morgan Hunt is proud to work with a number of these leading Mental Health charities across England helping to support their recruitment needs. With an ever-growing need for more passionate members of staff, our recruiters are there to help advise individuals on their steps towards a rewarding career.
From Advocacy to Peer Support; Recovery Work to Community Engagement, the Mental Health charity sector has plenty of careers on offer. For many already working in the sector, there are many avenues to trial. However for those new to the sector, it’s knowing what route to take and how to get there in the first place.
For many Psychology or Mental Health students, starting your career can be daunting and for many individuals, knowing where to start is the biggest conundrum.
So where do I start?
As a Mental Health specialist recruiter, I receive a lot of CVs from Psychology or Mental Health graduates. Unfortunately, many have no relevant experience and it is difficult to find them a role within the sector with no prior practice in the field.
To work in the Mental Health sector, you need passion, tenacity and emotional sensitivity. While you may have this already, it is important to prove this in your work experience. It is important to understand that someone experiencing a crisis is considered vulnerable and needs a calm-mannered person to help alleviate a situation.
If you are still in your studies, now is the perfect time to do some work experience. Whether this is volunteering or a 2-week work experience, there are many roles available to budding Mental Health workers and it will look fantastic on your CV.
What options do I have?
One brilliant option to consider is a Listening Volunteer at Samaritans. With intense training provided, Samaritans offer an exceptional service for anyone who is in need of someone to talk to. You will gain the ability to not only understand people but manage difficult emotions and conversations.
The Homeless Sector https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/volunteering/search/volunteer-to-feed-homeless-impoverished-people
Recorded over the past year, there were 28,882 homeless households recorded in 2021/22. Homeless charities are constantly in the need of volunteers to support those who are sleeping rough. Whether that is befriending, being part of a soup kitchen or signposting service users, there are plenty of options to consider.
With 45% of people experiencing homelessness diagnosed with a mental health issue, this experience will give you an understanding of various mental health problems, including alcohol and drug abuse
Loneliness is on the rise, with a number of over-50s experiencing loneliness set to reach two million by 2025/2026. With loneliness often comes depression and for many elderly people, being able to talk to someone on the phone or in person can help improve those feeling low. Befriending is a service offered by many charities, including Age UK. You can do it over the phone or in person and is a fantastic opportunity to work on your people skills.
Peer Support https://openmentalhealth.org.uk/individuals/peer-volunteer/ For those students who might have lived experience of poor mental health, there is an option for a career in Peer Support. Whether it is anxiety or depression, if you are someone who has accessed therapy in the past, you could make a great Peer Support Worker. Using your personal experiences and empathy to support other people can be an incredibly rewarding role and help those struggling to open up to you.
Finding an opportunity that works for you is ideal. I suggest considering these options listed above during your studies. After you graduate, many people will be in the same boat as you looking for a career with no experience to help kick-start this. Whether it is once a week or a few weeks of work experience, some experience looks better than none and gives you an opportunity to try out the sector and figure out what you enjoy and don’t enjoy.
Once you have this experience under your belt, I can help you find a career within the incredibly rewarding sector.
Morgan Hunt’s Amara Howe specialises in Permanent and FTC Mental Health recruitment. To get in touch for advice or to ask about roles, please get in touch with her via email at [email protected]
There are many claiming that a 4 day working week can help reduce costs, reduce staff sickness, stress levels and burnout, increase staff engagement, support the attraction of a better talent pool and increase productivity!
But is all that glitters really gold?
However, a four day week won’t suit every business model and even be possible for every employee type within an organisation. In reality, many will work 4 long days to ensure targets are still achieved but longer days could have a significant effect on your employees' stress levels and therefore their overall wellbeing and productivity. Whilst the theory is that more time away from work benefits an employee’s work life balance, by working extra hard during their new ‘working week’, they may find that their work-life balance actually takes a hit.
There are considerations for organisations that require desks covered for 5 or even 7 days to ensure clients can contact staff, continuity of service if different people are looking after the same clients which could then result in differing service levels and even missed sales opportunities. There really are pros and cons to this topic…
ProsIncreased productivity — A recent study by Warwick Business School found that people are more productive when they work fewer hours than when they work longer hours. An Equal Workplace — Roughly two million British people are not currently in employment due to childcare responsibilities and 89% of these people are women. A 4 day work week would promote an equal workplace as employees would be able to spend more time with their families and better juggle care and work commitments. A smaller carbon footprint — Shortening our working week means that employees don’t need to commute as much and large office buildings are only in use four days a week.
ConsCustomer Satisfaction — The Utah study closed due to poor customer satisfaction. Customers complained that they were unable to access government services with offices closed on a Friday. Wrong Approach — Many confused the concept of a 4 day work week with compressed hours. Employees who are expected to still work 35 hours, but across 4 days will actually show decreased levels of productivity and it can also impact employees’ engagement, work-life balance and overall happiness. Team Management — Managers sometimes find that managing multiple teams on a four-day work week can be challenging as the days employees take off are scattered, making it hard to set up team meetings and manage projects.
Some interesting statisticsNew research by Henley Business School reports that companies that adopted a four-day week found that over three quarters of staff (78%) were happier, less stressed (70%) and took fewer days off ill (62%). Over 60% of businesses in trials have found it easier to attract staff. A trial in New Zealand found over 75% of employees were better able to manage their home and work life compared to 55% before Expenses can be significantly reduced, for companies having a day less to open the office and for staff to reduce commuting and lunch costs.
So, what do you think? Will the condensed days become so jam packed with meetings leaving little time to be productive? Will management of diaries become impossible? Are you an employer wanting to be ahead of the curve, retain and attract staff, improve employee well-being but are concerned about productivity? Are you an employee that likes the idea but have questions about how full-on the 4 days will be, will there be an impact on your holiday allowance, and will you be able to achieve the same income?
Is the repeal of the 2017 and 2021 reforms to the off-payroll working rules as part of last month’s ’Mini Budget’ statement the good news our contractors, employers and agencies wanted? What do you think? Are you ready for a change and do we actually know what the new legislation will mean?
Dave Hedges is a tax partner at Azets and says there is “an absence of fine detail” around how HMRC will manage the transition over the coming months. “While the changes are welcome and have been lobbied for, we are advising clients throughout the engagement chain to tread carefully pending clarification,” he said.
Some questions remain following the chancellor’s announcement that the Off-Payroll Working (OPW) rules are to be repealed from April 6th 2023. There are three main reasons for this:
Is it really going to happen? Nothing has changed yet and we have a Budget coming up in November, preceded by a government already doing a U-turn on its 45p tax rate plan. The possibility of further U-turns therefore seems significant. Fingers crossed that this promised repeal of the OPW rules goes ahead. But it’s not certain.
End-clients (both public and private sectors), agencies, umbrella companies, accountants and IR35/OPW advisers are all taking stock and wondering how this could affect their business. And yes, that goes for me too!
Contractors are realising that unless they have always been outside IR35 and working for ‘small’ companies (not affected by the OPW rules), that their own circumstances are complicated. Notably where the contractor is:
currently with an umbrella, or
holding an SDS where the client has stated ‘inside IR35’, or;
regularly jumping between their PSC and an umbrella company depending on the IR35/OPW assessment.
At this stage (Q4 2022), nobody knows how the repeal of the OPW rules will work. That’s the unpopular, hard truth. Many commentators are reaching for their crystal balls, with some suggesting that there will be new rules for contractors added onto the IR35 rules of old (2000), such as requiring contractors to complete Status Determination Statements. There’s even the odd whisper that end-clients will continue to determine IR35 status; that blanket bans on using PSCs will continue indefinitely, and that HMRC will declare some sort of ‘amnesty’ on prior SDSs with ‘inside’ results. As interesting as they are, these really are only opinions at this stage and should be taken as nothing more.
So what can we do now? Every part of the contracting chain needs to use this time to analyse the effects on their own businesses and it is vital that all get up to speed with IR35 version one (2000).
Keep watching the contractor press for developments (the contractor ‘press’ that doesn’t just stick a press release up!).
Decide what you want to do -- if you could.
Collect and keep all evidence including SDS outcomes, online IR35 status tool outputs, end-client correspondence, contract review results, and working practices changes/opinions.
Find out about your personal situation now, to see what the options and (above all else) the risks are, and if a change in your status is feasible.
Speak to your client and find out what their position may be come April 6th 2023, especially if you are contracting with an organisation that has banned PSCs.
Take advice from only those that, as impartial as possible, understand all the rules (from 2000 onwards), and ideally those with hands-on experience of successfully defending IR35 HMRC investigations.
This could be great news for professional interim and self employed workers, it could be great news for large private companies and the public sector to attract and retain key skills to help them deliver growth and it could be great news for those involved in the supply of these people. For now, keep up to date, get planning and be ready, April will soon be here…
A Respected CareerTeaching is now considered one of the most respected careers in the UK. According to a Teach First poll, 42% of those surveyed voted this way – with around half (47%) agreeing that people underestimate how much impact a teacher can have on a child. As a teacher you have the opportunity to become an integral part of the community, getting to know parents and other staff. If moving to a new area, teaching is a good way to meet new people.Lots of ChoicesThere is a range of options too, from primary and secondary schools to independent, boarding schools and international schools to teaching roles within Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE). There are full-time roles, part-time teaching jobs, as well as supply teaching options. Every Day Is DifferentYou’ll work through a new syllabus and a changing curriculum, teach new topics, and work with new pupils each year. You’ll be able to make decisions about what’s best for your students and lay out your own lesson plans. Although you’ll need to follow certain standards in your curriculum, you have the opportunity to inject your own personality into your job. Job FulfilmentMaking a DifferenceThink about your career, dreams, interests, and ambitions. You might be able to trace it back to a special teacher who inspired, challenged, or helped shape what you do today. Improving the lives of children and young people is the main motivator behind those who choose to become teachers.Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions and there are many reasons why teachers love their job. When our team speaks to teachers here at Morgan Hunt, teachers often say that seeing students finally understand something they’ve been struggling with is rewarding. Teachers get to feel the direct impact of their work on a daily basis. There are many different reasons why people teach. While some have a calling to impact the lives of students, others are drawn to the profession for its ability to make a difference in the education system. The Little MomentsAt the end of the day, teaching offers more than just a salary, pension, and holidays. Teaching is full of little joys you can’t quantify and don’t come along in other vocations. There are student birthdays, school events and trips, charity fundraisers, and comradery with other teachers. When teaching reception and primary, there are the funny things kids say without intending to be funny, their genius ideas and their sense of curiosity. These are what energise schooldays and make teachers excited about work. SalarySalaries for TeachersThere isn't a straightforward answer when it comes to teaching salaries. There are different teaching positions within schools. These include teaching assistants, early years teachers, supply teachers, special education needs (SEN) specialists, and teachers with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) backgrounds, to name a few. All these have varying salaries. The location also plays a part. Teachers in London earn up to £5,000 per year more than their peers across the rest of the UK. Recent Teacher Salary IncreasesTeachers across the country benefited from pay increases of between 5% and 8.9% this September. Pay for experienced teachers who have been in the profession for more than five years will rise by 5% in the next academic year – an increase on the Government’s initial proposal of 3%, in recognition of the broader economic context and the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB’s) recommendations. The rise is equivalent to an increase of almost £2,100 on the average salary of £42,400 this year. Government Backing The recent pay increase – alongside the free-to-access training courses available to teachers – is part of the government’s drive to make sure there is an excellent teacher in every classroom. Starting SalariesThe government is making good progress towards meeting its manifesto commitment for new teacher pay to rise to £30,000. The starting salary for teachers outside London rose by 8.9%, with salaries reaching £28,000 in the 2022/23 academic year. From September 2022, a new teacher will now receive over £2,000 more this year than last. The competitive new starting salary will help attract top-quality talent. Those in the early stages of their careers have also benefited from increases, ranging from 5% to 8% depending on experience. Additional Salary BenefitsOn top of their basic salary, teachers may receive additional payments. Qualified teachers of SEN pupils may get an additional (SEN) allowance of £2,270 to £4,479 per year. There are payments for those taking on more responsibilities within the role. These teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments range from £2,873 to £14,030 per annum. BenefitsBeyond the SalaryOther benefits of a teaching career include automatic entry into the Teacher's Pension Scheme and extensive holiday periods. Job SecurityWhile other jobs are being replaced by technology or robotics, there will always be a need for teachers. A career in teaching offers job security and is one of the most recession-proof jobs, according to CNBC News. Job growth is expected to see a steady increase. The DfE forecasts that secondary schools will need 15,000 more teachers before 2025 to meet a 15 per cent rise in student numbers. The DfE forecasts that primary schools will need to maintain teacher numbers over the next decade, by ensuring the numbers entering keep up with those leaving. Holidays and Flexibility Despite teachers enjoying a 195-day working year, there is still work to be done during the holidays. However, the summer, winter, and Easter breaks alongside half-term holidays allow teachers time to recharge. And while there might be some work to be done, this paid time off outside of the academic year is a bonus for teachers.For parents, teaching provides convenient scheduling. If you have children, you will be on a similar schedule. Teachers may need to do marking and lesson planning after school, but this can often be done from home.The holidays are not only a break from the classroom, but they enable teachers to spend more time with their children or families. Personal ProgressionLife-Long LearningTeachers not only get to share their existing knowledge, but they research new topics and learn along the way. Teachers need to keep on top of new technologies and trends. Transferable skills There’s a high degree of mobility within the education field. Former teachers can go on to a variety of careers both inside and outside of education. A Global CareerIf you’re a qualified teacher, you’ll be able to work around the world. Whether it’s teaching English as a foreign language or a specialised subject, you can live and work abroad. International schools often look favourably upon teachers who have trained and qualified in England. Becoming a TeacherTeachers are the fabric of the school system, and it is their dedication and skill that ensure young people can leave school with the knowledge and opportunities they need to get on in life.Many teachers find great satisfaction in their work. Despite the everyday challenges teachers face, a number of surveys conducted among teachers indicate that the vast majority of them are satisfied with their role. If you are interested in embarking on a career in teaching there are different paths to qualification and training. You can also reach out to our Education Recruitment Team - they have over 100 years of combined experience.
Understandably the start of the academic year is a busy period when it comes to hiring staff within Colleges, who need to recruit quickly. Similar roles and candidates are often needed simultaneously and now with job seekers being in higher demand they have more choices than in previous years, so you need to act fast if you want to hire the right talent for your College.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the ways you can help improve your chances of recruiting the right talent for your College. Whether that’s by getting the most out of your recruitment consultant or by implementing some tips for you and your staff.Hiring Manager Hints
Hire at paceFor those managers who are hiring temporary staff in FE, both new and old, the best advice we could give to you for hiring staff from recruitment agencies is to move at pace.
Not managing to hire or hiring poor quality staff can have an incredibly negative impact on the outcomes of learners and morale amongst existing staff; and it's no secret that the FE and education sectors in general are facing huge challenges in recruiting and retaining staff, particularly at Lecturing, Support Assistant and Management level. So your College's recruitment process and strategy needs to be as efficient as possible if it is to be successful.
Sell the opportunityIt’s important to assess the candidate’s suitability for your vacancy, however it's also crucial that as a hiring manager you ‘sell’ the vacancy to the candidate and highlight the amazing opportunity to work in your team and at your College. Promoting the College's vision and values and providing first hand feedback on what it's like to work there will enable candidates to picture what life is like at your College.
The interview experience is an incredibly important factor for job seekers when considering offers; those who have had a positive experience and can see the passion and enthusiasm their potential new manager has, are more likely to be excited about the prospect of working there.
Act fastWe all know that a strong candidate will always have multiple job offers on the table and that they will be evaluating each opportunity on its own merits, so if you like the candidate and want to make them an offer, then act fast. Being responsive and proactive can often be the difference in successfully appointing a member of staff and not.
Making the most out your recruitment consultant
The more detail is betterMake time to talk to your recruitment consultant, they are there to act as an extension of your HR recruitment team; it's crucial that they are able to fully articulate the opportunity within your team and in order to do that, a brief phone or video call (usually 10-15 minutes) can be the difference to successfully fulfilling your requirements and not.
Given the demand for good candidates in the education sector currently, job seekers are looking to establish as much information about the job and employer they are applying to in order to aid their decision making process. If you haven’t come away from a briefing call with your recruiter feeling slightly interrogated, then they probably haven’t done their job properly.
Set aside time for adminTo make sure your consultant can support you to the best of their ability, it’s best if you set aside some time to discuss appropriate timescales on how soon they can provide candidates for you to review, a time to discuss feedback and pre-booked diary slots for interviews. This will make the recruiting process go smoother, faster and your consultant will be able to advise how quickly they can confidently supply options.
Find your future staff
By applying the tips in this article, you’re sure to find the right staff for your College in no time. If you are looking to recruit new staff why not reach out to our Education Recruitment Team, they have over 100 years combined experience and are proud to be a key supplier of staff to FE. You can email our team at [email protected]
FE Colleges have a huge range of courses and learners available, so there are often plenty of part time and temporary positions available. Temporary work is a great opportunity for those looking for flexibility, who may have their own business, have child care responsibilities or are semi-retired and want to continue to work part time in their industry area.
There are some do's and don'ts to finding temporary work in FE and some benefits you might not have realised. Read on to find more information on temporary work and some tips to improve your chances of landing the job you want and getting the most out of it.Finding the right temporary job for you
Make the most out of agenciesRegistering with recruitment agencies may seem daunting at first and you may think it will require lots of work. However agencies will prioritise candidates they are working with on a more exclusive basis, and thus increasing your chances of finding the perfect role.
At first you may think registering at every agency you can find would increase your chances of finding a job, however it can be tricky keeping tabs on different contacts at multiple agencies, providing vetting information to multiple companies and having your referees contacted by multiple people. We recommend you choose one or two agencies; enabling you to build a good relationship with the agency and the agency’s staff, so that they can fully understand your requirements and match you with the College that’s right for you.
Be flexibleTry to be flexible in your requirements, your recruiter will try and find you the most suitable job based on what you are looking for, however the ‘perfect’ job doesn’t always exist. It may be you need to travel a bit further than you ideally wanted to, teach a broader range of levels, pick up an extra day's work or look at shorter term contracts.
You will likely miss out on opportunities if you aren’t receptive to needs, as temporary staff recruitment moves very quickly, as colleges do everything they can to accommodate their learners.
Be availableThis one may seem obvious, but being available is crucial when it comes to temporary work, as Colleges will recruit new staff quickly to cover sickness and student enrolment, you may miss out on job opportunities if you are not keeping on top of your correspondence. So make sure to keep your phone on you, keep on top of your personal emails and keep in touch with your chosen agencies.
Nail the basicsWith so many people competing for the same jobs it’s important to stand out from the crowd. So make sure you’ve got the basics covered, your CV needs to be kept up-to-date and it’s a good idea to brush up on your interview skills, so that when you’re applying for jobs, you’re confident and prepared. You can find extensive guides available here: morganhunt.com/career-advice
Now you’ve found temporary work
Express your availabilityJust because you start a position on a part time basis, due to the size of some colleges provisions, you may find you are offered more hours after you start work, either in the same or different departments. So if you’re looking for more hours, make your manager aware you would be interested in picking up more work and they can try to accommodate you and introduce you to other managers who can utilise your skills.
Keep in contact with your agencyIf there’s no additional work available in the College you are initially placed in, make sure to ask your agency to keep you posted about work at other organisations that fit around your timetable. It's often hard for agencies to find someone who can work for 1-2 days per week, so knowing a candidate who is already working for them and looking for additional hours can work well for both parties.
Unsure about temporary work?
If you are newly qualified or have recently finished a permanent job and are ideally looking for a new permanent opportunity, make sure to keep an open mind about temporary work as this can often lead to longer term opportunities.
Misconceptions in FE Temporary workTemporary teaching work in the FE sector is generally not the same as day to day supply teaching, most synonymous with schools. Generally, unless there is a very short gap to be covered, there is an expectation that temporary Lecturing staff in Colleges will complete and undertake lesson preparation and marking for their classes, which is usually included in the hourly or daily rate. A temporary lecture job in FE isn’t just about managing the class.
Benefits of FE Temporary workYou will be an integral part of the team when approaching a temporary contract in FE. You will be included in team meetings and often gain access to CPD opportunities, and will play an important role in the success of your department and the learners.
Possibility of permanentIf you’re ultimately looking for permanent work, make sure to find out from your agency about why there is a vacancy. If it is because someone has left a permanent role or they have been unsuccessful in recruiting for the permanent equivalent, then this creates a great opportunity for you to go in and demonstrate your skills and aptitude for the job to the College, putting yourself in a great position to be offered a permanent role.
Find your next job
By applying the tips in this article, you’re sure to find the right job for you in no time. If you are looking for a new role in FE why not reach out to our Education Recruitment Team, they have over 100 years combined experience and are proud to be a key supplier of staff to FE. You can email our team at [email protected] or why not explore the vacancies we’re currently recruiting for.
In light of The Great Resignation, motivated employees are key to retaining talent. In fact, employee experience is everything these days.
Eisenhower knew that finding the right motivators in the workplace was essential to success and improving employee experience. As the former U.S President, once said, “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”
It’s important for companies, line managers and HR teams to recognise employee motivators to get the best work out of them and decrease costly staff turnover. Capitalising on key motivators will enable staff to be motivated, passionate and loyal to the organisation. But where to start?Understanding motivation
When Abraham Maslow created his Hierarchy of Needs in 1943, he argued that people are motivated by five essential needs that enable an individual to be fulfilled. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs these needs are:Physiological - Food, water, warmth and rest Safety – including financial security Belonging - Relationships, community family and friends Self-esteem - Prestige and a feeling of accomplishment Self-actualisation - Achieving full potential and extra-curricular activitiesMaslow in the workplace
The Hierarchy of needs is often applied to the workplace as a means to determine how to motivate employees and ensure their needs are met. To achieve this, line managers must make time to consider an employee as an individual for their input into the organisation and encourage and support them.
According to Maslow’s theory, an employee begins by focusing on the lower order needs. Those embarking on their career might be more concerned with physiological needs such as income and security. Once these basic needs are met, the employee will focus on social needs. Once the needs are met, an employee may want to meet higher-level needs (growth needs) such as self-esteem.
Although workplace motivation has moved on from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the theory forms the basis of motivation.
Motivational triggers do vary between employees. And the challenge can be for line managers to understand what the motivators are for their team members. However, there are common workplace motivators.Key motivators in the workplaceCommunication
Companies with poor employee communications suffer low levels of employee motivation and engagement. Employees who are not informed are difficult to motivate. One of the most important workplace motivators for employees is communication. The more a team interacts with each other, the better their performance will be. Good and regular communication reduces confusion and mistakes as well as improves performance.Meaningful & challenging work
The Harvard Business Review reported that more than nine in ten of employees would be willing to earn less money for the opportunity to do more meaningful work – showing how important a person’s purpose is to them. If you want your employees to be self-motivated, it’s a good idea to offer them more responsibility with meaningful work.
Challenging and new tasks are important to keep staff engagement, productivity and motivation high. New projects and tasks alleviate the boredom and repetitiveness of job roles, while a challenging task can give the employee a sense of importance and feeling of ownership that will make them feel valued.Company Culture
A healthy company culture fuels motivation and creates a sense of belonging and joint goals. It is fundamental to making employees feel like they are part of a family. It is important to evaluate your company culture to ensure it promotes collaboration, teamwork and transparency. Excessive bureaucracy, micromanaging by managers and withholding of information can be demotivators for staff as well as have a detrimental impact on company culture. A high-performing company culture will have a competitive edge.Teamwork makes the dream work
Teamwork can empower the employees to have confidence in voicing their thoughts and opinions and come up with innovative ideas. Teams that work (and play) well together can also improve employee retention too as they enjoy the sense of belonging to the business they work for.
A well selected team that complements different personalities and skill sets enables workers to work together and become a group with a mission. A 2009 study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that “employees rated opportunities to use their skills and abilities in their work as the fourth most important aspect of their job satisfaction.”
Workplace friendships are created through a shared experience. Maintaining healthy friendships at work can motivate people to remain employed with a company. In 2018, Gallup reported that 63% of women who had a work friend were over twice as likely to be engaged during work.Recognition
Rewards and recognition are vital to every organisation. Similar to self-esteem needs, a company should promote or give recognition to employees based on their performance. Make sure to reward your employees with something that they value. This will motivate the employee to progress or work towards a promotion. Reward and recognition is important for candidate attraction not only staff retention.Appreciation & praise
Often forgotten when deadlines are looming and the pressure is on, appreciation is fundamental to keeping employees motivated. A BCG survey asked employees from around the world their top ten factors for on-the-job happiness. Results show that people place appreciation for their work as the most important factor for on-the-job happiness.
It might seem obvious but praising your staff on their achievements can be one of the best motivators out there. There are many ways organisations can appreciate their employees.Salary & benefits
Many people feel that their salary is a validation of their status and qualifications together with any effort and work they have put into their previous roles. Personal motivations form a part of it too –it is human nature to want to be able to not only pay bills but afford luxuries in life. Glassdoor research shows that 79% of employees would prefer additional benefits as opposed to a pay increase.Modern challenges
With hybrid and remote work now the norm due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some employees can feel isolated with reduced levels of motivation. Nowadays, there is an additional consideration for organisations: How to keep employees who are working away from the office motivated.In Summary
Motivation is a powerful energy that drives how employees work and the vigour with which they approach their roles. Motivation is, in short, the incentive we all need to wake up in the morning, get dressed and ready for work. Revisiting Maslow’s theory of motivation is important, as we continue to adapt and adjust workplaces in a post-pandemic world.
It’s normal for employees to face dips in motivation, but it becomes a problem when employees are consistently disengaged. Therefore, HR and SMTs need to take time to review areas such as:Communication methods and frequency company culture reward and recognition schemes salary and benefits
While line managers need to get to understand their employees as individuals and consider how each staff member may have different ways to be motivated. People managers also need to:ensure that employees have meaningful and challenging work look at team dynamics and how the team is working together consider how they show their appreciation and give praise ensure they communicate opening and regularly We’re here to help
At Morgan Hunt our team are here to help. If you’re looking to recruit and need guidance or advice on areas such as salary, benefits, reward and recognition just get in touch.
The Great Resignation is a phrase usually associated with office workers, but recent stats indicate that the next Great Resignation could be among teaching staff. A survey conducted by the National Education Union (NEU) found that a fifth of teachers (22%) said they would leave within two years. An estimated 44% of teachers in England are planning to quit by 2027.Why are teachers leaving the profession?
Statistics published by the DfE reveal that of teachers who qualified in 2014, just 67% were still in service after five years in 2019.Teacher Workload
The high drop-out rates suggest that attempts to tackle teacher workload - seen as a main obstacle to teacher retention - is failing.
Teachers’ mental health is being damaged by working excessive and long hours, causing stress and burnout. Research by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union revealed that, nine out of ten teachers (91%) reported that their workload has increased in the last year, according to the Union’s Big Question Survey 2022.Flexible Working
In the private sector, The Great Resignation has come about partly due to employees wanting the flexibility of remote working and flexible hours. In the private sector, companies are trialling four-day weeks with no reduction in pay and are offering flexible hybrid-working.
And, while the world around us has changed considerably, the fundamentals of education have not shifted in the same way. Professionals, including teachers, are looking at flexible working as a key priority in their career decisions and job search. Teaching is generally a sector where these new types of working cannot be offered.Career Progression and Salaries
School teachers are currently paid over £9,000 more than college teachers on average, despite many college lecturers being more specialist and having industry experience. FE salaries are also often lower than those in industries.
Jade Blackburn, Director of Human Resources at Waltham Forest College, reveals:
"We know that teachers have concerns about an ever increasing workload and that salaries in the FE sector are being outstripped by salaries on offer back in ‘industry’ – this is a particular challenge in the construction trades and IT & Digital."
Staff that leave the profession often report that their college or school had limited career development and training options. And when it is there for the taking, a lack of time and a heavy workload can prevent FE tutors from taking-up continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities.The perception of teaching
Although teachers in the UK battled on as key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, there is an issue with perception, which is common in countries including the UK and US.
Teaching and marking are what most people think of when they think of a career in education, but there are a whole host of other parts of the role that many outside the sector do not appreciate, which can often be surprising and very challenging to new teachers coming into the profession. This includes admin, lesson preparation, assessments, record keeping, exams, and pastoral care. They also often don’t consider the more personal skill element of teaching, such as managing the emotional charge of a room of 30 (often young) minds or the emotional intelligence of what it takes to drive and motivate each member of a class.
In the 2018 Global Teacher Status Index, the countries that most respect their teachers are China, Taiwan and Malaysia. In these countries, the teaching profession is seen as on par with doctors.What is the sector doing about it?
When it comes to The Great Teacher Resignation, how we can attract and retain the next generation of FE staff is a key question.Improving salaries, benefits & career development
The Association of Colleges (AOC) is pushing for the government to work with the FE sector so that colleges can pay their staff better and support them with their development. Some colleges have introduced a salary overhaul in certain subject areas.
Waltham Forest College, is one example of an FE institution looking at the issue of salary and career development. As Jade Blackburn explains:
“Our turnover of teaching staff is lower than the sector average, but we’re not complacent – we have introduced recruitment and retention payments for new joiners in hard to fill roles, we’re reviewing our overall benefits package and ensuring staff have access to good quality CPD so that our first and foremost succession planning tool is to grow and develop our own staff into future teachers, managers and leaders.”
Those working outside of the education sector are not aware of the generous annual leave entitlement that comes with FE. Although this is dependent on the type of role, most are entitled to around 38 days holiday per year, plus bank holidays. This is significantly higher than the basic 20-to-25-day standard allowance. FE providers could be more transparent about this benefit, as well as other benefits such as pensions. College staff have access to the Teacher Pension Scheme, which compares favourably to almost all private sector schemes.Reviewing teacher workload
Waltham Forest College is looking into the issue of workload. As Jade Blackburn explains,“We’ve heard the concerns about workload and are continuing to work together to create workable, long term solutions to reduce workload - particularly administrative burdens on teachers.”
Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of teachers is also key to retaining staff and is an area that is being developed.Mentoring
The use of mentoring and coaching for teachers is widespread. Mentors and coaches may offer support to new teachers as part of an induction process or to existing teachers to enhance the quality of teaching and learning.Promoting flexible opportunities
Although FE workloads are demanding, teachers and assessors can often choose between working full-time, part-time, compressed hours, evenings or even on a casual, hourly basis. This leaves significant scope for flexibility in working hours. Nowadays, there is an opportunity for FE colleges to promote flexible working and home working options where possible.Attracting new staff to the sector
There is an opportunity for FE institutions to adopt some of the tactics that the private sector uses in their candidate attraction and one such example is reviewing their employer brand.
FE colleges are diversifying where posts are advertised to reach a wider talent pool. They are also broadening their use of social media, working in partnership with industry to offer specialist delivery and engaging with specialist recruitment agencies to headhunt teachers and trainees.
Other key areas for teacher attraction can include growing a pipeline by promoting vacancies to existing staff and students completing their studies and alumni, as well as promoting FE jobs to parents at student open evenings.Ongoing commitment
Finally, inconsistency in management styles between different schools and colleges is a real challenge. Good onboarding and ensuring a consistent and robust induction process for all staff can go some way to address this.
So, while there might be a Great Teacher Resignation about to happen, teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession. As schools and colleges continue to take action to improve teacher workload and staff wellbeing, real progress can be made.
If colleges work proactively with the sector to understand the drivers behind current issues and improve their policies and interventions, attracting teachers and retaining them will no longer be the issue they are today.