Key points:
  • In the post-pandemic world, job satisfaction has become a top priority
  • Staff members won't hesitate to leave their position for a better one
  • Schools need to cater to their staff's needs, allowing for flexibility and making them feel valued

In today’s post-COVID working environment, one of the top priorities for job seekers has become job satisfaction. While always an important factor for most employees, job satisfaction has become even more prized as people’s world views and values changed during the pandemic. Many realized how short life is, and came to re-evaluate their job satisfaction as a result. While these changing attitudes may be intimidating to some, it’s important to recognize the wants and needs of employees, and listen to their views on how to maximize workplace performance and well-being. 

Current problems

There are a few commonly reported problems from employees when it comes to the evaluation of their job satisfaction. When searching for a new position (or evaluating their current one), employees will keep a lookout for these problems and make decisions based on them. And if a staff member feels like they’re overworked, they’ll have no problem browsing a job board for a position with more flexibility. According to Marketing Mag:

  • 44% of employees are seriously considering leaving their current company
  • 60% would refuse to work in non-flexible roles
  • 63% say it’s harder to maintain culture in flexible workplaces

This phenomenon of employees leaving to find better opportunities has been dubbed the ‘Great Resignation’, with flocks of the labour force leaving their positions and raising their standards. And with this shortage of labour supply, employers have little choice but to listen to their demands. In general, unhappy employees report the following problems:

  • They’re overloaded and burnt out
  • There’s poor communication from management
  • They struggle with work/life balance because of inefficient processes
  • They don’t feel like the company cares about them as a person
  • They lack potential for professional growth and self-development

The importance of culture

To improve school marketer’s job satisfaction, school leadership needs to establish a workplace culture which caters to their wants and needs. As an employer or manager who’s searching for employees that will be a great fit, you must first ask yourself ‘who are we as a school?’ You need to have a solid grasp of your culture and what you’re trying to represent. Afterall, your ideal team member won’t just have the necessary technical skills, but also the soft skills and personal characteristics that’ll allow them to smoothly transition into the position. 

If your team has recently lost personnel and you’re really feeling the hole left by their absence, the resulting panic is understandable, because school staff usually wear many hats and it can be difficult to find a replacement with all the necessary skills. However, it’s important to not rush the process. You have to wait for the right fit, and evaluate the attractiveness of your open positions. Put yourself into a job seeker’s shoes - would you want to work for you? 

By developing a great culture you’ll be more successful at attracting top talent, but also at keeping the amazing staff you already have, which is just as important. Retaining staff should be a major priority of every school, and there are a lot of positive steps you can take towards achieving this. 

Digistorm recently sponsored an episode of the Mindful Marketing Podcast, where guest Beth Yoder (CEO and founder of P3Hired) gave some tips for improving employee engagement:

  • Remember to give recognition for a job well done
  • Establish regular communication
  • Engage in proactive communication (e.g. propose and set meetings ahead of time)
  • Take an interest in them as a person
  • Let them share their vision of what a great experience looks like

At the end of the day, employees want to feel like they’re part of a supportive network which has their back. As Beth said in the podcast, 

“’s great to have the formal check-ins, but it’s also nice to say: ‘Hey, let’s go grab a cup of coffee in the break room’. You know, like: ‘How’s it going? I heard your daughter has this, that, or the other thing going on…’ I think there’s some intrinsic value that people feel when there’s a personal touch.”

The importance of flexibility

One of the core concerns for contemporary job seekers is the availability of flexible work. Largely due to COVID, where people were required to be flexible to adapt to work from home conditions, people have realised the benefits of flexible work, and are increasingly demanding for it as a permanent condition of employment. 

According to a study by Mercer, 

“ in three employees would be willing to forego a pay increase in return for more control over their work schedule.” 


While this desire for flexibility is a major trend, there is also a general fear from employers that interpersonal relationship building will be sacrificed as individual employees become more isolated. Therefore, the future of working arrangements could see a balance between focus on flexibility and socialization, with particular attention paid to well-being and inclusivity for employees. Staff members need to be able to rest assured that they won’t be overloaded and burnt out, while also feeling that they’re part of a supportive and understanding team. 

Gen Z employees are especially appreciative of investment in mental health and well-being focused services, and as more and more of their generation move into management positions, it’s likely that they’ll continue to develop this trend in the workplace. According to a study by LinkedIn, 42% of respondents selected mental health and wellness as a top area to invest in to improve company culture, and there’s no reason it should be any different for school professionals. 

The importance of growth

Career growth is still an important concern for many school staff members, and more so as we see driven individuals coming in from corporate environments. So if you have a small team with limited upward positions, what is your school doing to show career growth opportunities? One way is to show the breadth of work available for your team, and encourage and support them to learn new skills and broaden their professional horizons. 

By ‘breadth of work’ we’re talking about all the new skills that can be learned by taking responsibility for a wider variety of tasks. For example, an individual school marketer could be responsible for both social media strategy and PR tasks, whereas in a corporate environment they often might only have one specific responsibility within a larger company. So for a school marketer, the ability to learn and have input across all of the marketing functions might be an attractive option for those wanting to widen their skillset.

From our recent state of admissions report we know that 56% of schools are looking to upskill their teams with training and development, and you can facilitate this by allowing dedicated self development time for your staff, and encouraging them to learn new skills and develop their professional toolkits. 

Wrapping up

The modern workplace is changing, and with these changes comes new attitudes towards workplace culture and job satisfaction. Employees are re-evaluating their priorities and figuring out what really matters to them, and by adapting to these new changes, schools can offer their valuable employees a more satisfying and rewarding experience, and ultimately boost their efficiency and productivity.

Published May 5 2022