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Onboarding Throughout the Year

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Onboarding Throughout the Year

Kimberly St Clair

Although the new school year is underway, hiring continues throughout the year, making the topic of onboarding always relevant, especially in light of the continued teacher shortage in Arizona (see AASPA Survey Results) .  Indeed, a deliberate, comprehensive onboarding program can make all the difference in reducing attrition rates, increasing employee engagement, and ultimately, improving student outcomes.

Consider developing a school-wide onboarding plan that reflects the needs of a new employee from Day 0 through Day 365. Day 0 covers all of the time that passes between an accepted offer and the first day reporting for work. Some ideas for Day 0 resources could include a welcome and introduction letter with FAQs and toolkits, resources about the campus and team, and assignment of a mentor or buddy to connect with. This head-start communication can make a great impact on that new team member’s feeling welcome and ready to dive into a new environment.

The next section of the plan should consider the myriad events that occur throughout the coming year. Some examples might be scheduling regular check-ins with coaches and supervisors, goal setting, a formal mid-year review, professional development, and a healthy dose of social and celebratory engagements. Finally, include time near the end of the plan for self-evaluation and reflection. 

Implementing this kind of plan will not only ensure your new team members are prepared for the year ahead, it will also help each of them feel valued and supported in their exciting new role.