Being a teacher is considered to be one of the most rewarding jobs – you get to shape the minds of the next generation! However, what do you do if you see that your faculty and staff appear disengaged and demotivated? Continue reading to find out how to recognize and appreciate them efficiently:
1. Why is teacher appreciation important?
Even though there is a Teacher Appreciation Day, appreciation is something which needs to be given consistently and on a regular basis in order for it to work. Faculty members and staff who do not feel appreciated in their place of work are much more likely to look for a new job or underperform. In addition, the lack of feedback from students or peer appreciation can lead to more absenteeism and lower performance.
In fact, according to Fairweather (1993):
“Teaching activities seldom were rewarded; in some cases, time spent on teaching was negatively related to salary. “
This sentiment is also confirmed by research conducted by Hla, Ponnudurai and Tze-Haw in 2006, who discovered that
“teaching is undervalued compared with research”
“[…] the teacher-intensive curricula result[s] in frustrated teachers who undergo occupational burnout.“
Therefore, consistent and regular teacher appreciation can contribute to your faculty and staff members’ improved job satisfaction and lower stress levels!
2. What are faculty rewards?
Another valuable insight from the research conducted by Hla, Ponnudurai and Tze-Haw in 2006 is that:
“Dissatisfaction leads to unproductivity and is detrimental to the institution in the long run. It is therefore essential that rewards systems support the priorities and mission of the institution.”
But what does a reward system looks like in academia and how is it used?
Faculty rewards are a simple yet effective way to give recognition and show appreciation, whilst reaffirming the values of your academic institution. Therefore, every individual university, college or academic institution needs to decide on the type of positive behaviour they want to encourage with their faculty rewards.
What is more, reward points should not only be given vertically but also horizontally, i.e. colleagues should be given the opportunity to give thanks to their peers in the form of reward points. This will further collaboration and promote team spirit.
3. Why is student feedback important?
Another basis for giving reward points which should be considered is your student base. Many educational institutions collect feedback from their students. However, the process for this is often inefficient. For example, paper feedback instead of digital is a big concern for many students when it comes to ensuring anonymity. Furthermore, compiling and analyzing this feedback is often not done nor are insights used for improvements. What this does is that students feel like their voice is not being heard and faculty members and staff never find out what their students think about their teaching or what would they change. Instead of opening an honest discussion between all the parties involved with the purpose of improving the status quo, the opposite effect is achieved. This leads to more frustration amongst both students and faculty.
Therefore, giving the opportunity to students to give honest, anonymous feedback and distributing reward points to your faculty and staff based on said feedback is a great way to encourage open communication and to show appreciation.
4. Next steps?
This is where most academic institutions struggle – they understand the importance of faculty and staff recognition and appreciation, as well as student feedback but are unsure how to proceed. Some colleges use various tools or manually send feedback forms. This could be very time-consuming and varies between colleges, even between departments.
A better way to do this is to use an online tool, which combines the main three functions: collecting (anonymous) feedback from both students and faculty, giving recognition and awarding faculty rewards. In this way, a college can ensure uniformity among departments and transparency, while saving time and funds in the process.
With BRAVO you can do all this and more! We use our decade-long experience with collecting and managing customer feedback and employee rewards and apply it to the world of academia! If you want to find out how you can use BRAVO in your college, click here.
Fairweather, J.S. Res High Educ (1993) 34: 603. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00991922
Yee-Yee, Hla and Gnanajothy, Ponnudurai and Chan, Tze-Haw. Faculty Rewards and Education Portfolios: A Report on Faculty Perceptions (2006). MPRA Paper No. 2022, posted 06 Mar 2007 UTC