Five bitesize tips to motivate your staff

This is a series of occasional blogs by BESA members and is part of their paid membership service. These views are not necessarily those of BESA and a published blog does not constitute an endorsement.

Successful leaders are those who are able to motivate their staff, boost their happiness and enable them to find their ‘mojo’. A happy engaged staff member is far more productive than someone who is unhappy.

The leader is the most important influencer on someone’s enjoyment or ability to flourish in a particular job role. Do not underestimate your importance!

  1. Self-Reflection

Successful leaders take a long hard look at themselves and the effect they are having on their staff. They are willing to create a 360 degree analysis and use others, not just themselves, to make an accurate judgement.

Constantly challenge yourself to ensure that you do not lose sight of the important matters. Consider what you can do to improve staff morale, improve standards and reduce costs.

  1. Communication

There is a lot of pressure in schools. There is all this talk of change and, if you are stuck in the same school, same role, same Headteacher and feeling not part in this change, it can be demoralising.

Success is about having quality staff, with similar mindsets, in the correct roles. It is about everyone pulling in the right direction. Setting up effective channels of communication that inform when and why changes are going to be made. Effectively involving others in decision making will help to avoid any disillusioned staff.

  1. Workload and Wellbeing

Making staff more productive and efficient, but without increasing the amount of time and quantity work. Whole school agreed processes help to overcome these challenges. For instance, streamlining marking/feedback policies, reducing the dependency on email and a time efficient reporting system. At department level, working smart is crucial. Set the example and ensure that all deadlines are realistic and where possible, agreed with your staff.

  1. Technology

Be willing to embrace edtech. Take the time to visit exhibitions to see what is out there. Technology can have a transformative effect on your school. Leading the successful implementation of edtech that improves the working lives of your colleagues will motivate staff.

Our school improvement software, SchooliP is a prime example of how technology can be a motivational tool. Staff receive the appraisal they deserve as targets are linked to personal development and whole school priorities.

  1. Thank You

A simple little phrase that is so often overlooked. Appreciating what has been achieved and completed. Rather than what still needs to be done. There will always be ‘stuff’ in the in tray. Taking the quality time to converse with staff in a professional discussion with a willingness to listen is essential. Always show your appreciation as this helps to build rapport and establish long lasting working relationships.


We cram as many working hours into our week as humanly possible or demanded. It is time we are mindful of wellbeing. It is about realising that staff are not robots, but people. Leaders cannot just increase tasks and workload. They need to be prepared to look at what is required and what physically can be completed – that way staff are more likely to perform at their best and be a benefit to schools.

Who We Are…

We are specialists in school improvement. Our performance management solution, SchooliP offers integrated management of several key processes:

If you have not encountered SchooliP before and would like to receive a demonstration, please get in touch. Call 0333 0433 450 (option 2), email: info@derventioeducation.com or click here to book a demonstration.

If you are an existing SchooliP customer, please remember that our customer care team are on hand to assist you. Call 0333 0433 450 (option 1), email: customercare@derventioeducation.com or click here to explore our further support options.