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The Importance of Staff Surveys

November 18, 2022 • Christine Zenteno

The Importance of Staff Surveys

The research is clear: when school districts use staff surveys to seek input and respond to feedback in a meaningful way, employees are more likely to stay in their roles.

What research is finding

With teacher shortages and high rates of turnover a critical concern for many school districts, it’s important to note that there is strong evidence to support the idea that when employees — especially teachers — feel their feedback is important and acted on, they are more likely to stay in their jobs.

In a four-year study that included more than 25,000 schools across 16 states, Richard M. Ingersoll, a researcher focused on the teaching profession, and his associates found a strong correlation between  teachers having the ability to provide input for key decisions affecting their jobs and their decision to remain at their place of work. Further, their research found that teacher empowerment and improved retention rates were also connected to higher student achievement in both math and English/language arts on state assessments.

How you gather and use survey data matters

HR experts and district leaders shared with Education Week some strategies for making the most of surveys. For a survey to be an effective tool, it should be easy to complete and conducted at regular intervals to identify and address changing work culture climate and employee needs.

The real value of a survey comes from how districts use the information collected. If employees believe the process is fair and can see their district respond to input in a meaningful way, they are much more likely to respond to surveys with thoughtful feedback. While collected information can be used for large projects and long-range strategic plans, often it is small fixes unrelated to pay that have a lasting impact on morale and retention of staff.

TASB can help

TASB HR Services designs, administers, and reports the results of confidential, web-based surveys suited to  district’s individual needs. Surveys are customizable and can cover a variety of topics to help inform district leaders who are concerned with employee engagement, recruitment, and retention of staff.

For more information on employee surveys, check out Education Week’s article Why You Should Survey Your School Staff and TASB HR Services - Employee Opinion Surveys.


Christine Zenteno is an HR and compensation consultant at TASB HR Services. Send Christine an email at christine.zenteno@tasb.org.


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Tagged: "Employee surveys", Retention, Staffing, Surveys