3 Steps to Build Trust through Teacher Compensation

[The following is an excerpt from TrustED®: The Bridge to School Improvement]

A trusted school leader exemplifies that he or she authentically cares for and supports teachers when they “recognize and reward individual accomplishments” (Marzano et al.). These leaders are known for continual and public recognition of others and their contribution toward fulfilling the school’s mission and vision or emulating its values. The most significant form of recognition or contingent reward is money. A universal element that affects trust between the school’s leadership and employees is the level of compensation. Nothing else communicates more about the leadership’s level of genuine and authentic support than the priority placed on compensation levels. However, providing a compensation package, which authentically demonstrates the level of care and understanding of employee needs, is one of the most difficult challenges.

The finance problems related to personnel generally arise from the lack of an intentional and carefully designed compensation plan. To avoid problems such as inequity in salary levels or advancement, trusted school leaders embrace the adage “Plan your work and then work your plan.” They design a compensation plan that meets their school community’s specific needs and realities. Then, just as important as the design, they are diligent in monitoring and following the plan.

Step 1: Philosophy of Compensation

The first step is to establish a philosophy of compensation. Just as schools begin with identifying a core educational philosophy, they also need to identify their core compensation beliefs. The compensation philosophy should address topics such as:

  • The fair and equitable timing of pay for all employees
  • Establishing compensation rates in line with the school’s ability to afford said rates
  • Recognizing compensation level impact in attracting and retaining qualified faculty and staff
  • Methods for fairly rewarding high employee achievement, in alignment with industry standards while meeting all local and federal legal requirements

Step 2: Compensation Strategy

Secondly, trusted school leaders establish a compensation strategy… [continue reading]


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