With data received from the Guarding Minds Survey and the recent Focus Groups on Staff Wellbeing, the District Wellness Committee has identified several broad themes to begin developing a staff wellness plan, reported Director of Instruction (Inclusive Education) Carol-Ann Leidloff to the School District No. 83 Board of Education (North Okanagan-Shuswap) at its meeting at Eagle River Secondary on Tuesday.
These themes include professional support/Pro-D, relationships, feeling a sense of purpose/appreciated for work, work-life balance/workload, and communication, she said. The District Wellness Committee will be meeting in May to develop a specific list of action items and recommendations, which will be shared at the June board meeting.
She explained the “Guarding Minds at Work” survey was administered to help begin to understand some of the challenges SD83 employees are experiencing in the area of mental wellbeing. Areas of strength included employee engagement. Areas of concern included workload, work-life balance, and feeling unappreciated for their work. She noted that the results of this survey, while helpful, did not provide the specificity the Wellness Committee was hoping for in order to develop an action plan.
Consequently, the District contracted two facilitators through the Well Ahead Foundation. Leidloff explained this is an organization with whom the District is working on the Mental Wellbeing Coaching Project. The two facilitators met with six groups: North Okanagan-Shuswap Teachers’ Association (NOSTA), Operations, Support Staff (CEAs/Clerical), North Okanagan-Shuswap Principals Vice Principals Association (NOSPVPA), District Management Team, and the Senior Leadership Team. The report (click this link to read report) entitled “Focus Groups on Staff Wellbeing” summarizes the feedback received from each group.
Employees could also participate in an online survey with the focus group questions to afford those who were unable to participate in the focus group discussions an opportunity to provide their feedback.