Head in the Cloud? Overcoming the Great Resignation through Technological Investment in Education
By Brandy Keller
According to November Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from September 2020 to September 2021, the education sector experienced about 3.3 million employee resignations.
These numbers are the highest the education sector has seen. It also means schools must fill those positions. The Great Resignation has permanently altered the educational employment picture, with employees leaving long-term roles for positions that value flexibility, greater efficiency, and increased investment in technological systems.
While talent has left the industry, school administrations are moving to put more investment in employee well-being and streamlining burdensome and time-consuming administrative tasks to retain and attract new employees.
According to a report by Education Week, school leaders have identified the COVID-19 pandemic, pay raises, and differing views than school administrators among the key reasons they would leave the industry.
While these resignations show a need for higher salaries and more automation of tasks, the good news is that by implementing and investing in technology, school administrations can reduce further resignations and continue to survive and thrive in 2022.
While COVID-19 was a significant industry disruptor, the emergence of hybrid learning models and increased investment in technological solutions have helped contribute to teachers staying at their schools. Hybrid learning and school models are also showing growth. In fact, 40 percent of school leaders noted in a RAND corporation study they would continue to operate in a hybrid model if required to return to the classroom, and another 18 percent of leaders said they would continue in the model if they had more significant resources to do so.
Why Modernize Your Technology Now?
When school leaders have the technological tools to maintain a safe and healthy work environment, they report increased job satisfaction rates. The RAND study also states that around 24 percent of school leaders said they would stay in the field longer if given improved technology systems.
Technology like virtual whiteboards, student information systems, administrative systems, and accounting and billing systems allow teachers to decrease the administrative workload behind their days and focus more on teaching in the classroom.
Schools that adopt cloud-computing systems for their administrative and accounting platforms allow teachers to access the programs anywhere, including when they are out of the classroom. By facilitating this seamless access, administrative departments can increase efficiency and decrease cybersecurity risks while improving employee satisfaction.
Investing in technology is a front-loaded cost that pays dividends as teachers and other administrators use it.
The Benefits of the Cloud
Cloud-based technology is more secure than traditional legacy systems. Cloud-based SaaS software providers earn an advanced security certification that denotes they follow a high standard of security. These providers undergo an audit process that ensures their security, availability, and privacy controls meet advanced standards to achieve accreditation.
Cloud-based providers use an advanced security system to protect against a variety of threats. That translates to advanced security for users and the ability to access their data safely 24/7. When a user adds a file to the cloud, the file itself and its metadata are encrypted.
This level of encryption ensures all management communication between the user and the cloud-based provider is secure and highly unlikely to be compromised in a data breach.
Bottom line: the cloud provides enhanced security and data protection while lessening the technological investment required of legacy systems. A cloud-based system improves onboarding and administrative tasks to get teachers more time in front of students in their classrooms.
Happiness 101: The Great Equalizer
Lessening school leaders’ administrative workloads is essential for prolonged employee happiness. For example, Kailua, Hawaii-based Le Jardin Academy had an administrative issue where its financial aid office was not reaching enough potential applicants fast enough, hurting its enrollment figures.
The school turned to a comprehensive student management program specializing in financial aid. The platform allowed the school to take the entire process online, cutting away inefficiencies and helping administrators trim their workload in half.
The system featured an integrated program that allowed for less administrative lift. Other programs Le Jardin Academy considered would require training of an additional staff person. Once installing the system, Le Jardin realized exceptional results, ask Director of Admissions Jennifer Souza.
“Before [implementing the program], we were spending eight hours a day to do much of the manual processing of financial aid forms and organizing them to make the award decisions,” Souza said. “By using [these programs], we have been able to reduce our time down to meeting a couple of hours a week for the whole process.”
During the Great Resignation, schools have seen talent leave the industry. However, going forward into 2022, there is more opportunity than ever before for school administration to make the investments necessary in its people and resources and ensure a robust talent pipeline. In this era, where organizations do more with less, optimization and investing in cloud technologies are more critical than ever. Class is back in session, and cloud-based computing makes it all possible.
About the author
Brandy Keller is Vice President of Product, MIP Fund Accounting at Community Brands. She is responsible for driving the strategy of products leveraged by schools and nonprofits to further their missions. She has partnered closely with customers in the nonprofit and education space to understand their challenges, needs, and opportunities to help them expand their impact. Through extensive end user research, market analysis, and technical due diligence, she has launched innovative next-gen solutions, reinvigorated older platforms to leverage modern technologies, and built strategic partnerships throughout the industry.
This article was originally published by The Learning Counsel, a research institute and news media hub focused on providing context for the shift in education to digital curriculum.