Faculty engagement in higher education can boost student success and help you improve your institution. Building a positive environment that supports growth, development, and discussions can encourage your team to work collaboratively and go above and beyond to contribute to the campus culture.
However, many higher education institutions battle low engagement levels and must uncover new strategies to meet faculty needs. Various factors can contribute to reduced interest, but there are also many ways to boost engagement. Discover how to encourage university faculty members and increase engagement from Watermark.
What Is Faculty Engagement?
Faculty engagement describes your team's involvement in delivering students a quality academic experience and contributing to the institution's positive reputation. Faculty members who go above and beyond to take an active role in encouraging development and facilitating learning demonstrate a high engagement level. Faculty engagement could include mentoring, reshaping curricula, getting to know students, helping reach campus initiatives, and more. Increasing faculty engagement can positively improve student performance and create an enriching experience for everyone on your campus.
Factors Influencing Faculty Engagement in Higher Education
Understanding faculty issues in higher education is the first step to addressing concerns and ensuring you create a positive environment for your team to thrive. Many factors can influence engagement, and each institution may need to dedicate efforts to improve one or more areas specific to its organization. Consider these variables that influence faculty engagement.
When your faculty can identify organizational support, they're more likely to have a clear sense of identity within the organization, leading to increased performance and engagement.
When faculty continuously perform tasks of minor importance or tasks that do not require their skills, they're more likely to experience burnout, making it more difficult to become engaged.
Using annual faculty reviews and distributing assessments and surveys can give your faculty the input they need to improve. For example, course evaluations and surveys can address challenges for college professors, enlighten instructors about teaching strategies, and provide a foundation for reshaping curriculum.
Training, Learning, and Development
Providing your faculty and staff with professional development opportunities like workshops and training can enable them to find new methods to complete tasks, structure lesson plans, and create a more enriching environment.
Research suggests those with a household income less than $75,000 a year are more likely to experience financial stress, impeding job performance because they have lower emotional well-being.
Performing repetitive daily tasks can discourage faculty and staff. These chores can become mundane and impede faculty job satisfaction, making your team feel like they are not using their broad skill set to complete meaningful work.
Job satisfaction is one of the best predictors of engagement and performance. Those who feel happy at their jobs are more likely to complete deep work and have higher levels of engagement.
A workplace that promotes growth and learning guides faculty to a more positive experience. If a work environment is unfriendly, has little room for development, and discourages asking for assistance, it becomes much more challenging for faculty to feel job satisfaction and reach a high level of engagement.
Information feedback and flow directly impact faculty engagement. Having discussions with your faculty and ensuring everyone completes the tasks they need for institutional and personal success can increase faculty engagement.
Relationships With Co-Workers
Workplace relationships can hinder or improve job satisfaction and emotional well-being. Building a collaborative and positive environment can foster respect, trust, and communication, leading faculty to higher engagement levels.
Importance of Faculty in Higher Education for Student Success
Knowing how faculty contribute to student success can help you determine what you can do to support your staff and improve your institution. When faculty feel satisfaction in their careers, they are less likely to look for a new job and instead are likely to commit to growing in their current environment.
With the proper materials, support, and equipment, faculty can better invest their efforts into your institution, creating a more fulfilling student experience. Your team may feel more inclined to know your students personally and give them the tools they need to succeed.
Additionally, engagement affects institutional finances. With a strong team and high levels of engagement, your institution can become more financially stable and provide the academic resources you need to support your students, such as writing centers and internship offices.
Strategies for Engaging Faculty
A disengaged team can severely impact your institution and the campus experience. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can uplift your team and equip them with everything they need to succeed. From encouraging conversations to offering incentives, you can support your team and boost engagement.
- Foster collaboration: Encourage your team to have frequent discussions among colleagues, leaders, and co-workers. Provide opportunities for your team to share ideas, ask questions, and get to know each other beyond their routine tasks.
- Convey your appreciation: Let your team know you recognize and appreciate their work. Remind them of the meaningful role they play in ensuring institutional success.
- Provide development: Offering training workshops and other professional development opportunities can show your team you care about their growth and help them hone the skills they need to excel in their fields.
- Make work meaningful: Connect your team's work to essential objectives and goals. When you assign your faculty to a task, it should not feel tedious.
- Share and use data: Information is vital for documenting and reaching success. Share your findings with your faculty and let them know when you're seeking to meet a new objective.
- Promote a work-life balance: Be conscious of how much effort you expect your faculty to make. Overtime meetings, weekend events, and early deadlines can impede your faculty's emotional well-being and affect their work-life balance, leading them to experience burnout.
- Offer incentives: Travel funds, stipends, vacation days, and other incentives can go a long way in increasing engagement and participation. Set initiatives and offer rewards when your team reaches a lofty goal.
Improve Faculty and Student Success With Watermark
At Watermark, we know it can be challenging to track and manage faculty achievements. From reporting to annual reviews, quickly accessing meaningful data is essential. With us, you can simplify these processes and support your staff sooner and more effectively.
Watermark Faculty Success gives you deeper insights into your team's contributions and highlights what you can do to support them better. You can reduce workloads by eliminating repetitive tasks, seamlessly sharing data, and creating comprehensive profiles for your entire team. You can tailor customizable reports to reflect your institution, transform data into actionable workflows, and easily contribute to a holistic picture.
Your faculty needs your support and opportunities to grow. Quickly discover their needs and meet them where they are. Request a demo of our solution today, and start empowering your team.
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