In spite of a new national climate of labor shortages and a workforce refusing to be miserable in unfulfilling or underappreciated jobs, the Heard County School System has been able to thrive and even prosper. In a recent detailed investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution into more than 4,500 companies, a top 175 workplace list was created. After compiling the results of the research, the Heard County School System not only won a coveted 2022 Top Workplace Award, but finished ranked twenty-first out of the thousands of midsize employers (150 to 499 employees) that were part of the study. “We are incredibly proud of this honor and what it means for our students and community,” stated Heard County School System Superintendent Rodney Kay. “Having a faculty and staff that is stable and excited to come to work everyday is a true blessing to our students.”
Overall, the list of winners is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s employee engagement technology partner, Energage LLC. The anonymous employee surveys uniquely measured fifteen culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization: including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.
According to the surveys, Heard County School System employees feel like they are part of a winning team and graded the system at the 98th percentile in the area of execution. The faculty and staff also rated the school system in the 98th percentile in communication, as they feel well-informed about important decisions that are being made. According to Engage LLC, “employees feel respected when they are included in important decisions and understand the why.” Engage also acknowledged that the word “family” was the most common chosen by Heard County School employees when describing the culture of the school system.
Leadership was the category that received the highest ratings from school system employees, finishing in the 99th percentile. Employees believe school system leaders are efficient, fully understand what is really happening in the workplace, and enable employees to work to their full potential. “We have worked hard to train our district and school leaders to be in the trenches with our faculty and staff,” added Kay. “Supporting our faculty and staff is the most important function of our leadership.”
The job satisfaction of new employees also rated in the 99th percentile. Employees who have been with the Heard County School System for less than a year genuinely feel appreciated and well-informed, while also believing in the school system’s direction and vision. “When there is already a tremendous teacher shortage and when the average teacher leaves the profession in their first few years, it is critical that we build strong connections with our new teachers,” stated Heard County School System Associate Superintendent Mike Roberts. “Our school system has made that a priority and it is paying huge dividends.”
"During this very challenging time, Top Workplaces has proven to be a beacon of light for organizations, as well as a sign of resiliency and strong business performance," said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. "When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward. Top Workplaces draw on real-time insights into what works best for their organization, so they can make informed decisions that have a positive impact on their people and their business."