Education Wellness

Wellness at Work: When Schools Take Care of Their Staff Too

Three schools from the major Nord Anglia Education group have recently been awarded with a great recognition. Collège Champittet, Collège du Léman and Collège Alpin Beau Soleil have been ranked in the top 5 swiss employers in the “Education” category by Bilan Magazine. This distinction raises an important question, how is it to teach and work in school environments, a key place where our children are growing every day ? Because their wellbeing also starts with the physical and mental health of the ones they are learning from, let’s look closer at how these three schools have been creating happy workplaces.

Nord Anglia Education has set a great example in the field of education with many innovative projects and ideas to make their schools healthy work environments. From massages on campus, fresh and seasonal fruits available every week at Collège du Léman, fitness classes including pilates, yoga and much more as well as a state-of-the-art gym at Beau Soleil, to humanitarian trips at Collège Champittet. The staff is free to pick and choose from a wide range of activities, boosting their self-development and wellbeing.  “Our community’s wellness is essential as it contributes to make our wonderful school a learning and working environment of excellence” says Audrey Coster, Senior Human Resources Manager at Collège du Léman.

Beyond cultural diversity, the key to their success lies not only in the team building, but surely in the attention and support given to each individuals and for this reason Nord Anglia Education is full of ideas too which will surprise more than a few. In fact, it has been proven time and time again that employees who are professionally fulfilled contribute greatly not only to the success of an establishment, but also to the improvement of teaching, pedagogical supervision and the educational development of the children, and this is what the group values, this essence of mutual aid is primordial. Throughout the year, different activities and programs are set up within the schools to maintain cohesion in the staff and create a friendly and pleasant atmosphere. At Collège Champittet in particular, this is a crucial component to the school’s philosophy.

Agnès Gabirout, Head of Human Resources explains, “every day we reinforce the school’s culture, the art of “living well together”, conviviality, collaboration (ONE Champittet) and sense of belonging.” With that in mind, all three schools have developed ideas and programs to keep this tight and friendly bond within the teams. At Collège du Léman, employees are nominated and elected to be rewarded for their various excellent contributions throughout the year. This goes for all members of staff, which include the junior and senior employees, with all kinds of backgrounds coming from many horizons. Because, especially for these schools who belong to a major international education group, this is also a key component to the work environment.

Diversity, in every sense of the word, is at the heart of the schools’ values, and that means for the students as well as the staff. Nord Anglia Education hires from all age range, from apprentices to 50+, they prioritize all types of profiles which contributes to their strong work ethics and the richness of their teams. Stuart White, Head teacher at Beau Soleil highlights how valuable this is to the school, “within our small and friendly community, our team of employees is our greatest asset. We do our utmost to provide a caring and supportive work environment for both staff and students.” The importance given to the staff means that their voice is heard and their opinion valued. At Collège du Léman, any member of staff who has been in position for 6 months can benefit from a “lunch feedback” during which they can have a constructive discussion about their personal experience at the school.

Finally, one of the interesting things is certainly that the Nord Anglia Education group offers their employees the possibility of taking advantage of training courses offered in collaboration with MIT, The Juilliard School, Harvard or Apple, as well as participating in numerous local and international conferences on education. Now add to this a pinch of green initiative to promote a sustainable approach – heads up to Collège du Léman for their “bike to work” initiative, there is the recipe for a healthy staff. And we know happy students can only come from that!

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