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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Voice of the classified employee : a descriptive study to determine degree of job satisfaction of classified employees and to design systems of support by school district leaders

  • Author(s): Barakos-Cartwright, Rebekah B.
  • et al.

Classified employees comprise thirty two percent of the educational workforce in school districts in the state of California. Acknowledging these employees as a viable and untapped resource within the educational system will enrich job satisfaction for these employees and benefit the operations in school sites. As acknowledged and valued resources, these employees may play an important role in supporting the vision and mission of a district. The purpose of this study was to listen to the voice of the classified employee, identify, develop and implement systems that support classified employees to increase job satisfaction and engagement in the work place. The study relied on the frameworks of organizational development and the culture of an organization, relationships, dialogue, psychological capital, job satisfaction, social capital, shared leadership and collective efficacy as they relate to accessing and augmenting the untapped resource of classified employees within the public school system. The methodology of the study evaluated the quality of job satisfaction and work engagement of classified employees by listening to the voices of these employees through surveys, focus groups and interviews. Analyses of those data revealed the following themes in attaining job satisfaction : importance of connecting with a team, engaging in the work place, communicating, and developing relationships with peers and supervisors. These findings led to an action-plan model offered by the researcher to establish systems to support classified employees toward greater job satisfaction. Investing time and implementing purposeful procedures through the development of supervisor-employee relationships, increased communication, professional development and fostering opportunities for employees to connect with students as action-steps has the potential to not only support social capital growth of classified employees but may lead to development of human capital. The expansion of classified employees' social capital through the augmentation of the supervisor- employee and professional learning teams' relationships were determined as an important step to building the job satisfaction and work engagement of the classified employee. The voices of classified employees served to frame action plans necessary to realize the positive impact these employees have within a school district. In the final chapter, the researcher described actions that district leaders might take to design and implement systems that support job satisfaction

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