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Let Your Human Resources Mission Drive Your Vision

Human Resources

Teacher speaking to classroom

If somebody asked about the role of Human Resources in your district, what would you say? Would you describe what you do, or why you do it?

If you wanted to say what you do, you might tell them a version of the mission statement posted on the HR page of your district website. And based on a text analysis of over one hundred K-12 HR mission statements, that probably looks something like this: The mission of the human resources department is to recruit, retain and support the most highly qualified employees.

Is that statement accurate? Yes. But is it inspiring or distinctive? Not quite.

Compare that to what you get when you pull the most common threads of those same HR departments’ vision statements: Our vision is to support and retain the most qualified and culturally competent staff to support the academic achievement and advancement of all students.

That statement is much more impactful. The difference is the “why,” and that “why” is what sets you apart. It’s your vision of where you’re going, and the reason you do what you do, that leads to success — whether your goal is recruitment, retention or anything else.

As Simon Sinek explains in his TED Talk, when you start with “why,” your organization will attract and retain people who are passionate — and that is what drives success. He says:

“The goal is not just to hire people who need a job, it is to hire people who believe what you believe….  I always say that if you hire people just because they can do a job, they will work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they will work for you with blood, sweat, and tears.”

So, think about it — what’s your why? What’s your vision, and how is your mission helping you achieve it?

If you need some inspiration, here are a few of our favorite human resources mission and vision statements from departments in districts across the country.

Tacoma Public Schools

Mission: Tacoma Public Schools’ Human Resources connects the right people to the right job to ensure success for every student, every day.
Vision: Tacoma Public Schools will be the school district where every family says, “This is where I want my child to learn,” and where every educator says, “This is where I want to work.”

North Allegheny School District

Vision and Strategy: To help enhance North Allegheny’s educational value to parents, students, employees and the community at large by hiring and retaining quality administrators, teachers and staff.
Mission: To partner with the District’s Administrators to provide “best practice” HR leadership in support of North Allegheny’s evolving objectives.

Saddleback Valley Unified School District

We love that this HR department ties their mission directly to that of the school district as a whole.

It is the mission of the Saddleback Valley Unified School District to “provide all students with a high-quality education in a safe and nurturing environment, supported by the partnerships of school, home and community, that will instill the knowledge, skills and values necessary for all students to reach their full potential and to become contributing compassionate citizens in the world community.”

In support of this mission, the most important function of the Human Resources Department is to recruit, attract and retain the highest quality teachers and staff who are committed to “preparing today’s students to succeed in tomorrow’s world.”

“I’ve always felt that Human Resources is the heart of a school district. Our mission is to educate all students. In our Human Resources Department, we are responsible for that. We hire every employee that walks through our doors, and those employees are going to have direct interaction with students. So, we’re making sure that we have the best employees. We’re making sure that those employees are able to do their job every day, that they’re trained, that they’re rewarded and that hopefully they stay with our district.”
– Jeanine Johnson, Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools

Annie GrunwellAnnie Grunwell

Annie is a writer and part of the award-winning content team at Frontline Education. She's passionate about learning, exploring data and sharing knowledge. Her specialties include substitute management, the teacher shortage and best practices in human capital management.