Graduating to the Next Level
Herron High School

Located in downtown Indianapolis, Herron High School is a charter school that uses a classical, liberal arts education to prepare students for college. It serves more than 750 students from more than 75 middle schools across the metropolitan area.

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Challenge

Recognized as one of the nation’s top public high schools, Herron has grown steadily since it opened in 2006. As a result, its leadership recognized the need to strengthen its human resources function and forge a stronger relationship with its faculty and staff. At the same time, faced with the heavy demands and stresses of teaching at the school, team members and leadership were asking for a more vibrant well-being program. Unfortunately, as the school was working to address these matters, it found itself facing a morale problem exacerbated by the departure of an administrator who was well-liked and encouraging to colleagues. In summary, Herron’s challenges included:

  • Transitioning its human resources functions from a Professional Employer Organization to an internal operations
  • Low morale
  • The desire for a stronger well-being program

Solution

Herron and FirstPerson recognized the need for three different solutions working in
concert: a very technical solution, a programmatic solution, and an employee-engagement solution. Within these three strategies, Herron and FirstPerson developed a few key tactics:

  • Create and implement an internal human resources plan
  • Survey employees to gather information on wants and needs
  • Form a well-being committee
  • Launch and support a well-being program
  • Implement workplace conduct training
  • Develop recognition and encouragement programs
  • Strengthen internal communications
  • Write new employee handbook

Results

Faculty and staff have fully embraced the drive for improved morale, getting involved by creating team events and participating in mutual recognition programs. Still, the best part might be what hasn’t happened yet: Woodrum says she believes the changes and new levels of engagement will help the school weather future changes in benefits and continue to grow and strengthen. Overall results included:

  • Noticeable improvements in morale, with a particularly strong start to the new school year
  • Improved survey results
  • Enthusiastic participation in the well-being program
  • A foundation for ongoing improvements
  • Preparation for future changes in the health benefits landscape