Chief Employee Engagement Officer (CEEO)
Tabor Academy, Marion, MA
For nearly 150 years, Tabor Academy has served the Marion, Massachusetts community as a premier coeducational, college preparatory boarding and day school. As the “School by the Sea,” Tabor offers an uncommonly beautiful setting in which to learn for students in grades 9-12. The school’s 538 students hail from across the United States and 19 other countries, and graduates are known for their preparation for life ahead, embodying the school’s motto All-A-Taut-O, a term that means a fully rigged ship ready to journey in all conditions.
Tabor Academy’s faculty and staff are its most important resource in the delivery of life-changing and transformative student experiences. To support employees, Tabor is seeking an inaugural Chief Employee Engagement Officer (CEEO, tentative title) to begin July 2024. This role—which comprises aspects of a traditional Dean of Faculty position and aspects of a traditional Director of Human Resources role—is charged with helping the Head of the School support and care for a devoted employee community, as faculty and staff engage with high school students and deliver on Tabor Academy’s mission to help these students connect, serve, and lead. The Chief Employee Engagement Officer reports to the Head of School and serves on the five-person Head’s Committee.
This person in this position will lead the recruitment of mission-appropriate employees and will support them in their growth and development as professionals in service to the student body. Collaborating closely with managers, the CEEO will ensure that employees are given regular and actionable feedback while working to ensure personal employee wellbeing and job satisfaction, along with a sense of belonging, connection, and joy. More broadly, the CEEO will focus on the collective adult culture to help the Head of School build a cohesive employee base united in its commitment to the school values of care, collaboration, courage, and curiosity.
Roles and Responsibilities
The role of Chief Employee Engagement Officer combines the community building, growth, and support aspects of traditional Dean of Faculty and Director of Human Resources roles. The CEEO will partner with various campus administrators and managers to assess and redesign systems to clarify and support employee excellence and connection. They will listen carefully to employees to understand their goals and the systems and structures that can support the successful delivery of their work. The CEEO will design and lead initiatives that help identify, recruit, support and retain high quality employees who are equipped to make the fullest use of their talents at work. Because this is a new role, the Chief Employee Engagement Officer will have the opportunity to work closely with the Head of School in refining the roles and responsibilities. Key functions for the CEEO are likely to include:
Strategic Leadership – Provide school-wide strategic leadership, analysis, and management of the school’s human resources. Working with the Head of School, the Head’s Committee, and the Board of Trustees, the CEEO will help optimize the efficient and effective deployment of human resources within the school’s organizational structure.
Talent acquisition – Within the context of building a new generation of boarding school faculty and staff, develop centralized processes and approaches to identify and hire exceptional qualified, dedicated, diverse, and mission-appropriate individuals to join the Tabor community. Welcome these new employees to Tabor and orient them to the school’s culture, program, and team so that they may quickly become contributing members of the community.
Talent development – Build and oversee programs to help employees grow in their craft in ways that serve both the community and the individual. Create evaluation systems and, along with the Associate Heads of School, support employees’ engagement in their professional responsibilities through ongoing professional development and performance feedback.
Employee Wellbeing – Working with the Director of Wellbeing, develop and oversee programs to improve the adult experience on campus with a focus on morale and positive culture. Consider and reimagine the employee responsibilities to make boarding school employment a sustainable calling. Develop means to assess employee satisfaction and work to address needs identified. Strive to create an inclusive and equitable workplace environment.
Employee relations – Oversee and work closely with the school’s HR department to deliver HR programming with the aim to improve conflict resolution and restoration, employee morale, support, and retention. Clearly communicate HR polices and protocols and work proactively with employees to understand and comply accordingly. Support the needs of employees with challenges, conflicts, and other problems to improve working relationships. Manage complex employee issues, in collaboration with the Head of School, and conduct investigations, as appropriate, to bring resolution.
Rewards and Recognition – Prioritize showing appreciation of employees’ efforts and ensure that their work is “seen” in the day-to-day operations of the school: consistently bear witness to the good work that is done by employees on a daily basis. Partner with Head of School and Associate Head of Finance and Operations to ensure compensation and benefits packages are competitive.
Faculty responsibilities – Oversee the assigning of faculty responsibilities, in collaboration with those individuals who oversee the programs, with attention to seeking equity within an environment that requires a wide range of work functions. Support structures to ensure faculty responsibilities are covered in cases of illness or absence. Work closely with the Associate Head of Finance and Operations in faculty housing decisions.
Training – Oversee implementation of training elements that are mandatory for legal compliance and appropriate care of students.
Qualifications and Personal Attributes
Ideal Chief Employee Engagement Officer candidates will hold deep experience in designing structures to support employees, alongside an awareness of the joys and pressures of working within a boarding school community. They will be adept at building relationships within a diverse community, serve as an eager and present listener to the needs of the employee base, effectively manage competing needs and priorities, and create timely, proactive opportunities to support adult growth, connection, and wellbeing. They will be self-aware and empathetic, with the ability to listen well and help others feel heard. They will be highly organized, detail oriented, and capable of moving initiatives from idea to action. The CEEO will join a team that demonstrates careful intention, willingness to innovate, and student-centered decision-making. The strongest candidates are likely to possess many or most of the below experiences and skills:
• Senior-level administrative experience
• Demonstrated understanding of how to build, shape, and preserve positive culture
• The ability to communicate with care and empathy, developing trust and engendering confidence
• Experience working in a school community, ideally with teaching experience and familiarity with the unique qualities of a boarding environment
• Familiarity with the Human Resources functions of an organization (experience, education, and/or certification) and a demonstrated ability to learn and grow in this critical area of school life
• Tremendous strength in managing details and developing and deploying efficient systems and structures • Experience recruiting, hiring, onboarding, supporting, and retaining employees
• Demonstrated skill and sensitivity in working with diverse communities
• Excellent written and oral communication skills
• Mediation and conflict resolution experience
• Highest levels of integrity and discretion
• A joyful and optimistic spirit
Interested and qualified candidates are invited to contact the consultants in confidence. Review of candidate materials will begin immediately, and candidates are asked to submit the following materials as separate PDF documents as soon as possible:
• A cover letter expressing their interest in this particular position
• A current résumé
Selected candidates may be asked to provide:
• Writing samples or responses to writing prompts specific to this search
• A list of five professional references with name, relationship, phone number, and email address of each (references will not be contacted without the candidate’s permission).
Director of Professional Learning and Growth
Consultant, Chief Talent Officer