Retaining great staff requires motivation from the top. Make your staff feel like you care about them, and they will stick with you through thick and thin.After all, teachers and administrative employees aren’t cogs in a machine. They’re people who deserve respect. Look at the reviews for any business employer to see that feeling respected and empowered tops the list of characteristics for the best.
No matter the size of your childcare business, you can implement the following tips to motivate and empower your employees.
Provide Good Benefits
While people want to be paid what they are worth, benefits add to an employee’s loyalty. Health insurance, paid vacation, maternity leave, and discounted child care provide your employees with the peace of mind they need to do their best work.
All this may sound expensive, but compared to the cost of high staff turnover and the difficulty of finding good employees, it’s a drop in the bucket. Remember, when an employee leaves, you may lose clients, too.
Invest in your employees, and you are amply repaid.
Keep Open Communications - Both Ways
Everyone needs feedback about their performance, even if it isn’t always positive. Talk to your employees both formally and informally about their job performance. Give constructive criticism, expressing the issue calmly and in neutral language, then brainstorm with them for solutions. Monitor them and give direction as needed and let them know that they have succeeded.
Hold performance appraisals, too. Annual appraisals are traditional but providing feedback and discussing career aspirations and future training opportunities more often is preferable.
Make sure to allow for anonymous communications. Some employees are uncomfortable offering what seems like criticism about their work environment. Keep your door open to anyone who needs to discuss their work.
And always respond to the feedback you receive.
Share Details with Staff
Let your teachers and administrative staff know what’s happening with the business. Share the details of business performance, how your marketing is going, and the type of client you hope to attract. It builds trust and conveys the value you hold in your employees.
If things aren’t going as well as you hoped, they need to know that, too. In the past year, plenty of childcare businesses have been caught up in the pandemic, trying to figure out how they could stay open. Employees always know when a business is stressed. It’s better to tell them upfront than to allow rumors to fester.
Elicit and Implement Staff Suggestions
The people who do the work usually have the best ideas about improving the process. Let your employees know that their ideas and suggestions are welcome. Not all will be actionable or feasible, but if you make a practice of implementing suggestions made by employees, their sense of ownership continues to grow.
Conduct regular meetings with an agenda that includes asking for suggestions. This idea works best when you set people up ahead of time to bring their ideas with them. Bring a business issue and ask everyone to help you solve it.
The better your business runs, the more prosperous everyone becomes.
Recognize Staff Efforts
Feedback is an important mechanism in human relationships. Everyone wants to know their hard work is appreciated, even the routine day-to-day work.
Create ways to let your employees know you see them and appreciate all they do. Tell them you saw them do more than they needed to do. Reward teamwork, too. Everyone works together towards success.
Use your newsletter to give props to your staff. Let parents know how great the people are that work for you. Ask them to spread the word to build your business.
Empower Your Staff
Give your employees the tools and authority to make decisions about how they perform their work and relate to their workplace. Give them a goal and allow them to reach it the best way for them. If they understand your classroom standards, they will bring out the results you want.
Walk through classes every day and spend a few minutes observing to make sure the staff has everything they need to succeed.
Here is another way to empower your staff and let them know you have their backs. EZChildTrack has a newly enhanced staff module.
You can now keep information about emergency contacts and health conditions with their employee record along with other employee information.
Your staff can be confident in coming to work, knowing you can reach their family or partner if something happens. You will also have needed medical information in case of a health issue at work that requires emergency treatment.
The enhanced staff module gives everyone flexibility and confidence. Caring for children is hard work! Teachers don’t always have the freedom to sit down, refresh themselves, or make important phone calls anytime they want. They must remain vigilant, so none of the youngsters in their care comes to harm.
To learn more about the enhanced staff module or anything else about the EZChildTrack childcare management solution, contact us. We want to empower you, too.