How do you get the most from the staff in your nursery?

Staff are the core of your business, and one of the primary ways you are judged by your customers. As a result, tricky factors like team morale, attitude and approach are almost as important as sector specific skills and qualifications. This is becoming increasingly difficult in an industry with pressure on profits and the resulting impact on wage rates and working hours.

A lack of funds can restrict managers from offering pay rises or investing in staff training, yet the Government continues to strive towards an early years workforce trained to a minimum of Level 3 by 2015. With the majority of the workforce driven by a vocational passion rather than financial gain, is this changing the way you manage your team?

Has it become hard to finance staff training or are you still accessing funding? Do you have difficulty retaining staff due to not being able to offer pay rises or promotions?

Have you found productive methods that keep staff in your setting happy? Do you organise regular meetingsout-of-work social events to maintain good team morale and receive feedback from staff?

Join the discussion by leaving your comments below.

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2 Responses to “How do you get the most from the staff in your nursery?”

  1. JMG November 6, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    money is not always needed. I pay min wage but ensure i am always true and fair to my staff. They are all aware that they are the main faces of the setting and that we are a team. Yes i have had my staffing issues esp recently but we encourage development as professionals and as a setting. I am not afaid of working myself and will seek any funding that is available. for setting or individuals.

    Make them feel valued other ways than money.

  2. John Thomson The Spinney Day Nursery October 25, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    The retention of quality staff is an important consideration in any era let alone the poor situation that we find ourselves in at the moment. Whilst pay is seen as important as it could be considered as an indication as to how the individual in valued there are more important issues.
    The promotion and maintenance of professional self esteem is an important aspect to retention and to the future development of staff. There are many facets to promoting professional self esteem, the most important of these is to continue to invest in the staff of the nursery. All staff understand the financial difficulty that nurseries are experiencing at the moment but it is important that management/owners continually demonstrate how they value staff, the work they do and the commitment that they demonstrate. There are occasions when this might mean looking for compensating reductions in the budget, either permenant or temporary, that will allow the nursery to continue there training programme. Training might not necessarily mean ‘buying in’ expertise but rather using the expertise that already exists in the staff body itself. These occasions can also have a social element as well as serious work and development issues. In many ways to adopt this approach ensures that staff training does not stall and that their professional self esteem is promoted, especially as they are often running the training for themselves – both recognition and credit for staff.
    As the County Council training budget has slowly but surely dried up we have establish our own training consultancy, which runs our own in house courses, we are now finding that other nurseries are approaching us to include their staff on our courses. The Spinney Training Consultency runs hands on practical courses across a wide range of topics from middle management leadership training to basic First Aid, Food Hygiene and lots more in between.
    The first casualty of cut back is development which we believe is too high a price to pay so the approach we have adopted allows us to maintain our training momentum. To date the retention rate of the nursery appears seems to bear all this out.