Involve them as early as possible
Staff will be more accepting of your system if they feel they had a say in its selection. Collect feedback from them about what takes up too much time in their job and where they feel processes could be improved. Not only will this help you find the right software for your setting, you can refer back to it later when listing reasons for making your choice.
As you go through the buying process, keep them posted and invite comments and feedback. Don’t surprise them after installation!
Tell them about how it will benefit them
We’ll come onto you in a second, but let’s put your team first. You need to get across the issues you’re trying to solve and how it will make their lives easier. Time and cost saving will be important, but also highlight any long-winded process you currently have and how the proposed software will make things easier.
Remind them it will help you too
Whilst the first question on everyone’s lips will be, ‘What’s in it for me?’, it wouldn’t do any harm to let your staff know how a new system will make your life easier too.
Be careful not to make it look like the only person benefitting is you, but it will be hard for members of your team not to understand you wanting to implement software that will give you back your evenings and weekends!
What will it mean for parents and children?
Don’t forget what’s at the heart of your childcare business; children and their families. They will certainly benefit from timely, more professional, accurate invoicing, as well as the ability to check that their child’s information is up to date. With the right childcare administration software, everyone can benefit!
Let them attend training
Take advantage of any training that’s offered by your childcare software provider. Whilst it can be difficult to let staff have time out of your setting to attend, think about the message it sends if only you, the Nursery Manager or Owner, gets formal training. Sending staff as well shows them that you care about their transition to new admin processes.
If you can’t send everyone, training a member of staff who may be resistant to the change could help to get their buy in.
And remember, this support is vital at the beginning, but ongoing training is essential. At Parenta, we offer 12 hour a day phone support for our software, and run monthly training sessions at our Head Office.
Support them in the early stages
When staff start using a new system, things can take longer to do. This is just part of the natural learning process. During these early phases, you need to sympathise with complaints, but respond positively. Offer extra support while it beds in – either in the form of an extra pair of hands or with training.
Turn their frustrations into positive actions by compiling a list of things you are struggling with. You can then call or email your provider and run through them all. You could do this in the form of a quick weekly meeting, addressing any difficulties and reporting back on what’s been solved.
With time, you’ll find things become quicker and you, and your staff, will be left wondering why you didn’t put in a system sooner!
Demonstrate the difference
After a couple of months, gather your team and talk through some of the benefits. It might be that, like some nurseries, you’ve saved five days a month on invoicing parents. Perhaps there have been fewer errors in the finances. Or you’ve alleviated frustrations because all staff can access the system at the same time, instead of having to wait their turn. Open the floor up to share positives.