Even when you have hard working, passionate staff at your setting, some individuals may lack the drive to put themselves forward for their next childcare qualification. But staff training and development is not only essential to make practitioners better at their jobs, it has many benefits for the employer too.
Over half (51%) of employers believe a main benefit of improving staff qualifications and skills is increased staff commitment and retention, according to a publication by the professional association AAT. Investing in training also reduces recruitment costs, attracts top talent to the business and helps prevent skills shortages.
So, how can you encourage your staff to undertake further training and embed it in your company culture? Follow these simple steps:
1.Create a revision area
Make your setting revision friendly – have a quiet area where staff can go to read their books or complete their assignments in peace when they have spare time. Provide a table and put up a sign to let people know that the area is reserved for staff revision/study.
2.Find out hopes for the future
Speak with all your employees to find out which ones have a strong desire to progress themselves. If they aspire to become room leaders, you can talk to them about taking their Level 3 or working towards other management qualifications.
Make a point of celebrating staff members who successfully complete their training. For instance, you could bring homemade cakes and special treats into work when someone passes a course. Showing this level of recognition will help incentivise others members of your team and boost morale.
4.Tell your staff what it means to you
Whenever you get the chance, be it in your one-to-one catch ups or when a new person joins your team, be vocal about how much you value people working towards higher qualifications and what a positive impact it has for the setting and the children.
5.Seek out learning mentors
Ask employees who have already achieved their Level 2 and Level 3 to act as mentors to younger nursery assistants and apprentices to support them through their own training. Mentors provide invaluable support and sources of advice to junior colleagues.
6.Include training in objectives
When you set out objectives, get the staff member’s agreement to start working towards their next qualification. Having the goal down in black and white is strong motivation to nudge them towards taking action.