Staff management is essential to the success of your child care center — it encompasses everything from hiring exemplary employees to making sure they feel happy, motivated and productive in their roles on your team.
Ask yourself this: why would the teachers you hire go above and beyond for your kids if they don’t feel like you, their manager, value their contributions to your company?
Proper staff management will help ensure your team understands what you expect of them and are in a position to deliver it on a regular basis to propel your child care business forward.
Why is Staff Management Important?
Let’s take a look at three reasons why properly managing staff members is essential to the success of your daycare:
Effective staff management strategies create happier employees.
The people on your team want to know exactly what their jobs are, how and when they’re expected to complete them and how much they’ll get paid for their troubles. They also want to know how to deal with work-related issues and concerns should they arise.
By providing them with answers to these questions via successful staff management, you’ll make sure your staff remains happy in their roles and doesn’t turn over — an expensive problem that many child care providers deal with regularly.
When your employees are happy in their roles, they’ll fully embrace your vision and provide better care to the children they’re hired to teach and care for.
Would you give 100% effort if you felt like your employer underpaid you, miscommunicated what your duties were and/or devalued the work you did? Of course not! Nobody wants to work in these subpar conditions.
More Profitable Business
If happy employees allow child care centers to offer better services, what do better services lead to? A more profitable business—which is exactly what you want!
Once parents in your community learn that you have the best and most experienced teachers who truly care about the kids they teach, your daycare will grow. That’s the kind of environment every parent wants to send their kids to.
The simple truth is, an investment in staff management now will pay dividends down the road.
Proven Staff Management Tips
Let’s talk about how to effectively manage your team with the following staff management tips to implement immediately!
Proper staff management should start before you have staff to manage. If you hire the right people, managing them will be much easier. So keep these two recruitment tips in mind:
Go Beyond Basic Qualifications
The teachers you recruit need to be qualified for the job you’re hiring them to do. But don’t base your hiring decisions on qualifications alone. You should also make sure that each member of your team has important character traits and skills.
Do they seem honest? Are they enthusiastic about the opportunity you’re offering them? Do they display a high level of emotional intelligence?
Child care is difficult and employees who have these qualities tend to be more successful.
Commit to the Onboarding Process
Once you hire new employees, put them through a predefined onboarding process.
Onboarding simply means preparing new team members for their jobs and introducing them to their new colleagues.
Your daycare’s onboarding process might look something like this:
- One Week Before Start Date: Send your new recruits their employment contract and any other needed documents. Share the vision for your child care center as well.
- First Day of Employment: Introduce your new hires to their colleagues, preferably before kids start showing up. Then introduce them to the children you care for. Ask them to perform simple tasks throughout the day to get them acclimated.
- First Month of Employment: Fully integrate your new recruits into your business. Encourage them to ask questions if they don’t understand anything and plan to give them a written evaluation of their performance thus far.
Effective staff management requires strong communication skills. Here are three ways to foster clear communication between you and the teachers you employ:
Make Your Expectations Clear
Everyone on your team should know exactly what you expect of them. If they don’t, they won’t be able to do their jobs correctly and your business will suffer because of it.
So communicate your expectations and reiterate them on a regular basis. But make sure you listen to what your staff has to say to you at the same time.
Give Your Employees a Voice
True communication is a two-way street. The people on your payroll should feel comfortable voicing their opinions and concerns.
This will allow you to build a stronger child care center. You can’t be everywhere at once. Your employees will see and notice things that you don’t. It will also empower your staff and make them feel like important, valuable members of your team.
Regularly Evaluate Performance
Part of staff management is evaluation, which can be difficult. Here are a few ways you can make evaluations more comfortable and effective for all involved:
- Don’t Micromanage: Your employees might do things a little differently than you. As long as their ways of doing things don’t clash with your daycare’s values, don’t stress about it. Nobody likes to be micromanaged.
- Provide Positive and Negative Feedback: Every evaluation should pinpoint areas in which your employees excel and where they can improve. That they get the guidance they need without suffering any kind of ego crush.
- Keep Evaluations Private: Your evaluations shouldn’t be broadcast for all to see. Give your staff members the privacy they deserve and keep feedback hush-hush.
Make sure your team feels valued by offering them competitive pay and recognizing their efforts. We know child care is a difficult profession. Your staff should be compensated fairly for the work they do. If they’re not, they won’t stick around for long.
What’s considered fair varies. For example, a teacher in California with 10 years of experience will have different compensation expectations than a recent college graduate in Alabama. Years in the field, cost of living in your area and the jobs you ask them to complete will all factor in.
So research pay rates in your region, then do your best to meet or exceed them. Teachers who are well paid will work harder for your business, which will help it grow.
And recognize your team when they do good work.
Effective recognition comes in many different flavors, even just acknowledging an employee’s efforts in front of the rest of your staff. Verbal encouragement feels good and will help motivate team members to strive for excellence.
Consider rewarding your staff with prizes or bonuses, too.
How Procare Can Help
Proper staff management will help you engage and delight your employees, provide better care to the children in your care and build a more profitable business.
Software tools offered by Procare Solutions help you properly manage your staff, making them happier in their jobs and saving you time and money.
Using software helps staff manage many aspects of their day, such as tracking student-to-staff ratios — making their jobs easier so they can focus on the work they love of caring for children.
Procare’s staff management tools also help centers schedule, track hours and benefits, administer payroll and maintain staff information easily and seamlessly.
Sign up for a free demo of Procare today to see our solution in action!