Motivating well-qualified staff to remain at your service is not only important to cut down training costs but also to provide the best outcomes for children. The following article provides strategies on how to retain staff within your early childhood service.
Offer What Is Due
Salaries and Wages are perceived by employees as the most obvious way a service acknowledges their professional value. Thus it is important for services to remain updated with industry trends and offer salaries that their staff deserves.
Extend Affordable Perks
In case the service cannot raise salaries, it may be possible to offer workplace perks, like a paid-off on a birthday, that could translate into a better quality of life. However be careful not to advertise factors such as affordable healthcare, free uniform, or paid staff meetings as additional benefits – for example, if your service publicizes paid overtime, it not only sends the message that work-life balance may be an issue but that overtime pay is considered a favour when in fact it is a legal requirement.
Foster Job Satisfaction
Very often job satisfaction is not about getting high salaries or major perks. There are many ways a service can promote job satisfaction without any financial cost to the service. See if an experienced educator can be given a designation they aspire to. Again a staff member who has school-age children and is struggling to organize care for them during school holidays can be easily accommodated by the service for a temporary period. Rewards and incentives like “Employee of the Month” is a great way to show appreciation for your staff. However, it may be a better idea to reward effort rather than achievements to show that their hard work is valued.
Make Space For Professional Development
Strengthen communication channels with your current educators to find out what they want from their careers and see if it is possible to meet them. Some teachers may wish to advance to roles like educational leaders and supervisors – even if your service does not have space to meet all professional aspirations, consider supporting them with training opportunities or connecting them to mentors who can guide them on other options. Make the time and space for team-building activities which will not only raise motivation levels but offer your staff a fun way to unwind.
Research has found increased retention in the early childcare context to be associated with working in a publicly operated or nonprofit centre that meets accreditation or policy standards1. Even if this is not possible to fully implement at your service, see if you can sign up for government-funded professional development incentive programs to help your staff develop into a high-quality and stable workforce.
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Copenhagen, Casey J.; Hawkins, Stacy Ann; Casper, Deborah M.; Bosch, Leslie A.; Hawkey, Kyle R.; Borden, Lynne M.Journal of Research in Childhood Education, v30 n4 p585-599 2016