In the January/February 1991 issue of Child Care Information Exchange, it’s editor, Roger Neugebauer, wrote and published the article “12 Reasons People Love to Work for You.” In it, Neugebauer focuses on the practices of directors at childcare centers where teacher turnover is low. Based on his observations, he determined twelve practices you can implement to motivate people to remain in your employment.
Reason # 10 You make working fun.
In the 1991 article R. Neugebauer wrote, “One of the most consistent features of centers where teachers love to work is a relaxed, happy atmosphere. Child care is hard work with serious implications. But no one can thrive without laughter and joy.”
So, let’s start with dusting off and shining up that sense of humor of ours. If you’ve lost it…then get yourself a new one. And while you’re at it, get one for each of your staff. J We can find humor in almost every situation if we only choose to look for it. Some days, we can choose to laugh or cry – I usually choose laughter, it is scientifically proven to help you live longer and is much better for your face, especially if you are wearing make-up.
When things do not go as planned help your staff see the bright side of the situation. However, I CAUTION you! Do not discount their feelings. Simply try to point out the bright spots while acknowledging their concerns. Example: Two people have called in sick and you are shuffling and shifting staff to cover the day. A staff member is grumbling because her day is not going as planned. You might point out that although we are suffering a minor inconvenience, at least the children are comforted by having a familiar face in their classroom. And a quick, “so glad we only have two out sick, it could be worse – all that hand washing is paying off J” would be something I just couldn’t pass up.
While you’re out getting that sense of humor, pick up some rose-colored glasses. I never leave home without them! They seem to help me focus on what’s most important when I look around any place there are children. These glasses will help you focus on children who are engaged in learning, improving their social skills, mastering new gross motor challenges…that picture is sure to bring joy. Remember, the key is not only looking, but seeing. That focus, my friend, will help you put your plumbing problems into perspective – every time.