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 # 12 You help people see results.
I would like to begin with a direct quote from Roger in the original 1991 article, “As a director, the most effective way you can get a teacher hooked on continuing in your center is to help them see the real impact they are having on the lives of children. You can do this by training teaches to be better observers so they can see the children’s progress, by encouraging teachers to give each other feedback on the changes they observe, and foremost, by encouraging parents to share their joy over the progress their children are making.”
I recently challenged a group of administrators to look beyond only the areas that could use improvement. Although the ability to identify areas of tribulations, develop a plan to reduce or prevent them, and then execute that plan is a great management skill, it may be equally beneficial to identify areas of joy. There is a necessity to reflect upon the past, identify areas of growth, and celebrate our successes. However, it seems to me we have a tendency to focus on the negative. Our child brings home a report card with all “A’s” with the exception of one “C”; how many of us would say, “What happened here?” Yes, as parents and as managers we do need to know the answer to that question, but if that is the first comment does it say, “you are not meeting my standard – you’re just not good enough.” Is that really the message we wish to convey to our families and to our staff? Does that encourage or discourage?
Think about our self-image, most of us would have an easier time telling you which body part needs work but find it more difficult to tell you which ones we like. So, in that line of thinking, just like the person on a diet to reduce weight – sometimes because I see my body every day it is hard for me to recognize any change, but the friend that hasn’t seen my in weeks notices the change immediately. So, when it comes to our staff, notice their professional growth and the ways they support children’s development. Be that friend that says – WOW! You look GREAT! J