It's a known fact children benefit greatly from meaningful one-on-one time with a caring adult. But what about the rest of us?
Whatever their age, all human beings crave attention and feedback.
If you're shying away from sitting down with your care center staff because you don't love the idea of leading a tough conversation, think again. The 20 minutes you invest in a face-to-face meeting with your team members today could save you major headaches down the road.
To make it a little easier, we've compiled a complete list of the various types of one-on-ones you may want to have with your school’s staff, along with a sample list of questions for each.
You don't need us to tell you early education is a tough line of work—the average annual turnover rate speaks for itself.
Care providers and early educators need consistent motivation and feedback to keep them going during those days and weeks when it all feels impossible. And believe it or not, they're not just looking for warm, fuzzy praise.
Your employees want honest and constructive feedback that will make them better at their jobs.
According to a 2014 survey of nearly 1,000 employees, 57% of respondents said they preferred negative feedback over positive feedback. And 92% agreed with the statement: “Negative feedback, if delivered appropriately, is effective at improving performance."If you've been avoiding these sit-downs because you're afraid of piling more stress onto your team's already full plates, know that the opposite is true.
Open and transparent dialogue is the key to giving your people the sense of control and empowerment they need to keep moving forward.
Before we dive into the various types of one-on-one meetings you might want to have, let's take a minute to set some ground rules.According to Elizabeth Grace Saunders, author of How to Invest Your Time Like Money, "One-on-ones are one of the most important productivity tools you have as a manager" for two specific reasons:
In an interview with the Harvard Business Review, Saunders and other organizational experts gave their top tips for making employee one-on-ones as productive as possible.Here's a quick summary of their biggest dos and don'ts:
It's important to note that this meeting is just as much about your employee's personal goals as it is about your goals for the business. A good strategy is to aim for a healthy balance of work and personal talking points at each and every sit-down.Here's a list of the most common types of employee one-on-ones with some questions and statements to help spark a productive conversation.
This is the meeting everyone dreads.Listen, no one enjoys giving negative feedback (or worse, disciplinary warnings) but in this line of work, you can't afford not to. One bad apple can spoil the entire culture at your center and create a damaging reputation within the community—one that can directly impact your enrollment rates. Here are a few questions to help you nip these problems in the bud.
In her paper for Child Care Information Exchange, What Do Teachers Need Most from their Directors?, author and early learning consultant Margie Carter writes "Teachers can sense when directors are moving their program forward toward a bigger dream, even as they are thwarted by the crisis of the week.
The climate is quite different than one limited to following the rules and regulations or resigning the program to the limitations of the moment."Don't take it for granted that your team shares (or even remembers) your vision. Use every meeting as an opportunity to get them excited about the mission and show them how the bigger picture supports their personal life vision.
We've talked before about how important it is to give your caregiving team a sense of autonomy at work.
In fact, workers with higher levels of autonomy have higher levels of job satisfaction and are therefore much less likely to bail. This type of one-on-one will help you lead a discussion focused on prioritizing tasks, avoiding stress, and making better decisions together.
Even with all the right interview tools, great talent is hard to find—and even harder to keep.
This meeting will help you reduce voluntary turnover and keep your rockstars nice and close. If you're holding regular meetings with your team members, you might find that the need for an are-you-happy meeting is less and less. But if you've noticed a drop in morale in one of your top performers, it's always best to address it head-on.
Whatever the talking points, each and every employee meeting helps boost rapport between you and the individual members of your team.
According to a 2017 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 61% of employees say trust between them and their senior management is very important to job satisfaction—and only 33% are very satisfied with the level of trust in their organizations.
The good news is, the preschools where teachers are actually able to open up and trust their directors will have a huge competitive advantage when it comes to attracting star players for their teams.
In an industry where you can't always give your people the compensation and respect they deserve, know that you can give them a voice.
But remember, these new lines of communication should always lead to tangible outcomes. In the words of Margie Carter, "Listening to what teachers need from their directors can be a superficial endeavor or one which deepens understandings and broadens possibilities."
As director, you decide whether these meetings are actionable opportunities to learn and grow, or just another task to cross off the list. Commit to making the right kind of changes based on your staff's valuable frontline insights, and you'll always have the top-notch talent you need to stay ahead of the curve.
Ready to take your team to the next level? Schedule your demo today and see how MomentPath helps keep your teachers engaged.