There’s no getting around it. Collectively, we have experienced a traumatic series of events that disrupted just about every facet of our lives. From how we shopped to how we socialized and celebrated holidays, COVID-19 reshaped businesses in every industry. Childcare was no exception.
While some childcare centers closed temporarily, many continued to serve the children of essential workers without skipping a beat, and yet others still anxiously await reopening in the fall. Childcare staff had to adjust the way they cared for children on a daily basis, including limited interaction between students, robust disinfecting routines, and the handling of food.
If your staff seems tired or strained and morale is low, you’ve come to the right place. With some thoughtful attention, you can bring smiles to the faces of everyone on your team. A little recognition and reward can go a long way in creating a more welcoming environment for families and boosting staff retention. Keep reading for guidance on 8 simple options for boosting morale today.
It might be that your morale is low too. If you own a childcare center or manage staff at one, no doubt you have been knee-deep in regulatory changes, guidance from the CDC and Department of Health that seems to change daily, all while fielding concerns from parents and teachers alike.
You don’t need to overwhelm your team with information, but by simply opening up and sharing your decision-making processes and your own challenges, you’ll earn trust. Being transparent allowing the people who report to you a window into your world will make them feel valued and trusted, and they will naturally feel more secure about their role in the business.
The best team building is built on fun. Whether you plan an outing after hours to a bowling alley or plan an in-house paint and sit, by simply spending time together that isn’t ‘work’ your team will feel happier and healthier. And you’ll be promoting stronger relationships among your staff.
This also doesn’t need to be a complex event. Team building might mean asking Alexa to play a round of Jeopardy before each staff meeting. If a local charity could use some hands-on help, that’s another great way for your staff to spend quality time together in a way that makes them feel good. Not sure what would go over best? Ask your team for their input!
Add Some Greens
We’re not talking about giving everyone a Caesar salad here (although they might like that too!) Numerous scientific studies have proven the benefits of houseplants in workspaces. For starters, they promote a physically healthy environment by reducing carbon dioxide and other chemicals from the air.
Beyond that, flora and fauna impact the human brain in unexplainable ways, including increased productivity, lower stress, and higher levels of creativity. Consider investing in a beautiful, easy to care for indoor plant in every classroom to brighten moods in an instant.
If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us is the need for flexibility. Especially in the early days in spring 2020, no one knew what the next day would bring. Now that things are slowly returning to normal and remote workers are returning to offices, there are large questions looming about work/life balance and the future of remote work. As daycare workers, most of us did not have that luxury, as our work requires us to be there in person.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for flexibility. Consider where you might be able to stagger schedules to find a way to give each member of your team one day a week to come in late, leave early, or take a long lunch. You’d be amazed what an extra 2 hours in a week can do for morale!
Recognition and Rewards
Your team has been working harder than ever to keep up with revolving rules and regulations while managing their own fears and anxieties. If you haven’t yet found an appropriate way to recognize and reward them for their tenacity and loyalty, this should be a priority.
Bring in lunch, hand out gift cards, write sincere thank you notes, or send flowers. Make sure your staff knows how grateful you are for their contributions.
1:1 Check Ins
In the midst of our busy days and the comings and goings of children, it may be hard to find time in your schedule to connect with teachers and administrative staff. It is important, though, to make the time. If you can, try to carve out 15 minutes each day to sit down with a member of your team and give them space to talk while you do the listening.
Knowing their boss is personally committed to both their professional success and their personal wellness is a sure-fire way to improve their view of the workplace (and who they work for.) You might even stumble upon additional ways to boost morale through these conversations.
Stretch It Out
We all know that improved fitness leads to better health – and better moods! Yet only 23% of Americans get enough exercise, according to a CDC report. A quarter of those who don’t list work getting in the way as the primary reason for not working out. So why not bring the workout to them… at work?
Consider hiring a yoga instructor to visit the center after-hours, or find a studio willing to host a private class. It doubles as a team-building event and combines fitness with the well-documented stress-relief benefits of yoga for a centered and mindful staff.
Have A Party
This one should require little explanation. Treat your staff to a fun and festive BBQ or picnic, invite their families, and have a good time. We all deserve it!
However you choose to boost morale, make it meaningful, be sincere, and reap the rewards of a loyal and engaged staff who feel good about coming to work with you every day!
One other way to boost morale? A childcare center app that really works! Wündercare is the all-in-one solution you’ve been waiting for. Streamline communications and make scheduling, payroll, and billing a breeze. We’re here for you, schedule a demo today!