Creative Childcare Consulting
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Motivation in the Workplace Part Two

This week we will take a deeper dive into how you can motivate the people you work with. If you are a leader, director or owner, the chances are excellent that you have a fire in your belly and a deep, meaning investment in young children's education. This isn't always true for the entire team. They may enjoy the work and do a good job, but their commitment may not be the same as yours.

We're going to look at more ways to motivate your team, and you'll walk about with more tools for your toolbox!       Motivation in the Workplace Part Tw

1. Positivity rules

Your team needs you to be positive and be the one who stirs up enthusiasm and passion. When they see your joy and passion, it will rub off on them. We work in child care, and there is room for singing, dancing, joking and laughing. Be that role model for your team.

2. Be trusting

Let your team know that you trust and believe in them. Have you heard of the self-fulfilling prophecy? Collins dictionary defines it as "a prophecy that comes true because of the expectation that it will."

Your team needs to hear that you trust them to do an excellent job. When you verbalize that they can do it, they will do it.

3. Small weekly goals

Last week we addressed goals for the team. This week I am challenging you to break those big goals down into small, weekly achievements. Be sure to celebrate when those goals are met. Being successful will encourage the team to achieve even more goals moving forward because success feels fantastic.

  • What's the point?

Does your team understand what the big picture is? Do they realize how their involvement pushes the team forward? We often assign tasks or ask our team to do their work differently, but forget to explain the reasons behind our requests.

  • Be an open book

No one likes surprises unless it involves cake, candles, and gifts. Your team needs you to be transparent, and that means they should know what is going on with the program, they should have honest and genuine feedback around their work performance, and they should be consulted during the policy development process. There will always be information that staff should not be privy to. However, if it directly involves the team and how they do their work, they should know what is going on.

6.  Create a healthy culture

Make sure you communicate the importance of work-life balance. Commit to making sure each staff gets their breaks except under extraordinary circumstances. Ensure everyone takes their allotted vacation time each year; honour birthdays, anniversaries, and other family celebrations. Finally, be a good role model by taking your breaks and vacations. Nobody appreciates a martyr.

7.  Offer more

Some of the most unmotivated people become highly engaged when they are offered more responsibility. You may consider asking them to lead a committee, research possible program purchases, organize a professional development day or tutor a staff who is taking further Early Learning courses. These jobs convey your trust and faith in the team.

8. Keep your office door open often

Be available for your team but be sure you schedule uninterrupted time to get your work done. When someone comes in with an idea, hear them out. Many people are scared to share their thoughts, especially when addressing perceived problems in the workplace. Be a good listener, and make sure to thank them for coming to you. You may or may not act on what they've shared, but handle it well, and you will have staff who feel respected and heard.

Motivating your team is an ongoing job. It would be best if you didn't become complacent with your staff. You are their leader, and they look to you each day as an example of how they should be behaving.

None of us are perfect, and when we have a terrible day, we can make it into a learning experience for our team. Failures happen and we make mistakes. We leaders need to embrace those learning opportunities and role models to be resilient and committed to our profession.

Until next week,

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