The childcare field has one of the highest turnover rates of any occupation. Many childcare workers find they are overworked and underpaid and this can cause them to leave the workplace they are currently at in search of better work conditions. So what can you do to keep them around? Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to help keep them feeling appreciated:
Keep a clean workplace: Ensuring that your work environment is orderly will not only help you attract, but also retain the best talent. Paying for semi-regular professional cleaning will allow your team to focus on supporting children, rather than scrubbing bathrooms. The cost of a housekeeper is between $20 and $40 an hour - which is far less than the time you would need to spend hunting down another employee.
Personally hand out paychecks: Having your paycheck delivered by hand is much nicer than finding it in the staff room or picking it up in a drawer. It also gives you a chance to thank them for their hard work that week/month.
Treat the staff: Bring in a plate of cookies or a pie for the staff, order pizza or a lunch meat tray and have their lunch covered for the day, or even bringing in coffee and donuts for everyone is a wonderful way to show your appreciation. They will feel that their hard work is being noticed, and it will likely make them work harder in return.
Write thank you notes: Leaving the staff thank you notes shows them not only that you care about them and are noticing the effort they are putting in, but also shows that you are willing to take time out of your day to tell them personally.
Give them paid time off: Letting your staff leave half an hour early paid, or giving them an extra vacation day is very appreciated, especially to make up for those days they have to stay a little longer than their scheduled shift.
It may seem like a lot of work, but these little tokens of appreciation can easily be performed with a little bit of planning and organization. Making a monthly or bi-weekly plan can help you organize what you would like to do for your staff, and will give you plenty of time to get it ready. These small tokens of appreciation can go a long way in making your staff happier, boosting morale, and therefore improving the work environment.