Having a happy, engaged and high performing team of educators is a bit like captaining a great sporting team. It’s not easy and requires a lot of considered thinking and careful decision making.
‘Excellent’ services have several characteristics in common. Here are some questions you can ask yourself when you are looking to create a highly engaged team of educators.
- Do I provide opportunities for educators to use their strengths?
When Educators are given an opportunity to use their strengths, you see more creativity, initiative and collaboration. Try finding jobs that fit with educators’ strengths and encourage them to be creative with solutions!
- Are Educators excited about coming to work?
Smiles, energy, and a positive approach to the day are all signs that you have happy and engaged educators. Informal pit stops are a great way of taking the pulse of your team and a great way to show you care.
- Do Educators help each other to deliver outcomes for the service?
Creating an environment or culture where your team naturally collaborates and trusts each other is the foundation for a highly engaged workforce. Try delegating tasks to a group of people from different rooms. From there, they will share ideas and learnings with each other to get the job done.
- Do Educators feel their opinions count?
Great leaders provide opportunities for their teams to share their thoughts and concerns on issues within the service. What can you do to make sure they feel like they have been listened to? Educators who feel like they contribute to the service outside their day-to-day tasks will surely be a happy ones- it will make them feel valued and respected.
- Are Educators treating each other with respect?
A compassionate and accepting team starts at the top. Displaying empathy in the workplace and being respectful will help strengthen the bonds of trust within the team. Educators value leaders who have open minds and ears.
- Within the last week, have Educators received praise or recognition for their work?
Praise and recognition are key ingredients in staff engagement and high job satisfaction. Leaders who are aware of the good work being done and provide praise, are creating environments where people can thrive.
- Do Educators have a dedicated mentor to support their development?
Not every educator in your service might dream of being a Nominated Supervisor, but some might. They may look to you for guidance, advice and development, so they too can one day run a service. The best leaders hire, promote and endorse people better than themselves. You don’t have to be the best netball player to be the captain – you have to be the best leader!
- In the past 6 months have Educators had an opportunity to learn and grow?
As a Nominated Supervisor you play many roles; leader, manager and confidant. You also play the role of People Capability Manager. Great leaders provide opportunities for their team to learn and grow. Learning new and different ways to do things can really make a difference not only to your service, but to your staff as well. They will feel accomplished and confident of their skills.
Do you want more information about how you can create an engaged team? Check out our In-house Leadership Essentials workshops.
About the Author: Adrian Pattra is the education director of Farran Street Education. In this role he manages the day-to-day operational and educational outcomes. Adrian has been involved in adult education for the past 15 years, he holds a Bachelor of education and a Master in educational psychology. Adrian has worked with a range of Children Service’s organisations, providing them with the tools to improve their competency and learning frameworks, while creating a culture of continuous learning. For the past 20 years, Adrian together with his family has a small long day care service on Sydney’s lower north shore.