In the UK, staff retention in the childcare sector is an ongoing issue for nursery managers and owners.
While employees enjoy aspects of their day-to-day role, low pay, limited training opportunities and a lack of career progression could make them feel undervalued. The role also tends to attract a younger workforce, which unfortunately adds to the high turnover within the sector.
With all of these things in mind, you might be wondering what you can do as a nursery manager to ensure that your best workers stick around -and enjoy it!
- Recruit the right people for the job
Let’s go back to the beginning. Finding the right people in the first place is imperative for retention. Be sure to post informative job ads that detail things such as salary, training opportunities and the difference your nursery makes to the lives of the children you care for. If possible, we recommend inviting potential staff to the nursery for an informal visit so that you’re able to set expectations about the role and see how they interact with the children.
Often nursery inductions end up rushed, with new staff getting thrown well into the deep end without any guidance. Be sure to show them the ropes on a quiet day if possible. And remember, this is your chance to give your new employee a warm welcome! Sure, you need to discuss logistics and health and safety guidelines, but don’t forget to detail training opportunities to keep them engaged.
- Pay Reviews & KPI’s
Studies show that low pay is one of the main causes of dissatisfaction. One way that you can encourage your staff to stay with you is to ensure that there is transparency around pay. Give your employees career structure, targets, and help them understand what they can do to get where they want to be. Have you tried connecting pay increases with value added to your nursery? This is a great way to boost motivation and keep them in the loop.
- Training opportunities
While minor rewards might seem like a nice thing to do, they won’t keep staff happy long term if they feel they aren’t valued. Why not save that money and spend it on a training course? This will show your staff that you are willing to invest in them and want them around! Making sure they feel valued and empowered is crucial. While many nursery workers are passionate about working with children, feeling undervalued by society - let alone their management – can cause talented individuals to lose interest.