30th May 2023 Leadership & Management Nursery Management Software All Posts

Effective Ways To Improve Employee Engagement in the Early Years

There are many pressures facing the early years sector at present: from staffing and retention to funding – and as a nursery manager you might be worrying about how to keep your employees feeling happy, motivated, and engaged with your nursery setting. 

According to the recent research from the Department for Education, while there are an estimated 363,400 educators working in the childcare and early years sector, it is becoming increasingly challenging to find the right candidate and for childcare professionals to keep them happy in their roles.

Today we are going to discover some of the key effective ways to improve employee engagement at your nursery, and ensure that your team feels valued and happy within their role. 

Be a Supportive and Appreciative Leader

The first and most important point to make is that in order to have an engaged and motivated workforce, you must lead by example. A happy team has a leader that will support them and appreciate their achievements in the workplace. Provide an environment where creativity and innovation can thrive, and you will soon see a shift in your employee’s attitude towards work, and in turn a positive change in your business. Lead your team toward successes and always call out achievements to ensure that every member of the team feels valued. 

Create an Open Culture that Accepts Mistakes

One of the key issues that will stop your team from engaging with you and your leadership style is if you don’t share ideas, news, and issues faced by your setting. To create the best possible work environment, transparency is key, and encouraging open discussions about your business will inspire your team to open up about their experiences and give them the freedom and space to experiment, which often leads to amazing results.

Invest in Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental health matters – particularly in the early years sector at present. 

As a manager, it is your responsibility to nurture your employees and allow them the space to talk if they are facing issues or struggling with any aspect of their work. Consider investing in some mental health and wellbeing initiatives that will help your employees feel happier, and as a result they will invest more of their time and energy into your nursery. It’s all about the give and take – and by providing your employees with necessary health and wellbeing resources, they will be happier and in turn will be more productive and engaged with their work. 

The Ultimate Guide To Nursery Staff Wellbeing

Here at Connect Childcare we truly believe in the power of happiness so we’ve created this guide to encourage our peers across the childcare sector to practice some self-love!

Provide Opportunities for Learning

Employees will be happier if they feel like they’re developing their personal and technical skills. By giving them opportunities for personal development, they’re likely to be more fulfilled and put more energy into the company. Whether you offer workshops to your employees or provide them with the means and funds to get certified – the more you invest in their career, the more they will invest in you.

Be a Master Communicator

Communication is so important for creating a happy team. Although it sounds simple, listening to your employees intently can make all the difference as they will feel like their opinion is being valued. Communication should be regular to ensure everyone is on the same page and working in the same direction, towards the same goals. Constructive feedback is also a powerful communication tool.

By applying these 4 employee management techniques, you will see a change in the happiness and motivation of your workforce in no time. It will also benefit you as a leader as being in a happy, motivated team is much more enjoyable and things get done way more efficiently. We hope you’ve gained some valuable insight into some key employee management techniques that could massively contribute to positive change within your business. 

Use Technology to Simplify Processes

Asked about their reasons for leaving the sector, 58% said that their internal processes required more paperwork than was necessary to meet best practice standards within their own setting. This coupled with a lack of time nurturing the children in their care were driving factors for leaving the sector. Nursery management software such as Connect Childcare can cut your admin time down by up to 80%, giving your employees more time to engage with the children at your setting. By limiting time-consuming admin tasks, it gives everyone in your setting the opportunity to grow and develop their skills, hone their creativity, and focus on the most important thing of all – the children. 

How can Connect Childcare Help your Setting Combat the Cost-of-Living Crisis?

To learn more about how our nursery management software can support your setting throughout the cost-of-living crisis, contact our team for an informal chat, or book a free demo below.
Share this article
About the Author

Imogen is our Content and Social Media creative