Question – What can you do to save money in your Setting? Answer – Engage your Workforce and focus on Employee Engagement
Money is tight, how can you make your setting successful whilst keeping your eye firmly fixed on your budget? You would be surprised at the improvements that you can make in terms of efficiency when you go back to basics. One of the greatest impacts will be on how you manage employee engagement in your setting.
Employee engagement (which is what we aim to achieve when ‘going back to basics’) is vital in the Early Years Sector. Your employees look after the children in your setting so why do some Managers struggle to see the importance of achieving employee engagement?
Engaging your team with the goal of retaining and developing them can save a setting A LOT of money. This is going to sound simple but in practice it does require effort.
Engaged Employees = Happy Children = Happy Parents = A Happy and Successful Setting
Why would you not want to achieve the above equation?
The answer we receive is – its hard. Well yes it is hard but it is worth it. Do you want a setting with a high turnover? Or do you want to operate in a setting where everyone feels valued and understands the contribution they make in achieving a successful and happy environment?
Unmotivated, Disengaged Employees = Unhappy Children + Unhappy Parents + Unhappy Workforce + Increased Recruitment Costs + All the other associated costs
In a time where money is tight then we advise Managers to get the basics right. Do not fall into the trap of assuming your employees are engaged.
I am working with a fabulous setting at the moment, the setting exudes positivity and the employees are happy. You can feel it the moment you walk through the doors. But it wasn’t always the case, the Nursery Owner in question has had their fair share of challenges but we have worked with her to put in place an action plan which is helping to reduce costs (not reduce headcount), improve morale, achieve Ofsted Outstanding, and increase child numbers. What have we done?
- We have gone back to basics – This Nursery invested in a HR Audit with us. From this we were able to see where the nursery was failing and formulate an action plan based on the findings.
- Critical and vital paperwork was brought up to date (employment contracts, HR policies, procedures, job descriptions, business goals, performance reviews etc)
- An employee survey was carried out where we gathered invaluable feedback from the workforce about whether they were happy, did they feel supported, valued, did they get satisfaction from doing their job, were they looking to leave etc?
- A HR strategy was developed. We worked together to identify, communicate and resolve the problems. Over time the culture has developed into a much more positive and engaging place to work and be.
By ensuring that the basics were in place we provided a structure for this nursery to work from. Clear guidelines as to what is expected and what the goals are have been shared with all employees. The resulting survey highlighted areas that needed working on in terms of training, development and support. These have since been addressed and the nursery is now thriving. It is a million miles away from the nursery it once was and its people are working in harmony. This nursery now actively manages employee engagement.
The overwhelming financial result is that turnover has reduced which has led to reduced costs from the recruitment churn.
A follow up survey has been conducted to compare the results from the first survey against. It has shown overwhelmingly that employees are more engaged and feel committed to the Nursery, they want to achieve ‘Outstanding’ which is the next goal and more importantly they know how they are going to get there. Employee engagement is on the up.
This nursery learnt the hard way. Instead of putting a band aid on the nursery (i.e chucking a load of money at the nursery and hoping something worked), they had to get to the root cause of why the nursery was failing, the result (which we are still improving on) is a much more positive and happy place for both employees, owners and children.
So you have found yourself in the situation whereby you have employees who are not engaged – what can you do?
The simple quick answer is go back to basics
In a nutshell the concept of employee engagement is really simple, its about talking to your employees in a positive and respectful way, its about recognising their value and supporting any areas that they need to develop in.
If you need any assistance in reviewing employee engagement in your setting then pick up the phone and call us on 01509 833121.
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Less HR More Learning!