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From Meetings to Morale: The Importance of Communication in Early Years

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For all early years settings, success hinges on the strength and cohesion of our team. While in the current climate, recruitment itself can be a hugely challenging and stressful process, the journey doesn’t end once you’ve managed to onboard those wonderful new team members.

Effective communication is the key to fostering alignment, a shared understanding, and a collective commitment to outstanding practice within your team. It will empower your staff to contribute their unique perspectives, share their expertise, and actively participate in shaping the future of your early years setting.

 

The Importance of Team Alignment

practitioner with nursery children constructing with bllocks

Why is alignment so important? Alignment means working together towards a shared goal. If alignment is lacking, you may find yourself continuously addressing conflicts, putting out fires, and struggling to retain valuable staff members – a scenario that can quickly derail even the most established of teams.

So how can we foster alignment? Regular team meetings, training sessions, and opportunities for open dialogue are all incredibly valuable platforms for reinforcing alignment. They provide regular opportunities to address any potential misunderstandings within the team and allow your staff to explore their differing perspectives. Let’s look a bit more at the value of Team Meetings.

 

Managing Team Meetings

Team Meetings should be purposeful gatherings, not just tick-box activities that appear on the weekly rota and feel meaningless. The most effective meetings always have very clear agendas and they encourage input and active participation from the entire team. Any action points that are identified and assigned should have well-defined objectives and they should be followed up on at all levels, from practitioners to managers and leaders with full accountability by all.

Team meetings are also the ideal time to incorporate opportunities that you as a team may have identified as areas for staff development. Outsourcing these CPD requirements to an external provider can ensure that the meeting time is used effectively and that you receive the highest quality training.

 

Staff attending a staff meeting

A Note on Following the ‘Super Supervision’ Model

        In our previous blog “Super Supervisions” we explored the importance and benefits of conducting these mandatory regular meetings with your staff and examined how by structuring these meetings carefully to provide meaningful support and guidance, we achieve the best outcomes for all.

By applying this concept in a similar way to our team meetings we can ensure that they are purposeful events that drive professional development, foster collaboration, and align the team towards common goals, cultivating an environment of continuous improvement and support for your entire team.

Nursery practitioner with children

The Importance of Daily Communications for Key Updates and Messages

Early Years settings are always incredibly busy places and this makes it especially important that communication protocols are robust and well-embedded to avoid crucial messages being missed. We all know that feeling when we are the last to know about that exciting training opportunity or that upcoming policy change.

By establishing clear communication channels and protocols, with everyone playing their role, we can ensure that critical information reaches every team member promptly and accurately. There are various practical ways that this can be achieved. Perhaps through daily briefings, digital platforms, or by conducting one-on-one check-ins, ultimately choose a method that works best for your setting. 

By fostering an environment where communication flows freely in all directions, you successfully cultivate that sense of belonging and shared responsibility. Having seamless daily communication protocols in place not only ensures that everyone is operating with the most up-to-date information but also reinforces the message that every team member is valued, respected, and integral to the overall success of the setting.

Visions and Values – The Bedrock of Your Setting

Your early years setting’s visions and values are more than just words on a poster; they should be the guiding principles that permeate every aspect of your operations.

These core beliefs and aspirations are the bedrock that underpins your ethos, curriculum, code of conduct, and approach to caring for and safeguarding the children in your setting.

By weaving your visions and values into your daily practices, you ensure that every interaction, every piece of provision, and every policy decision is rooted in the fundamental beliefs and aspirations that shape your early years setting’s identity.

Regularly revisiting and reinforcing these guiding principles through team meetings, training sessions, and open discussions can help boost your team’s commitment and reignite their passion for the fantastic work that they do.

nursery teacher interacting with children

Team Building Days

This can be a popular and very successful method to nurture your team alignment. By dedicating time and resources to training days and team-building activities you are investing in the collective growth and cohesion of your skilled and valued team members.

Team building days not only provide opportunities for your team to enhance their professional skills, explore new pedagogical approaches, and stay abreast of the latest sector developments, but they also serve as vital opportunities to strengthen bonds of trust and fellowship with each other.

Through collaborative exercises, problem-solving challenges, and open discussions, your team members can develop a deeper understanding of each other’s strengths and perspectives and ultimately operate as a more cohesive and bonded unit.

In Conclusion: Building a Thriving Early Years Team

Wellbeing is crucial to the success of any team. However, true staff well-being transcends the occasional pizza, doughnut or face pack.

At its core, nurturing your team’s well-being is about creating an environment that empowers them to flourish in their roles and reach their full potential. It involves fostering open and effective communication channels, ensuring a shared understanding of expectations, and providing opportunities for professional growth and development.

Ultimately, investing in your team’s well-being is an investment in the success of your early years setting. When your team members feel nurtured, supported, and empowered, they are better equipped to deliver exceptional care and outstanding provision for the children entrusted to them.

Where to next?

Click the link to visit our Team Development Page  

 

Team Development – MBK Group

Or, book a discovery call with Kelly now to see how MBK Consulting can help you in your setting  

https://calendly.com/kelly-oxg0/30min

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