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Staff meetings formats


trekker
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I am having a nightmare with staff meetings and keeping staff focused on their planning responsibilities.

We used to have an hour long meeting (paid) every week after work finished when we would review the weeks activites and consider possibilities for extending / developing these the next week and go over general infromation staff needed to know. I came into work, on my day off, to lead these...this year however I have chosen not to put myself out and have tried to make it fairer by trying different ways to organise these - e.g. we didnt have any at all the first term back after summer as a trial and that really didnt work out so then tried holding meetings on a different day every week, a set day for half a term...etc...but so far this year I have been able to hold 3 meetings out of a possible 12 because one staff member or another are either ill, have booked an appointment, have to take care of children...etc etc so I end up with one or two staff and me...which is pointless as I have to go over the same things again when I see the others.

I am also aiming for meetings to be less about planning together (since we do that retrospectively) and more about developing the setting and its staff ...so more on the mechanics of quality 'planning' / observing / interacting / provision / assessing...and so on.

 

I have been able to hold several inset days which enabled me to do some work on this and the new eyfs, 2 yr old check guidance etc but really we are not moving forward as much as id like - and its really frustrating me that I plan for the staff meetings and they keep getting sabotaged.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for how I can make meetings more productive and how best to organise staff meetings when not all staff are in every day or go home at lunch time so have to come back in again or have no sitters for children ...hence the 'absenses'...how do you get your staff to come and participate willingly and fully??

I feel like my hands are tied as far as insisting they come since its not a contracted thing...nor is it protected in a policy..yet! (I am itching to do it though!)

 

Perhaps a brief summary of when, how long, who attends and what you actually do at meetings would help to give me some new options to work with ...

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I'm marking my place and watching with interest as this could have been written by me, word for word!! I feel your pain trekker!

 

Were the old meetings effective/well attended? Could it be because you are now more flexible it doesn't feel as 'rigid' to the staff, but more 'optional' (some staff are more secure knowing some things happen on certain days and like/work better with firm boundaries - bit like 2 yr olds hehe!)

 

Could you go back to this but if necessary choose a different day to your day off (or did they feel obliged to attend because you were 'putting yourself out'?)

 

It's so hard when everyone has different hours/commitments - sorry not really helping!

 

Ultimately I guess it could end up a capability issue if they aren't able to keep up to current standard/practice - seems harsh though

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If you were to go back to a more regular patter, of, say, fortnightly, but have the dates planned first so everyone put them in their diary,that may help. Have a written agenda and make notes and these can be copied to everyone, with an 'any questions, see ...' I'm thinking that the more regular they are, the less likely it is that someone will miss something important..

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Guest sn0wdr0p

We meet once a month after work and I have a notice up of the dates of each terms meetings plus their content. They are supposed to last two hours but generally over run as people tend to go off on a tangent. I have reined it in by also splitting it in to two. The first hour follows a set agenda which includes discussion about new children, safeguarding concerns, staffing and rotas, planning etc. with any other business at the end. Staff are encouraged to tell me about A.O.B. beforehand so I can prepare or gather information. The 2nd half is a training session so last year we had training about the revised EYFS, Mark making, quality and EYQISP. This term I have noticed from my PRAMS review that children are not performing so well in Shape, Space and Measure so I will cover that area in a session plus I am planning a behaviour management session and signing. Staff are also to share feedback from any external training in this session.

 

I prepare a powerpoint presentation beforehand so as I go through the slides it keeps everything on track. (Think that stems from years as a university lecturer)

 

I am also lucky to be able to do quick toolbox presentations each day at 3pm as that is when nearly every staff member is in as that is when the OOS staff come in to prepare. so when necessary I grab a quick ten minutes before they head off to collect from the schools.

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I think having an agenda is a good idea as then the group know what the meeting is supposed to be about. It helps when people go off on a tangent as you can say "that's interesting we will add it to the agenda to discuss further next meeting or now isn't really the time to discuss that we can meet xxxxxx and talk about it".....in meetings I chair you always gets one that goes off on one and likes to hold the floor!

 

Having some handouts, articles to back up ideas to give them might be useful and useful for those that cannot attend the meeting.

 

I do think the staff meeting is a very important part of team building communication process and if you are willing to pay them then they are jolly lucky and should see it as an opportunity to share issues within the setting but also as a cpd event. At my setting our meetings tended to be split like this....cpd bit first and then planning and then chatty bit last so if people needed to get away they could.

 

Good luck x

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Hi, I have tackled this issue by holding, planned meetings with all my supervisors. They are notified of the date and time beforehand (this is within the 'working day' - friday- when we are quiet enough to allow them to be out of the ratios) they then collect 'aob' from their own teams. We discuss EVERYTHING from planning, policies, new children, staffing etc. This is then written up and the supervisors take a copy back and hold another meeting with their team within the following week, at a time tha is convenient for all of them. It has worked very well this academic year, we have one scheduled each term, but add aditional dates as and when we feel they are needed. The supervisors are also responsible for their teams 'supervisory meetings' these also happen once a term, during which the staff are asked whether they require an additional meeting with myself. I meet with the supervisors beforehand and give a brief run through of what I would like them to discuss, and they also add their own ideas/concerns etc.

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We have the same problem as we operate from different sites and are open 7.30-6 every day.

We have now planned all staff meetings for the year now - that way staff know not to book anything on those evenings.

These will be on different evenings each time so anyone with other commitments on a particular day wouldnt miss every meeting

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We hold ours once a month from 6pm - 8pm at the latest. We sometimes finish early, depending on how much there is to discuss. We operate with three rooms so we don't tend to discuss individual children or planning for the rooms as it would be irrelevant for those not in that room. Attending staff meetings is part of the job description for all full time staff and part time staff if they are key people. Obviously if someone is on holiday they can't attend but other than that (or illness) everyone usually attends.

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We have 5 inset days a year and staff meetings are part of that day. we talk about individual children during supervisions so the staff meeting is about things like changes in procedures and usually incorporates a short focussed training session. These inset days are part of the contracts and non attendance is only allowed if holiday has been booked or illness, they are scheduled on different days so that its not the same pople always having to come in on their day off.

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I understand how frustrating it is to give up your own time only to be let down by staff who just don't seem committed to staff meetings- in my last setting (I was a new temp manager for a yr while the existing one was on mat leave) I was amazed when staff said they did not have to attend meetings!!! There were soooo many isues we had to address that they really did need to attend!

So, firstly I promised food....they were all expected to attend for two hours at 6pm when the nursery shut, so I knew they would be hungry! Then I proceeded to tackle each member of staff individually, and basically suck up to them....I'I really need you to come, you have some great ideas to share etc etc....:), this actually worked!! I gave them the dates well in advance so they could make arrangements. Then food inside them, I asked that they turn off their phones....no easy feat!!! The first meetings had a mix of every day issues and some professional development. I made sure I gave them all prasie for effort and thanked them for attending and lo and behold they all left on a high, they had enjoyed being asked for ideas and opinions. Mind due, ongoing I only get about a 70% attendance :S

Another idea;- in the past i've split staff into two groups, as some were very vocal and it ment the quieter staff didn't get a chance to speak. I held two split team meetings one month and a whole team meeting the next, it did seem to work well.

Good luck!

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Sorry about the jargon Pimms O Clock a toolbox talk is a short presentation looking at a particular topic.area. (I used to do presentations to the construction industry on building sites)

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I know the feeling it is very frustrating and to be honest what works!! I have one meeting a month I have altered times days but there is always the same few that find ways out of it. I have recently changed contracts that state 80% of meetings must be attended so we will wait and see if that works, I will let you know.

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Some interesting ideas here...the advance notice of meetings dates and times (for the whole half term) was done and the agenda and minutes afterwards have always been in place ..but even then I have staff who never read them and ask questions later that they'd never need to if they had!

The old meetings were fairly well attended as all staff were in anyway but even then I could barely get them to hang around for the full hour (again appointments, other commitments) so a two hour meeting would probably not be easy especially on a weeknight as they have children to attend to...some staff also have other jobs after closing so they can never attend...so I guess that makes the others who dont have children or other jobs think its okay not to commit...although Im in that category too :-)

I do think that sn0wdr0ps two part meeting would be a real benefit to my staff though...they really do need that ongoing CPD ... Without that ongoing development I dont think we can make progress...but there is so much resistance to doing extra things like this - and it takes a lot of pre-planning ...I think thats another key issue - me having the time to plan for a meeting that will motivate more!

 

Does anyone know of any good resources to help with developing meeting activites that will be more interactive??

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Guest sn0wdr0p

I like to get my staff thinking. After reading ABC's book and wanting to put deconstructed role play into action I gave my staff some cardboard boxes and asked them to play! We did have fun. Then followed it up with a training session about it. I am also planning on showing a video of a session taken on the iPad and then discussing it with staff, asking them to make observations etc. and how our practice could have been improved. I'm sure there must be some video clips on the internet that could be used for training purposes. Hopefully other forum members can point us to them. Also remember to give staff the chance to play with any new toys and equipment you have and discuss how they can be used in different ways with the children to aid development/skills.

Try sending them home buzzing with ideas. I must admit I also do handouts, pass out information leaflets, diagrams etc. Some of them may never read them again but I find most of them come in the next day wanting to talk about it and full of ideas.

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we hold ours once a term in the afternoon at my deputy's house, they are paid for 2 hours

they are set at th beg. of each acaemic year.

 

I also buy lunch for them most meetings

all staff know that they are expected to attend, they are told this when we employ and it is in their contracts, its not an option. The are happy to do so, lunch helps sweeten it and thank them

I don't have an AOB but any questions and a 'get it off your chest'

they mostly have the agenda in advance

 

The meetings are important perhaps you can stress this perhaps a member of staff can be resposible for an item on the agenda ie Senco, safe guarding, policy, arranging staff meal out etc

Edited by Suer
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Can relate to a lot of comments made here! I set the dates for the year, so they always have good notice and try and alternate meetings which we hold once a month over Monday/Tuesday/Wed so same staff are not having to work until 6 and then straight into staff meeting and also if they have other commitments means that they are able to miss for e.g. one staff member helps at weightwatchers so only has to get out of that once every 3 months....always provide cakes and have an agenda. Also found putting a list up for staff to contribute to the agenda has been successful too. Still have staff who'take the mick' and had speak to one member who (on checking previous minutes had missed 7 out of 10 meetings!!!! We also take the minutes on a rota.

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Newbie to the forum so please forgive me if I don't post correctly!! We're currently expanding our setting and have the luxury of trying to build in some planning time - we're planning to close one room on Friday afternoons so that we have supernumary staff and can hold planning meetings for both rooms weekly(one after another). Not possible in many settings I know, but i think we've realsied how important planning meetings are and we're struggling when we haven't been having them

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Guest sn0wdr0p

Yes I must admit I bribe mine as well with takeaway.Chinese, indian, fish and chips on a rota to keep everyone happy.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I would hate to say that I run effecient meetings, but I do try to stick to the rules. This makes the meetings manageable and once you start to get staff on your side and they realise that the meetings do meet targets set by themselves and actions happen then the problem solves itself.

We work in an industry where there are many differing patterns of employment and we all too often because we are a caring environment "understand" family needs. But we do need to remember that we are a profession and we have a duty to the children who attend our settings. Meetings are there to ensure the staff team work together. So perhaps a note reminding them of the mission statement and how the staff meeting falls into the statement. Below are somethings I thought important, but is you sit down and write your own list I am sure you could use it to motivate your staff team to attend.

  • Staff meetings can be a trciky issue, but they are now considered standard practice. You may have to seek advice on changing your staff's contract to include a number of meetings a year. For instance my staff's contracts say 6 meetings an academis year each 3 hour long. That way it is in their contract and if they regularly do not attend it is an area that can be discussed during appraisal.
  • Having an agenda and keeping to it.
  • Having someone record the meeting and then distribute the record to all staff even if they have not attended. It is worth trying to get everyone to sign to say they have received it.
  • On the agenda the first item should be recording those who have attended and taking apologies for those who have not. If no apology has been received staff can feel left out and may make them more motivated to attend next meeting. (A bit negative I know, but I did hear one of my staff team mention this).
  • Also on agenda is agreeing the record of the last meeting. If you have to go back and read again it takes time to go through it all. So the team ends up not being able to discuss what is on agenda for this meeting. I have found that having seen how much time this wastes, within a few meetings everyone is on board and does read the record and follow through with actions.
  • Finishing before the stated time once in a while!

Keep positive about it and you decide yourself what you want the meetings to be about. It may not be the best forum for planning and CPD, H&S, Safeguarding, etc. So you take charge and we will all be thinking of you!!!

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Every item on our agenda has a time limit.

I keep an eye on my watch and as soon as 'times up' we move to next item. This keeps it on track- and all staff have a copy of agenda complete with timings.

 

If an item is not 'sorted' within the time [and staff are going off tangent] then I say that the item will need it's own special meeting....... if it's a minor petty thing that no one can agree on it suggest a 'sub-committee' is needed to help solve issue and ask for volunteers..... for some reason issue then gets sorted instantly xD :lol:

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