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Pulling Together


Thumper
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Hello

 

I manage a small committee run setting. I inherited staff that the previous manager had recruited, they are all mums of children who attended the Pre school at the time of their children attending. They started out as relief then were taken on as others moved on. They have all studied to level 3 during their time with me.

 

Anyhow my problem is as I am sure your all aware, that for the Pre-school to run efficiently there is lots of things that need to be done other than the normal key carer roles, like the shopping, putting items away in correct places (not the ledge) tidying of storage areas etc.

 

The deputy and myself are finding ourselves having to work late most nights, during 1/2 terms, or weekends to just keep on top of the situation.

 

The staff are very reluctant to take on additional duties. I have allocated them certain areas to keep tidy, some do, SOME DON'T!

 

What do you do about the don'ts/won'ts? Problem is they do their job but nothing more, out the door like a flash at the end of the day. Say no when asked to do things. Always an excuse involving having to get home for their own children (whilst mine don't matter!)

 

Any ideas?

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oh dear! You'll have to take a look at their job descriptions and contracts to check everything first. If all is as you would hope, I'd ask to speak to each one in turn and remind them of their roles officially. You'll need committee involved because they are the employers. If the contracts, job descriptions are lacking detail, tell the committee to start the ball rolling on changing them. Employment law is tricky so you might want to check out ACAS too.

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Maybe the subject could be reviewed during a staff supervision/appraisal, highlighting the need to work as a team and that in order for things to run smoothly, these jobs must be kept on top of.

 

It is difficult sometimes to find the time to do the little (but soon turn into huge !) jobs, but i think chores like these have to be done daily to keep on top of them.

 

There is nearly always a point in the day where we can all find 5 minutes to natter (she says whilst laughing !) so maybe suggest they natter and work.

 

Its simply not fair to assume that the manager/deputy will do it. Everyone has lives outside of work (although its difficult to find a life sometimes when work takes over) therefore everyone should pull together !

 

Good luck x

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Problem is they do their job but nothing more, out the door like a flash at the end of the day.

This is your problem, really. They are doing their jobs. Unless you can show that there are areas of their job description that they are not fulfilling there is little you can do in the way of disciplinary action.

 

If there are aspects of their job that they are not doing then you can have a meeting with them, explain why it is important that these tasks are done and then agree how you can support them to get to grips with what they need to do. Then you can agree a period for review to see how things are going. Then, if after a period of support and monitoring things are not improving you can implement your disciplinary procedures.

 

If the tasks you are talking about fall outside your staff team's job descriptions you have a bigger issue. If your setting is not adequately staffed and resourced and you are finding that you need to work extra unpaid hours a lot of the time in order to compensate for this, then you need to bring this back to your committee and explore how all these little jobs that add a great deal of time to your working week can be paid for.

 

I hope you can resolve your problem, but I must say I would hate to think my boss would ever describe me as 'deadwood'. :(

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One of the things I found was to look at is how easy is it to put things away/keep tidy? if it was easy to put items in the proper place they wouldnt be just dumped or put 'on the ledge'.

I had a massive clear out and organise one inset day with help from my deputy, new boxes, labelled/photos so it was easy to see where things went. The children then could help put away and resources were easier to access. None of us wanted to end up staying longer than we had to just to tidy up what someone else had left out and this helped.

Also when I needed some shopping doing for the setting or the library books changing etc and I wasnt able/inclined to do it myself, I let one of my staff go a bit earlier to do it.

Otherwise I am with HappyMaz on this.

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Hi

 

Have to say I'm with Maz on the 'deadwood' description :(

 

Can you raise these 'issues' at a staff meeting?

 

Have to say we manage pretty much all of our tidying and cleaning during session - our children take part in the tidying.......

 

Good luck with it all :1b

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I feel there might be two issues here.

 

1. Are they not going to do anything you say and they don't respect / want you as a boss? If the answer is no, they need to wake up and smell the coffee or leave.

 

2. Are they doing the job that they are paid for? keyperson roles, activities, resources? If they are doing this to a good standard. You can't expect them to do anymore. I do expect more but it doesn't get me anywhere with some. They just think they are not paid enough and do their but and go (normally early) (plus if they do anymore they always put it on the sheet / any less is never recorded!) I did 15 hours overtime in half term and claimed for it. (I don't normally but they get 10 weeks paid holiday and I only get 6)

 

I feel that managers should be paid for 52 weeks a year (we always seem to be on call)

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With regard to putting the 'odd bits' away. We had this issue I introduced a sh** box as is affectionately known and I rota'd on staff to sort it- works for us :)

 

Shopping - unfortunately I accept this is my role, not really a prob as I have to do my own shopping (and I do get the points)(yes I know that technically this is a benefit!!!!!)

 

 

When I first started, the previous owner had been manager and literally did everything, however coming in a manager- not owner, I was not prepared to loads of unpaid work, therefore things needed to change.

 

I found that actually giving staff responsibilities improved the situation, we did this through supervision/appraisal's, and over time things changed,

I found giving respect to staff (even if deep down I just wanted to get on with the job myself- knowing it would have been quicker, easier and done the way I wanted :D )

I now have a team to be proud of.... they ask if any shopping is needed [if they happen to be calling into shops that day] and we all leave at the same time!

 

Yes I do do bits/bobs in the holidays some evenings- but I am the manager, and I've been in early years long enough to know that's going to happen..... if I really didn't want to then I'd just look for a different job role.

I think carefully about what I do at home though - if it 'has to be done I claim time, if I'd 'like' it to be done .............. well that's my choice :D

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I could have written some of that post, so you are definitely not alone

BUT how I kind of envy them, I wish I could do my job and not let it overtake my life

I wish every time a volunteer was needed, I didn't offer to do it, putting myself under even more stress

But I can't help it, it's in my nature, what we have to remember its not everyone's nature.

As long as everyone is doing their job description role then we can't really complain.

 

I have a list of extra things

Keeping paint shelf tidy

Shopping

Changing books in book cupboard

Making sure pencils and paper are topped up

The list is endless, I deal them out to all the staff some do them and do them really well, others don't do them quite so well - i rotate these jobs every term to try and make them not seem too much of a chore.

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We found our job descriptions had the rather vague phrase "other duties as required" and a lot of the work that was left to the manager and deputy came under this category. We sat in a staff meeting and discussed what "other duties" had to be done to ensure the safe and effective running of the setting, and drew up the list. We then took the tasks and everyone took responsibility for some for a set time, and then we moved around. It didn't work straight away but some took on the roles well, and we realised that a lot of it they hadn't actually realised the stuff that was done until it was pointed out. As staff left and new staff started the team responsibility became more embedded and things got a lot easier.

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We found our job descriptions had the rather vague phrase "other duties as required" and a lot of the work that was left to the manager and deputy came under this category. We sat in a staff meeting and discussed what "other duties" had to be done to ensure the safe and effective running of the setting, and drew up the list. We then took the tasks and everyone took responsibility for some for a set time, and then we moved around. It didn't work straight away but some took on the roles well, and we realised that a lot of it they hadn't actually realised the stuff that was done until it was pointed out. As staff left and new staff started the team responsibility became more embedded and things got a lot easier.

 

Thank you Holly35

I think looking and re writing the job descriptions is what's needed.

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I hope you can resolve your problem, but I must say I would hate to think my boss would ever describe me as 'deadwood'. :(

 

Hello

 

Sorry I was not calling them 'deadwood' it was just the title of the post. :/

 

The childcare that they offer is fantastic, the relationship with parents also great, the paperwork is done to a high standard.it is just those other items that keep the setting running smoothly that they seem to not wish to do.

 

Hope that clarifies ;)

Edited by Chellandrews
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Hello

 

The childcare that they offer is fantastic, the relationship with parents also great, the paperwork is done to a high standard.it is just those other items that keep the setting running smoothly that they seem to not wish to do.

 

 

Hiya,

I must admit your first post did come across [to me anyway :1b ] as sounding a little :blink: :blink: :o !!!

 

If they're good with children, parents and paperwork you need to make sure you keep them xD

 

Sometimes other people just do not see just what the manager has to do.... and very possibly simply assume you're being paid for all what you do do.

 

You need to sit with the group, and one-to-ones and update job discriptions etc.

 

Hope it all works well, as I said earlier I once felt a bit like you and now we are a fantastic sharing team - yes I do still have the 'moments' but on the whole not to bad. :D

 

xx

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Our problem is our team is getting smaller and smaller (due to schools taking the day they are three) so that means there are just too many extra jobs to be done. Pay rises haven't happened for a few years (although minimum wage is creeping up on us!).

So I feel guilty asking staff to do more and more of these extra duties :(

Edited by thumperrabbit
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Sorry I was not calling them 'deadwood' it was just the title of the post. :/

So what does the title refer to then, if not the staff you're talking about? If you want to change the title, a moderator can do that for you. :1b

 

If you're going to re-write job descriptions then you'll be changing their terms and conditions of employment and I think ACAS have set procedures for how you can go about that: timescales for consultation, presenting new contracts for consideration and so on. Might be worth consulting their website before you embark on the project.

 

Good luck with it all - potentially a bit of a minefield!

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