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staff attitude


RaceFace03
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Hi,

 

I sometimes come to think why staff have a attitude of not being bothered. Only when a member of management steps into the room they start to talk or interact with the children.

 

This has been addressed to staff that their attitude and work ethic needs to change, however some just seem to slip back into old habits.

 

From the lack of interest in planning (not understanding the need to plan for the interest of the child) to general practice of putting items away in the correct area instead of dropping it in another box!

 

New resources are arriving however I have no confidence that the staff will treat these with care.

 

I don't know why they have this attitude about things and I am struggling to get through!

 

 

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Would giving them responsibility for certain areas help motivate them a bit more. One could be in charge of the craft area, one cooking etc. Maybe they are feeling undervalued in some way or they could just need a kick. Get one of them to be in charge of the new resources i.e looking after them, making sure they are put away correctly etc.

Unfortunately, we found drastic action made the others sit up and take notice that we meant business. I'm not advocating getting rid of someone just because but if it has been mentioned at meetings and appraisals then maybe that is what they need.

Planning - I don't know how you get them to be motivated. It took me a complete change of staff to start making it work!!

I hope some of that helps.

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That's a hard one and so frustrating....... give all your 'unenthusiastic' staff responsibility for all the niggles you have in the hope that that will motivate them to ensure those niggles are sorted.....?

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...as for the planning...ask them how they can make it work, if they decide on it they are bound to stick at it....

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Hi, please don't feel alone with these problems. I interview so many staff that show lots of ideas and enthusiasum, but once they are employed seem to settle into the idea that childcare and education is an easy option, which those of us with experience know it is definately not.

Does it stem from college, where the wrong people are getting on courses in the first place and being passed without fulfilling the full requirements?

One thing that does work, is working with staff showing your enthusiasum and ideas with the children so they see that their job is actually easier in the long run if the children have inspirational experiences and are involved all day long if you show the children the children how to play and extend thier ideas. I don't think that people know how to play themselves, therefore they can't see how to naturally support children so it seem such hard work for them.

Try holding a play staff evening where you set up activities and lead the play, so they see how much fun it can be. Team activities such as building a bridge with marshmallows and kebab sticks from one block of bricks to another. Its a good activity to see which staff are natural leaders of a room and who really does have what it takes!

Good luck I'm sure you are not the only manager who experiences this on a day to day basis.

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Hi,

 

Thank you for all your thoughts on the subject.

 

I have given all staff areas of responsibility however staff just seem very lazy and slack. Some staff have taken this on board and are very motivated. Where as others will either clock watch (as soon as its there time to leave they walk out the door).

 

The planning document involves all staff adding and implementing into it, however at the moment we have one or two members that seem to carry the planning. If they are absent the planning seem to fall along the wayside.

 

I have spoke to the staff and made it clear that action will be taken for those who do not adhere to the changes and the roles in which they must carry out in session.

 

I just feel with some staff its their general attitude and a real push to get them to plan an activity which is stimulating, rather than getting out the same old stickle bricks or play dough.

 

Another issue which gets to me is staff being observant. I know that children will have accidents, however I feel that some can be prevented if staff are observant and engaging children in something. I feel that when my back is turned staff will chat and then children are not engaged and this can lead to accidents.

Long road ahead for me.....

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I have spoke to the staff and made it clear that action will be taken for those who do not adhere to the changes...

if this has been said then this is your starting point; fail to act on it and they will not change because otherwise is just 'lip service'

- thinking how you instil boundaries for the children is a good mental guide for you - you encourage and praise all the behaviours you want but it's not always 100% effective...and you know once you've said that you are going to do something, you must carry it out or there will be anarchy!

Remind yourself that once the children know the boundaries/rewards/consequences they only need the warning and they generally modify their behaviour - staff are not any different but for someone reason we rarely put the 'actions' in place! (guilty as charged I am!)

If you've warned there'll be consequences, then consequences there must be; and it actually makes some staff feel more secure because there are clear boundaries so they know where they stand.

please know you are not alone, it's probably something we've all struggled with (I certainly have - you grow a thick skin and start to tackle it or it wears you down!); we take for granted that everyone works with the same principles and work ethic as us...because we are there demonstrating it - but it really isn't the case.

If you have a young set of staff, some (certainly not all!) often lack the 'life skills' and ability to think wider/long term and don't understand the impact all this 'minor' (as they'll see it) things have - unfortunately this stuff is slow to instil but they do appreciate the input and you do reap the benefits; it's so lovely to see when they 'get it' and you can see their practice and ideals changing - you get a warm fuzzy feeling!

Have you asked them 'why' they do/don't do it? - sometimes when you can get inside their thought processes then you can begin to unpick and re-programme them a little quicker

 

I agree, for some, that 'bums on seats' is more a priority for some colleges than 'quality workforce' - we've actually had tutors tell us that they are not allowed to let candidates fail no, you leave it for us to pick up the pieces and work our magic (I say n my head as I smile at them!)

a first hand play session for staff is a lovely idea

Don't be too hard on yourself though - one step at a time

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I know how you feel completely. I feel like i have been raising the same issues forever!!

 

I have tried the gentle persuasion approach which resulted in change for a small amount of time however old habits soon crept back.

Also I find my room leaders (who are really good) just carry the rooms and their team rather than being assertive. They all just want to be friends. Gossiping about their social life however does not have positive out comes for the children, which, as i say everyday, is what we are here for, or am I missing the point.

The only thing that has seemed to work in a small way is that we have CCTV in the rooms and I observe the staff remotely, not ideal because there is no sound, but I can see if the staff are actually working with the children rather than chatting. It is really fun when I see something and telephone into the room to speak to them, this really keeps them on their toes.

At present we are introducing an Incident record form for each individual staff member which will be used to record any issues raised and signed by management and staff member (this will support us if we need to address capability issues at a later date as it will act as a permanent record)

I am very guilty of not addressing issues in the past or being inconsistent, but Mrs Nice Guy now needs to leave the building as i am tired of feeling demoralised and as if I need to everything myself.

 

I would say I am glad I am not alone with these issues but I aren't really because I know how it feels.

 

Rant over!

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It's so hard isn't it, particularly when it's only a small team, but my main concern at the moment is a couple of staff who don't seem to have the ability to multi-task, if they're focused on doing something whether it's doing something with1 or 2 children or cleaning up something they become totally oblivious to anything else going on around them, I've done the team talks, the individual, recorded, signed talks, it improves for a little while but not long, when looking at staffing rotas it affects who is where as I have to ensure one of my stronger members of staff are with them so I know things won't go un-noticed, these are not young inexperienced staff either....sometimes I wonder if they do it on purpose so someone else will have to deal with un-acceptable behaviour issue or a child that needs changing :/

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Hi All.

 

We currently have a management book in place, all accidents are recorded in this book and we come to review this at our management meetings. However I also feel the the room leaders tend to lead the room and carry the staff most of time. For instance the toddler room planning, the room leader tends to add to it the most. She will tell the staff it is a requirement which they must all participate in (sense of working as a team). Part of me feels that she needs to be harder on them as she is not here to make friends.

 

I feel that actions need to be put in place, as staff are clearly not following instruction.

 

I have asked the room leaders who are on a late shift to ensure all areas are tidy and end of session checklist is complete. However on arrival today I find boxes in a mess. Where do I go if my management team are not behind me. I feel that this comes down to their own responsibility, thus their fault. ?? Any thoughts ?

 

I feel like hitting my head against a brick wall sometimes.

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Oh I wish my committee would understand that I am not alone in this too...I could have written these posts and have tried similar strategies...it never goes away - year on year there's always someone / something that just seems unmoveable !!

My committtee isn't very understanding of the effort Ive put in - I don't think they believe Ive tried to do anything...and they criticise /blame me....if Id done nothing then it'd be different but I feel so frustrated! I have nowhere to go now...I feel like if I mention any issues they all come back at me - all I get is blame rather than support and staff concerned carry on oblivious :-(

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It's so hard isn't it! What I say is I don't mind if things aren't done, I know about it and there is a reason. I do mind if things aren't done and no one has said about them so I don't know. I know at the end of the day sometimes I don't feel like sorting those last few stray toys that need to go down the cellar to their correct box (our main storage!) but I can leave them knowing it will be me first thing the next morning so I can do it then. Similarly other staff will do the same but what some don't get (or they do deliberately!!!) is that it won't be them in the morning to sort so they leave and someone else then has to finish their job from the day before when they come in, or those toys just get moved around the room to random places!!

 

Personally I just don't like the idea of CCTV but that's just me, I totally trust my staff and to be honest I would feel like I was spying in them. At the moment our team is very strong and we don't have anyone being 'carried' but can totally relate to all your experiences from staff in the past. I have found that general awareness and multitasking just can't seem to be taught, or if it can I can't manage it!!!! It's that talking to a parent whilst being aware that a child is trying to sneak past you, while listening out for a child who is in the loo whilst paying attention to the child who is just about to hit another with a brick type scenario that we are in, compared to the just talking to the parent scenario that others would be doing blissfully unaware!

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Hello,

I have only read a few of the replies: it may well be staff are just not enjoying their jobs but a lack of motivation could be a result of something else? The leaders of the teams definitely need to role model practice but also directly address their staff when something is not done. A friend uses prompt statements in her room as a reminder to staff. I use an evaluation process for staff to reflect on different aspects or activities of the setting. With this I feel everyone has an opportunity to be responsible for the preschool and others also have the chance to make comments etc. which we later discuss as a team.

I wonder if there is enough opportunity for staff teams to come together to share their concerns and possibly communicate their needs. Are people feeling valued or are their voices being heard? This is an area I am well aware of and effective communication is essential when working as team.

Would regular peer observations or even joint peer observations be a process you could try? I use it to give praise and share experiences and is another way to reflect on practice in a supportive way. Everyone gets a chance to observe and be observed. It has been useful!

I work in an established, qualified team but we are always considering ways of how we can approach team building, team planning and work towards the setting's mission statement.

Having said that some people may just not be in the right job and that's no good when working with children.

Good luck, don't loose your enthusiasm as that's so important too.

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Hi All,

 

@ Trekker to understand how you feel as I have worked for several committee run pre-school, never again will I do this may I add again. I found that they were not supportive at all and come into the setting thinking they know all about early years when clearly they don't ! This was certainly a learning curve for me, I felt that I could not work somewhere where I did not get the support I required to move the setting forward. Ohhhhh and when I wanted to return after my maternity they made it very difficult for me indeed.

I agree with the comment made by Woodlands 1997, I feel that it is important that you trust your staff and there is no need of the use of CCTV to monitor staff at work.

 

We have regular staff meetings and staff have weekly meetings (one to ones) with their room leaders covering matters which have been addressed in the management meeting. They all have an opportunity to express their thoughts and views. Staff are praised and encouragement and support is given. I feel that since coming into the manager role since April, they have had no one to guide them and they have picked up 'lazy' sense of practice.

 

Part of me feels that some of the staff are not in the right profession ( I know that is not a nice thing to say). But they show no effort within practice.

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Just to clarify, the initial reason for the use of CCTV was to ensure security as we are quite a large setting and this enabled me or Deputy (whichever one was office based) to see all areas at the same time, including the front door. We don't use this to observe as regular practice but have used it as when we go in to observe then everything is fine, but we are aware that for some staff this is just for show, so to be able to spot little things remotely has helped them to understand that their practice is being monitored and they can't just turn up and talk the talk they also need to walk the walk. At the end of the day it is the children who matter and if some staff are not giving them the best they can and others are running around trying to do 100 things at once then this can have a major impact on the morale of enthusiastic staff.

All of us on here have faced these issues over the years but sometimes you do feel very alone and as if you have to do everything but we all know we will keep on and do more and more .... it is just who we are :1b

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Would giving them responsibility for certain areas help motivate them a bit more. One could be in charge of the craft area, one cooking etc. Maybe they are feeling undervalued in some way or they could just need a kick. Get one of them to be in charge of the new resources i.e looking after them, making sure they are put away correctly etc.

Unfortunately, we found drastic action made the others sit up and take notice that we meant business. I'm not advocating getting rid of someone just because but if it has been mentioned at meetings and appraisals then maybe that is what they need.

Planning - I don't know how you get them to be motivated. It took me a complete change of staff to start making it work!!

I hope some of that helps.

l am going through a complete change of staff now, how did you manage with parents

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l am going through a complete change of staff now, how did you manage with parents

Luckily I run a small pre-school that is committee led with a very strong chair woman. Most of my parents were on the committee so understood the problems I had been having so were all behind me when we made the staff changes.

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