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Staff Meeting ~ Done It Now


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for the ones of you that have read my other post ' what a wake up call', you will know i am holding an 'urgent' staff meeting tommorow.

I know the issues i need to tackle (lack of team work, bitching, not following procedures, no respect etc) but i really want the staff to think for themselves too. so i was thinking of asking the staff a couple of questions.

these may be:


: Tell me one way you work as a team member in this nursery (ie what do you do to make the team work well)


: Tell me one way you do not work well as a team member


: What does the word respect mean to you


: why do we have policies and procedures.


I was going to ask all staff to write their answers then place them in a tin, so i draw them out annonomously therefor no one knows who wrote what. answers will be written on flip chart and discussed. I just think it will get staff to think a little about themselves and there approaches to work.


any other questions i can ask them, that will maybe get them thinking about thier thoughts on team work, respect and good practice in the nursery.


any help really appreciated



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always find some good questions are


write down one positive comment about the staff team you work with, always helps to put a positive spin on bitchiness


How would you feel if you where a child attending this setting?


What qualities do you possess that make you an assett to the staff team ?

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My initial thoughts are that maybe your questions are a bit personalised, maybe ask:


What makes a good team member?


Policies and Practice question maybe a bit too broad, could you be more specific to a few particular policies: ones that address current issues.


What ways can staff put ................policy into practice, (write - not actions but attitudes ie: Health and safety, not the 'practice' of using rubber gloves but attitude towards safety of self and others)


Maybe you could as a team devise a code of conduct, a bit like 'ground rules' that are set, agreed expectations of each other, you could start with a few like

respect each others opinions

listen and actually 'hear' what others are saying

offer constructive critisism with respect, accept constructive critisism with gratitude ( discuss what 'constructive' actually means)


When setting ground rules / code of conduct, discuss and agree sanctions / consequences if they are broken.


also a question on confidentiality what it actually means in practice and staff grievances procedures ( including how backbiting and gossip is unprofessional and won't gain respect or get the complaint/grievance sorted)


If you really want to 'push the boat out' so to speak, a discussion on how staff have a responsibility to 'challenge' each other innapropriatte behaviour, and ways to manage this as individuals.


Keep it on a 'mature' level, if comments refer to specific gripes, steer the conversation off this ( we can talk about that later ( state when)- directed at individual - and note appointment ) and get discussion more in general on developing mature attitudes.


The tone that you start the meeting willimpact on the tone that follows. :o


just another thought have you seen the Common core skills? Maybe as a follow-up training meeting discuss these ( if you haven't seen them shout and I will post a copy) I did this with my team and it proved very useful.


Good luck :D



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Dawn, as this is an extra emergency meeting would it be a good idea to say what you need to -short, sweet and forceful and then tackle the other points at a later date to back up what you say?


I would be worried that by throwing this open to the floor at this time that you will run out of time and fail to make your point forcefully enough.


Hope all goes well.

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Good point Susan. We did a lot of work on Team Work etc, and it took a whole afternoon, and then a 1 1/2 hour follow up. It is SO important that you don't want to rush it or be tokenist with it - which you will in a short staff meeting.


I think you are right to address the issues at hand, otherwise you risk beating around the bush - and several staff will miss the point of the meeting. You need to be very clear about the issues you want to address.


Peggy - do you have any advice on staff taking responsibility for challenging one another's inappropriate behaviour? We have talked about this several times, and staff really want to give it a go, but they just can't bring themselves to do it. We've talked about strategies, but becuase they've never been expected to do it before, or never done it - they struggle?

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I once worked in a school where this issue was focused around the roles and responsibilities of all , so we devised an agreed "code of behaviour" under the heading "The (insert name of setting) adult" and also developed one called "The .................Child" These outlined what kinds of behaviours were expected from everyone in the place. They started with a lot of brainstorming about what we expected from each other, what children expected from us, what parents etc expected from us and what we expected of ourselves.


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so i did my staff meeting, i marked on paper what the staff felt should be happening in nursery (we discussed it together), then i got out a sheet i had already written on which said HOW things were in nursery at present. ~ believe me the two sheets differed.


I told staff that the reality was that in nursery:


: there was not a professional atmosphere

: policies and procedures were not being followed

: staff were not happy

: communication between others was appauling

: there was a clear lack of respect on many levels.


no one disagreed with what i said, we all agreed a way forward and have together developed a code of conduct.


staff were totally in shock at what i had to say, but when they had seen it all in front of them they could also see the issues, so it seems (fingers crossed) i have made them all open their eyes.


I feel so much better, and it was clear i got at least three staff thinking as they all came into the office to talk to me afterwards.


so we will see how things go, staff know i mean business now and if things don't improve i will go down the disciplinarary procedure pathway if needed.


thanks for your advice everyone



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I seem to have missed all this, sorry! Have had pressing issues with my Dad, but glad to see you've been well looked after!


Well done you! - It's so hard to address these sorts of issues, I have great respect for you!



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Wow, sounds like you really did well there - well done! It's not easy is it! But you've created something extremely positive out of a bad situation which is good management - constructive criticism!!


More alcohol deserved this weekend I think - have a good rest and go in on Monday to some fresh thinking and an improved way of working. :)

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Well done Dawn .Staffing issues are always the hardest to deal with.I have been in your position and know

how lonely it can feel! You seem to have coped very well with this challenge.Next time it won't seem as difficult.Have a relaxing weekend and draw comfort from all the good advice and encouragement you have received here.

Well done.



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Well done Dawn when you get your staff organised things go so much easier. Have had many problems in the past. Good luck and hope it continues done a good road


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:o Well done Dawn. It take great courage and determination to do what you did today. You should be proud it all turned out so well. Hopefully it's all on the up for you. I've learn a lot from reading these post, so thank you for sharing your experience Dawn, and to all for the valuable ideas. Cheers
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Well done Dawn, particularly took note in your explanation the impact for the staff when seeing 'attitudinal behaviour' written in black and white. In this instance the 'visual' is so much stronger than the word.


Hopefully changes will happen, jump on any chance to praise individuals who you see improvements from. :D ( Which I know you will anyway :o )




Shelly, well you are half way there because this is a skill that the staff have identified they are ready to develop. :D

I started by discussing scenario's with the staff of 'challenging parents' ( this made it less personal toward each other) we discussed how the word 'challenge' is not very useful as it appears aggresive, then we role played ( not actual acting) one staff being a parent another as staff challenging a parent making a predjudiced remark. We discussed seeing the issue from

the parents point of view,

seeing it from policy point of view,

Our feelings about the issue and how this impacts on how we may address it

if it should be challenged

when it should be challenged

Where it should be challenged

How it should be challenged ( non threatening, factual, reasoning)

what happens next. ( ie: recording incident, support for person challenging and person who has been challenged)

talked about trusting each other, respecting each others views etc


Then we talked about how we would feel about constructive critisism within the team, the discussion was similar to dealing with a parent. Staff were able to voice their fears, some stated lack of confidence and others then stepped in to say they would support them, it was wholly agreed that 'practice would improve the skills and that they shouldn't always leave difficult situations to management but could ask for help in dealing with situations themselves, also all staff said that the discussions also helped them to recognise that it would be beneficial to try harder to praise and value each other a bit more often too. :D and to ask each other for support when needed a bit more often. As a team they acknowledged each others strengths and areas to develop, it was a good feel factor meeting for what is a difficult topic.

I concluded by thanking them all for their maturity and professional attitudes.


Follow up is important, to be aware of incidences where staff could have given constructive critisism, or did not address an issue with another member of staff, to mentor each individual into practicing the skills. I am a small group so I mentored the staff, maybe in a larger setting this is where a 'buddy' system could be useful.

Good luck.



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