Here are a few ideas that can be implemented to build community between staff members.
- Create teaching-team goals, in addition to goals for individual teachers to achieve.
- Explore quality improvement initiatives available in your region. Help each classroom evaluate their practices and identify new strategies to implement.
- Create goals for a grand total number of training hours completed each month or year.
- Recognize staff for the most family referrals as an example of a program-wide enrollment building goal.
Freedom of expression
- Establish an open-door policy to help employees feel safe sharing concerns.
- Include employees in the development/revision of the program’s vision and mission statements.
- Conduct mock exit interviews with staff members to uncover any issues that need to be addressed. This can be done through anonymous surveys to encourage honest feedback.
Address member concerns with sensitivity
- Sometimes, people just need to feel heard. Listen openly to employees and ask questions that prompt them to reflect on the situation at hand.
- Maintain confidentiality and put a stop to gossiping whenever it arises.
- Recognize when additional support may be needed to address concerns and present that information in a positive light.
Set clear policies and obligations
- Help staff understand the reasoning behind program policies.
- Encourage employees to work together to devise new policies and revise old ones when necessary.
- Charge your staff to come up with a code of conduct each year. These are the behaviors that everyone agrees to engage in throughout the year.
- Recognize the unique needs of staff members and work to address those needs in a private manner.
- Hold all staff accountable in an equitable manner.
Celebrate heritage and traditions
- Highlight a different staff member each month. Ask them to share experiences, perspectives, and cultural influences.
- Create staff traditions like original songs or dances that can be used as energizers or morale boosters.
- Reflect diversity in displays and materials available in the building.
Promote interactions among members
- Create a coaching or mentoring program for your staff.
- Empower staff members to take on part of new-employee orientation procedures.
- Allow for time to share ideas and interact during staff meetings and professional development events.
- Plan team building activities.
Elect leaders that stand by community values
- Delegate event planning to committees made up of staff members and when appropriate, families. Encourage staff to take on leadership roles within these committees.
- Identify an accreditation expert or curriculum planning pro that others can turn to for guidance.
Prioritize effective communication
- Encourage team members to generate their own solutions to problems that arise. Leaders may need to facilitate these conversations, but the solutions should come from the staff members.
- Ask employees who complete training to develop a summary of what they learned to share with the group at the next staff meeting.
- Help teachers prepare for family/teacher conferences by role-playing challenging conversations.
Make smart decisions
- Encourage team members to consult with their peers (and families, if appropriate) about proposed solutions before implementing them. This will help staff collect and consider the perspectives of others before moving forward.
- Help employees generate proactive strategies designed to prevent challenges before they arise.
- Assure that all decisions and solutions are aligned with the program’s philosophy and mission.
For the main article Community Building, CLICK HERE
For the article Characteristics of Positive Communities, CLICK HERE
For the article Building Community with Children, CLICK HERE
For the article Building Community with Families, CLICK HERE