"We drastically reduced administrative time across the board."

Krista Bordeleau
Owner & Director

5 Signs Your Employee is Ready to be Promoted

November 25, 2020

No matter the size of your childcare or daycare center, there are always different roles requiring different responsibilities and strengths. Whether you are looking to grow, improve the quality and reputation of your business, or simply reduce your personal workload, you will need to choose candidates carefully for these different roles and responsibilities.

This will help ensure you get value from your hires, and avoid wasting valuable time, effort, and money hiring new staff when a previous hire doesn’t work out.

Although you will likely hire from outside into each one of your roles at some point in your career you may also have the opportunity to promote from within. One of the best times to promote from within is when a position opens up that is not at the entry-level and there are quality candidates within your center that qualify for such a promotion.

But why should you promote from within rather than sort through a pile of resumes from qualified candidates? If you’ve ever sorted through a pile of resumes, you may already have your answer, but A new study published in the Wall Street Journal shows another benefit of internal promotion: research shows that external hires often make 18% more money, while being 61% more likely to be fired from their new role than internally promoted employees.

In addition, internal hiring avoids orientation and training, while making it easier to maintain the culture you have fostered at your childcare center. Of course, knowing when someone is ready to be promoted and take on more responsibility is the key to success, and leveraging the advantage of being able to get to know your employees before choosing them for a role is the real advantage here.

Over the years I have both hired staff from outside our organization and promoted from within many times. In each of the circumstances, I have made good and bad choices. Today I’m going to focus on five signs that show an employee at your childcare center is ready for a promotion.

1. Upholds high standards

They have proven that they can do their current job and carry out it’s responsibilities to the highest standard. It is important to see that the staff member can do a lesser role well before knowing that they’re ready to move up the ladder. If they can’t manage the stress of their current role, or misuse the power or privileges in the role they have, these issues will likely only increase in a higher role.

2. Encompasses company DNA

Make sure that they are fully in tune with the culture, mindset and goals that you have built your center’s reputation around. The best thing about promoting from within is that you already have an idea who the person is and what they stand for.

It is important to protect the DNA and culture of your center and this is a great way to allow for continuity. Making sure that any staff you promote is a stellar example of the team culture you’re trying to build also avoids sending mixed messages to the rest of your staff and your clients as well.

3. Succeeds with additional responsibility

If you notice a team member that often takes care of their role without requiring help, and is willing to take on more than their current role entails, this is a sure sign of potential promotion material. A great way to see if they would be a good fit is to give them additional responsibilities which they would use in their new role, and see how they handle them.

Think of this as a test, do they handle additional responsibilities well? Do they complain when they have to do something slightly above their current role? If they are willing to pick up more responsibility successfully without complaining you know they are not only ready to be promoted but are a team player.

4. Is a team player

At my child care center I encouraged all my employees to be leaders, and it was very important to me that anyone who I promoted had good leadership qualities. Anyone in leadership needs to not only be able to have authority over others, and take on responsibility, but also be someone who is looking out for the best of the team and the center as a whole, not just worried about their own career or even just their own responsibilities within their current role.

Staff who are ready for promotion should show that they are willing to take on whatever is necessary for the benefit of the centre, and are willing to help out others while still successfully accomplishing their own tasks.

5. Is likeable

I know this may sound like a frill, but I have found it to be a very important trait in childcare. When I say ‘likeable’ I mean are they friendly with children and parents? Are they liked by the majority of the current staff and families at your child care center?

Of course, we all have different personalities and are not always going to be best friends with everyone, but if the majority of people in your center have an issue with an individual it should pose red flags when looking to promote them. Even if a staff member is capable and hardworking, if they struggle to get along with people, they may be better staying in their current role, as childcare is a very social business.

I should note, you don’t need to be an extrovert to be likeable, but many traits that lead to likability are assets in any management role, and this may prevent staff and enrollment turnover down the road as well.


Final notes

As you can see there are many benefits to promoting from within your childcare center(s) as you open new classrooms or fill new positions. It can be a great way to give employees the opportunity they deserve while limiting the time and money spent on training new employees.

As a child care leader, my personal goal is to always be preparing my team to be promoted. I always kept a list of about 5 to 6 people that I thought were ready or would be ready soon and tried to invest in them and their personal and professional growth as much as I could.

When you plan for growth by investing in your current staff you’ll be more than ready to take the risks you need to get your daycare or childcare center to the place you’ve always dreamed.

Childcare is a great business, with many opportunities and challenges. As childcare leaders, let's be people who invest in our teams, modeling to them how to invest in our children because they truly are the future!

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