When leading a team of people, much of your success lies in your ability to communicate effectively. Although there are many forms of communication, as a team leader, a very important part of your job is running staff meetings. Staff meetings are a great way to reinforce and inspire the culture that you desire in your team.
Leading a successful staff meeting isn’t as easy as you would think. Today we will look at topics that matter (as it pertains to child care), timing and frequency, meeting schedule and why food and fun are so important.
When preparing for your staff meeting, having an overarching topic can be a great way to excite your team ahead of time and also center your meeting and discussion. One particular school year many of our staff were new to the school, we had just had a director change and we had experienced a lot of turn over. This particular year I decided to layout my staff meetings around our staffing values. I thought this was a great way to bring the “culture” I wanted back into the school.
Check out our Staffing Values Below:
Centering our meeting topics around these nine values was the best decision I ever made. It was a great and easy way to pick meeting topics and I found I could work any other items into them as well as needed.
Overall, I suggest picking a meeting topic that addresses the individual. If you spend your time developing your team as individuals, you will not regret it. Focus and build their character, you will have a team that wants to go where you go for a lifetime.
Timing and frequency is pretty basic to what is suggested by most. I suggest meeting one per month as a center. Once per month is more than enough time to address any topics of importance, updates and also acknowledge any team members on a regular basis.
I also suggest breaking your team into smaller groups (2’s teachers, 3’s teachers, office staff, leadership team) and having those groups meet more frequently, every two weeks works well. Appoint one leader per group (this is a great leadership opportunity for your high performers) and have them lead the small group meetings. As a director, you can choose to attend these meetings or not. In my personal opinion, more fruit can often come from these smaller meetings than the larger ones.
People gather, relax and barriers are broken down when food enters into a room. During our staff meetings, I would always host our team for a small dinner meal. Feeding your team is a fun way to encourage them to connect. In the child care world especially, we are so busy, unless someone is in our classroom, we don’t have time to connect with them. Create this environment for your team and encourage connection and relationship with your team.
I mentioned above about having fun, but I will say it again, HAVE FUN WITH YOUR TEAM! It is so important to let loose and enjoy your team. If you, as the leader, are always serious your team will see that and will follow suit. After all, we are child care workers, we are trained in how to facilitate fun for others, why do we have such a hard time having fun ourselves?! Make sure to use every staff meeting as a time where your team can have fun together.
If you leave this blog with one take away, it would be to get together with your team on a regular basis. Coming together is super important! If you are strategic in how your team spends this time, you will be amazed to see the culture and dynamics start to shift. As leaders we have a huge responsibility, don’t take this lightly. Take the time, plan your meetings, connect and have fun with your team, and don’t forget to inspire them. After all, they have chosen to be on your team, don’t forget to lead them!