"We drastically reduced administrative time across the board."

Krista Bordeleau
Owner & Director

5 Things You Need to do When Promoting Staff

February 24, 2022

Have you ever seen someone work hard to earn a promotion, only to struggle and fail in their new role? Unfortunately this phenomenon is more common than you might think.

Promoting from within your center can have huge benefits for both the employee and the center, but when done ineffectively it can backfire for one or both parties. Previously I addressed 4 pitfalls to avoid when promoting staff. Today I want to focus on the positives by talking about the things you can do to set your promoted employees up for success!

There are 5 main things to consider when setting promoted staff up for success:

1. Consider All Candidates

Any time a position opens up in your child care center it’s important to consider all candidates before making a decision. That means rather than only considering the most experienced candidates within your organization, look both within and outside your organization for someone that could fit the position best. There may be a less experienced staff member that you never considered before but who has the leadership skills for the job, or there may be someone outside your organization who has the necessary skills and are looking for a new opportunity.  You’ll never know unless you look, so examine all your options carefully to avoid promoting an employee who may be seeking a promotion for the wrong reasons

2. Choose the Person Who Wants the Job Not the Title

In a growing business, any time you hire for an important position it’s crucial to choose the right candidate for the role. Many candidates desire a promotion for the pay raise or the perceived status, but these are the wrong reasons to pursue promotion and will likely cause issues for both employer and employee if there aren’t other reasons the candidate is a good fit.  Choose the person who is not only the best qualified, but has the right attitude and is willing to take on responsibility and leadership in their new role. Then be sure to discuss with them what their new role will be, and the expectations that go with their new role. 

3. Communicate Expectations

It’s impossible to find the right candidate for a promotion if you don’t know what that role will entail. Be sure to create a detailed job description for each role you need to fill. Feel free to borrow from existing templates rather than reinvent the wheel. Once you have your job description, it’s just as important to communicate to your candidates the expectations that accompany the particular role. Sharing a comprehensive job description is a great way to make sure the role expectations are clear for each of your candidates, and also creates a great foundation for dealing with difficult staff situations down the road. 

4. Put It In Writing

Anytime there is a change in an employee’s role, responsibilities, or pay it’s important to document those changes in writing. Better yet, have the employee sign their agreement to the changes as well. At my center we used an offer letter when onboarding new staff which stated the title, expected hours, and pay. Each time anything changed we would update the offer letter and have the employee sign it. This was a great way to keep everything clear and up to date. 

5. Communicate With Team and Center Families

The last thing to do whether you promote staff within your center or hire someone new is to let your staffing team and the families in your center know. Normally I would do this via a monthly or weekly newsletter, but child care management software is also a great option for fast, simple, and secure communication with staff and families. Whatever your mode, be sure that everyone who needs to know about the role change is notified well in advance so that there are no surprises and everyone can adjust to the changes as smoothly as possible. 

Final Notes:

Considering employees for promotion can never be taken lightly. Promoting and being promoted are big deals and both play a huge role in the future of the employee and the business.There’s nothing worse than taking an effective employee and putting them in a situation where they stagnate or fail. Kris Murray, a childcare management expert and mentor, suggests having a career page on your website to show potential employees what each role in your center looks like. This can be a way to display how each role can be a step in a fulfilling career, rather than just a job. 

As your team looks to you for guidance in growing their role and career, it’s important to realize that as a director or childcare leader you have a big role to play in the success of your staff. By following these five tips to consider all candidates, find someone who wants the job, and communicate expectations to your candidates, you can help create a dynamic and successful promotion process that can be used again and again!

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