“A successful director is in many ways like a winning coach,” writes Pam Schiller in Developing People in Early Childhood Organizations (part of the Exchange Art of Leadership series). Schiller suggests using the following strategies to create a staff where “the whole team benefits and each individual player is able to blossom to full potential.”
"1. Be a Good Scout
Building a winning team begins with the selection of the players…Make a list of attributes you expect to find in an employee and stay committed to not settling for less…Hire people who are versatile…Ask yourself if the candidate fits into the existing team…
2. Let Orientation Be Your Warm Up
Start with the end in mind…Employees should not have to find out about a rule by breaking it…In addition to rules and responsibilities, discuss personnel policies…
3. Offer a Training Camp
Training is critical to maintaining the team in body, mind, and spirit…Assign new team members mentors…Be sure to think of ways to reward your mentors…Make training accessible and fun…
4. Get Your Signals Straight
Communication is key to the game…Establish regular and frequent communication…Provide team members appropriate support for communicating effectively with parents…
5. Use a Visible Scoreboard
Highlight each team member’s personal and professional accomplishments…Recognize longevity and loyalty with a progression of awards…
6. Consult the Team
Involve staff in the decision-making process of the center…Involve staff in setting policy
7. Stay Focused
Coaching is continuous…
8. Remember the Seventh-Inning Stretch
Recognize the social needs of the team…Plan for staff socials in recognition of birthdays, holidays…
9. Be a Model
Be a model of behavior you expect from the team…
10. Create Raving Fans
Who are your fans? The children and families you serve…"
in Early Childhood Organizations
Art of Leadership: Developing People in Early Childhood Organizations offers practical advice from leading experts in our field on selecting, training, and appraising staff, as well as promoting teamwork among staff members.
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