As a leader within your own nursery’s team, you are the main point of call when it comes to your staff’s goals and overall happiness with their position. But what steps are you taking to prioritise your own career and wellbeing? We explore tools and strategies to help you along the way.
What you’ll find in this article
Solutions to common stressors
What tools do you have in your tool box to help you ease your ongoing tasks? Here are a few ways adding nursery software to yours works to help reduce your common stressors.
Meeting targets: Reducing your data analysis and reporting stress
Just like anyone in your own team, you have been hired to perform a task. What most likely weighs on your shoulders are the unending challenges to meet targets. Targets that seemingly get more difficult with changes in Government policies and tightening budgets. When it comes time to report your nursery setting’s performance, how do you make it easier on yourself?
Quickly compiling accurate reports to present is made enormously easier with Blossom’s nursery software. Why spend hours manually analysing numbers when software can do it for you in minutes? And without the risk of human error. Whether it’s knowing immediately the status of your starters and leavers, revenue reports by month, your enquiry conversion rate, or your forecasted fees for the next year. Blossom’s nursery software equips you with this vital information instantly.
Conflict management within nursery settings
Unfortunately, as with running any team, conflict will inevitably arise. And it may not be your favourite part of the position (and no one can blame you) but it’s an essential role you play. Avoiding conflict can become a major stressor for you. Not only does it create an unpleasant culture within your team, but it can begin to affect the quality of the work performed at your setting if not resolved properly.
So what can you do? Put measures in place to prevent conflict arising in the first place, or at least to minimise it. What is your setting’s policy for dealing with internal conflict? Perhaps it needs to undergo an audit.
It’s also essential that you identify the source. By getting to the root cause of the issue, you avoid a ‘band-aid’ approach. And remember that one of the main causes of conflict boils down to miscommunication. Having tools in place like nursery software that support smooth and clear staff communication across your setting works to be an enormous aid in this regard.
Recruiting and retaining your team
Nursery staff recruitment and retention are on every manager’s mind. It’s important that you take a look at what’s working, and what’s hindering your progress. Blossom’s nursery software supports you with your mission with some of the best ways to recruit and retain incredible nursery staff, including:
Remember to keep in mind that, as with any position, the job at your nursery holds intrinsic (psychological rewards) and extrinsic (tangible rewards) motivators. So you may be able to offer excellent working conditions and opportunities for CPD (extrinsic motivators) and uphold phenomenal feedback on jobs well done (intrinsic motivator) at your unique setting. The point is to take a look at what you can offer that will keep your team motivated and happy in their position- ultimately to increase your own motivation and fulfilment.
CPD opportunities for nursery managers
You may be well aware of the importance of continued professional development within your team, but have you considered it recently for yourself? Let’s take a look at what options you have available.
Next level courses and qualifications
You will already have a few qualifications under your belt, however continued professional development is essential to help you keep on top of the industry’s latest requirements as well as strengthen your individual soft skills to make you a prized manager. No matter which setting you lead.
You may be interested to explore the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for the Children & Young People’s Workforce. This will help you with a range of responsibilities such as policy and procedure development, championing inclusion and diversity in your team and curriculum, plus many others.
Blossom’s Staff Profile helps you to keep track of all employees’ qualifications, including yours. Helping you to spot who and when may need further development in certain areas. This is also useful for succession planning, or for promoting a Deputy Manager, to support you in your own role.
Alternatively there are a variety of short courses in soft skills for leadership and management development offered at a number of universities just a Google search away. Which have been designed for working professionals in mind to equip them with strategies for effective leadership. Covering topics such as time management, conflict resolution, proper communication, and mentorship.
Coaches and mentors available to you
While you will have many people looking to you for coaching and mentorship, it’s important that you yourself have leaders available to you to whom you can reach out for guidance. If this is a missing piece in your working life, consider what options you have available to you.
A previous boss at a nursery? A retired manager open to coffee chats? Joining or starting a forum on social media? The Operational Manager at your setting who’s been in your shoes? Speaking to someone with personal experience and advice on what to do- and what not to – should not be underestimated.
Big plans for sector as Blossom Educational teams up with KidsKonnect
We acknowledge ourselves the importance of continuing our own professional development and seeking the advice of coaches and mentors to become the largest nursery software provider in Europe. And that’s just what we’ve done. Blossom Educational is over the moon to announce that we’ve joined forces with another nursery software industry leader, KidsKonnect. The expertise of these two companies teaming up is sure to pave the way for nursery software that prioritises the needs of managers, staff, and of course, Early Years children.
Signs you probably need a break
Everyone needs a break. And more than a KitKat. In fact studies have shown that taking breaks improves mental function, productivity and works to reduce stress. Here are some signs- with strategies to support you.
Changes in mood, motivation and health
You are human. You get sick. You endure family issues. And sometimes, you fall down. We’ve seen reports of the mental health struggles that weigh on managers during Ofsted inspections and dealing with the recruitment crisis. If you are finding that for a long period of time you are facing obstacles of mood swings, physical and mental health struggles, and poor motivation, it may be time for a break.
And by setting up your nursery to operate smoothly in your absence, you can enjoy your down time easily. Blossom’s Staff Leave feature allows you to organise who is on leave, when and for how long. Including yourself, to ensure that you get the break you need, without overworking any staff on duty.
Managing time off work: Easing work schedules (including your own)
It’s essential that you put measures in place to ease your work schedule. To create an achievable daily working schedule that prevents burnout from occurring in the first place. Managing staff rotas on multiple Google/ Microsoft spreadsheets most likely contributes towards your feeling more pressured and stressed.
And may even prevent you from optimising organisation to help you spot when’s the best time to take a break. Blossom’s Staff Rota works to support you with this by creating digital, team-accessible schedules nursery wide. Ensuring that it’s ‘business as usual’ while you’re on leave. And you can return, refreshed and ready.