Daycare center staff gossip is not your friend …
As a daycare provider you want to have smooth sailing as much as possible. With all the responsibilities and hats you have to wear, you don’t want to be taking care of gossip. However, situations with daycare center staff gossip come up.
And whether it’s something large or small, owners can witness their staff getting derailed by a bit of chit-chat and gossip about fellow employees. It can cut down on productivity and decrease trust between staff, and the overall morale. There can even be situations that arise with staff chatting a bit too openly with parents about other parents or kids’ behavior.
Needless to say, this isn’t exactly helpful in creating a trusting and welcoming atmosphere at your daycare center. That’s why today we’re looking into all the ways to prevent daycare center staff gossip. If you’re already in the middle of a problem, don’t worry. We’ll help with that, too.
Don’t let daycare center staff gossip fester: face it head-on!
If gossip is left unchecked it can add up to really hurt feelings and frayed tempers. That’s why you want to nip this in the bud.
In addition to making it clear during staff orientation that malicious or scandalous gossip or criticism won’t be tolerated, you want to make it clear in meetings, too.
If things are getting snippy, call a meeting in your office and bring up the subject directly. Does somebody have an issue with someone else and it’s creating a chain-reaction of gossip and bad feelings? What is the background of the issue and can you help? Get it out in the open and deal with it. If the gossip persists, make it clear that a dismissal (being fired) may result.
Some small talk is fine — but trash talk isn’t …
Small talk and jokes are a natural part of the work day. A good daycare prides itself on meaningful relationships: staff developing rapport with each other, and healthy relationships with parents.
However, if those relationships are made on the basis of criticizing someone else behind their back, that means it’s gone too far. As an owner you don’t need to micromanage, but you do need to set down and enforce clear boundaries of acceptable behavior. Every workplace has a culture – make yours open and accepting.
Encourage employees to support each other instead
Of course staff are going to want to voice concerns but make sure they know what the right process for that is.
Sometimes this can be due to dissatisfaction with their workplace. In that case, think about what you can do long-term and short-term. It’s important to resolve the issue or at least start resolving it as soon as possible.
If these problems occur due to lower wages or lack of the personal touch, consider throwing a party or gifting the staff for successes. Of course, bonuses always work but if those are not necessary in your case, the personal touch is the way to go since it motivates staff by encouraging a healthy, friendly atmosphere.
Allocating funds for that can be a problem so make use of Hopping In and get more customers by allowing parents to drop and re-book spots in your daycare. It’s easy, you don’t need to put in more work, and you can easily get parents on board by telling them that they will get a partial refund for every spot they drop in-app.
Staff gossip is a nasty thing and causes problems but in a lot of cases, it can be stopped before it escalates. Make sure you know what the real problem is and what you can do to help.
After all, we’re all in this together and just like we encourage the kids to be more polite, we should do the same.
Author: Hopping In Blog
Sholom Strick is an expert on the business of running daycare centers and founder of Hopping In, a tool that helps childcare centers and family daycare providers fill unused spots.
To contact him or for media inquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org