When staff are clear about what they are required to know, think and do in their roles, they are more likely to continue on to become valuable employees.
Doing away with paperwork helps close the gap between best intentions and best practice in childcare centers. This was the topic of our recent webinar with processes expert, speaker and coach Beth Cannon, which focused on the creation of digital training manuals to replace bulky paper folders.
Beth is a self-proclaimed ‘processes improvement nerd’ who works alongside childcare centers in streamlining systems to ensure the back end is running smoothly, so that managers can focus on the most important part of any center: the people.
Throwing out that hefty folder
Beth recommends editing existing staff manuals, deleting whatever is not needed or out-of-date, and organizing the points into five categories: culture, connection, compensation, compliance and curriculum.
The manual is then transformed into modules – headed by each of these categories – which can be absorbed by the newcomer in their own time. Using media such as voice recordings or even TikTok videos, the online manual transforms into an asset for staff members, who are more likely to retain the information it contains. There is also less likelihood of details being missed by busy managers, who may forget to pass on important points.
This generation has been brought up in the digital age
This new generation of team members are hardwired to learn from online tools rather than textbooks, which is what makes the digitized systems in 1Place Childcare so valuable. Beth says that new staff are most likely to quit in the first 30-60 days, often because they don’t feel supported. Having systems digitized and making them as simple as possible to follow means staff can easily check they are doing the right thing.
This will help staff to feel more confident in their roles on a day-to-day basis and ensure that any slips or mistakes are flagged and taken care of. They may also be more satisfied with their employee experience, as according to a recent Ultimate Software survey, 92% of employees say that having the technology necessary to do their job efficiently affects their satisfaction at work.
Manual processes tend to mean that accuracy suffers
Meeting compliance is a key reason for going digital for many centers. Having all the paperwork ready for when the inspector calls means less stress and hassle for management. Being clear in what is needed for the center to comply, and ensuring all staff are on the same page around policies for licensing, allows everyone to have the peace of mind to get on with their jobs without worrying that something is being missed. 1Place’s free customizable checklists make this an easy process.
Digitizing systems can also mean real savings in terms of paper and printing costs. A paper-free workplace has the added benefit of being the more environmentally friendly option and can be a way to show that you walk the ‘green’ talk with your center’s children.
Focusing on the human element
Having these processes easily accessible and monitorable means managers can focus on their employees as people, ensuring they are happy and supported in their roles.
As Beth says, having a digital onboarding manual and using processes provided in 1Place Childcare means: “Your face time with them is not going over the rules, your face time is connecting to their hearts so they understand who you are.”