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Explain why it is important to maintain effective communication within the nursery environment mentioning the barriers that may be experienced by some staff members
Maintaining effective communication? I believe that it is important to maintain effective communication as this is the channels in which the nursery will be run. Effective communication is a two way process which can be verbal or written. Managers must firstly know their staff and what type of communication works best for them, for example do they prefer a more direct approach or are they the sort of person who prefers a team briefing that allows them to communicate with other staff around them or do they prefer to have all the communication written down for them and then given a chance to write their reply.
Barriers to communication could be caused by the environment as it could be too noisy or too much information to take in at any one time as a person can loose concentration if they are being over loaded with info or the actual language being used is too hard to understand, keep it simple which again comes back to knowing your staff or audience. Also the time of day should be considered before communicating with staff as they may have their own appointments to keep or other personal business to attend to so they could become distracted with the time and not hear what is being said to them.
Noise within the nursery environment could also be a barrier as again if it is too noisy only partial communication may occur so the area in which the communication is to take place should also be considered.
Sometimes the office itself can be the barrier because if you as the manager do not make yourself available but instead hide away in the office for the majority of the day then this would not help.
Phones can also be a barrier as not everyone likes to talk on the phone but prefers a more personal approach but also things can be misheard on the phone. As well as these physical barriers there can be perceptual barriers too because you think the person doesn’t understand you before you even speak to them and that can come across in your body language as well. There are emotional barriers too which some people don’t like to speak out etc. As managers we must consider the cultural and language barriers as the society that we work and live in is much more culturally diverse than ever.
A barrier to communication is also the manager’s inability to actually listen as well!!!
To me the bottom line to effective communication is to know your staff on a personal level, know what makes them tick therefore you can adapt your style of communication to suit the individual staff member. Also to be approachable to your staff and to listen to verbal and non verbal communication
Discuss the importance of the appraisal process for staff and managers and how it can be carried out
The performance appraisal provides employees with the recognition of their work efforts. It shows that bosses are interested in the development of their staff and not just getting their ‘monies worth’ that it is more that just a job.
The appraisal process for staff and managers is a period of time out from the daily tasks of the running of the nursery in order to focus on work related activities and to correct any existing problems and encourage better performance.
Managers should make an appointment with the staff member at a time which suits both and there will be no distractions. A blank appraisal form should be issued to the staff member for them to complete and comment on how they have performed throughout the year, this is then discussed with the Manager.
The Manager and staff member will then discuss the information written on the form and what areas need to be improved upon and agree on what training is required. It’s also a good time to discuss any other outstanding issues not necessarily related to the appraisal itself.
When setting the goals, managers should be specific at what is to be achieved. The goals should be measured against what is to be achieved. Set a time frame in which to achieve the goal, make sure the time frame is realistic. The goals should also be relevant to the role in which the staff member is working. Make sure the goal that is being set has a purpose and not just for the sake of it.
It is best to carry this out on the anniversary of when the staff member has joined and then goals can be set for the coming year.
Managers should get behind the appraisal process and sell it to their staff.
Explain the disciplinary and grievance procedure, paying particular attention to how the manager should conduct the process
The policy documentation for this process should be made accessible for all staff. The processes are necessary to ensure that all staff are treated fairly and are protected.
If there are good procedures in place and good communication then the risk of tribunals are minimised.
If possible managers should try and resolve the issues first and a disciplinary and grievance procedure should be the last resort.
A letter should be issued to the employee at least 72 hours in advance of the meeting. Additional staff should be present in the meeting to take notes. Time should be given for an appeal if necessary. All records, emails, telephone calls should be kept in order to act as a reference and evidence to what steps the manager has taken to try and resolve the issue from the beginning.
A meeting should be set up to include additional staff for note taking. Managers should remain impartial and if necessary can call witnesses to strengthen the evidence. Enough time should be given in the meeting for the employee to put their case forward. Should new evidence come to light in the course of the meeting then it should be adjourned. When a decision is reached it should be given in writing and include information on the appeals process.
The outcomes from the meeting can be no action, warning or dismissal. There can be a verbal warning administered, a first written warning or a final written warning.
The informal grievance procedure should be displayed and available to all staff, to be honest early intervention limits the need for a disciplinary procedure.
Evaluate the recruitment and selection process making reference to policies nurseries are required to hold
The recruitment and selection process within the nursery setting is straight forward; vacancies should be advertised at the same time in various locations making sure under-represented groups within the community also have an equal chance of applying.
Completed applications should be scored by the manager and another person either the deputy or the new employees line manager this gives a fairer approach to the scoring process. It is then up to the manager how many persons should be interviewed. The scoring sheets should be kept a minimum of three months after the application process should any unsuccessful applicants contact the manager for feedback it also shows transparency in the process. All persons involved in this process should be equal opportunity trained prior to the commencement of the process again this is a fairer why to carry out the process.
Once the interviewing stage is completed and the new employee chosen then it is a good idea that prior to them starting they should be given a copy of the nursery policies and sign to say they have received them. They should also be made aware of the Health and Safety policy, fire safety and child protection issues and the policy on arrival and departure. It is important that they are made aware of whatever medication the children may be taking and what allergies they may have. This can be done in the staff induction morning and then they should spend the rest of their time shadowing a staff member who can show them the daily running of the nursery. This shadowing will ensure that the new employee sees first hand what is expected of them on a daily basis and what standards they are to achieve. I think this is a much better way of settling anyone in and they can take much more in during this “hands on” approach then they could just being told about it. It also gives the new employee a chance to ask questions which may not arise during interview.
- Barbara Gamble
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