Make your staff meeting more valuable with these 10 tips
Staff meetings are not always the most popular of monthly events for practitioners to attend. Many practitioners will see them as extra work and not much fun or of use to them. However team meetings can be a great way to convey messages, build staff teams morale and develop knowledge. The most important way of ensuring staff meetings are valuable and effective is to involve the staff and make the meeting interactive. Here are some great ways to make team meetings more interesting and valuable.
Getting to know your team is important and helps build professional relationships. Practitioners that do not usually work in the same room or area of the nursery may click and work really well together if given the chance.
A staff quiz is a great way to get to know your team. Questions can include things like “who has worked here the longest?” and “who has a birthday in April?” Practitioners can be put into teams and compete against each other for a prize. As well as fun quizes about the staff or the building more knowledge based quizzes can be useful to highlight training needs and current levels of knowledge across current topics. There’s a great early years meeting quiz booklet available here
Divide your staff team into 4 teams and give each team a jigsaw to complete. The team will need to work together to complete the puzzle, however you will have swapped some pieces with the other teams in the room. Can each team successfully work together with the wider team to find the missing pieces to the puzzle.
This fun team building activity encourages staff members to problem solve and work together to create a structure using only newspaper. Provide each team with plenty of newspaper, cellotape, string and scissors then explain to them that they must create the tallest tower using only the resources provided. Set a time limit and use prizes for the winning team.
2 truths and a lie
This game is a great way to build communication between a team. Each member of staff will take it in turns to tell two truths about themselves and one lie, the other practitioners must then work out which one statement is the lie. This game can help practitioners get to know one another and add some humour to the meeting to break the ice.
Team meetings are a great opportunity to boost team morale and celebrate brilliant your practitioners are. Due to the day to day running of a nursery being so busy and hands on, managers can at times forget to praise staff. Here are 3 easy ways to boost confidence and self esteem at a team meeting.
Practitioner of the month
Practitioner of the month can be used to build confidence and self esteem with practitioners. The whole team will be given the chance to vote for their ‘practitioner of the month’, giving their reasons on some small pieces of paper that can then be counted. The practitioner with the most votes will then become practitioner of the month and perhaps win a prize such as a voucher or some flowers.
This is a great way to boost the self esteem of the whole team. The names of all of the practitioners will be written down and put into a pot. Each member of staff then chooses a name out of the pot and has to say something positive about that person. This can build confidence and support practitioners in recognising their strengths.
Circle time is often seen in rooms with the children as a way of building conversations and developing communication, this can also apply for the staff team. Sitting in a large circle enables all of the practitioners to see one another and give their full attention. It is a good interactive idea to go round the circle and ask each practitioners opinions at the beginning or end of a staff meeting. You could ask the team to name one positive thing that they have done this week and something they want to improve on or work towards next time.
Staff meetings will usually involve talking about the general practice in the setting; however this is more likely to be taken on board if the manager gets the practitioners involved and creates some hands on activities for them to complete. Here are 3 ideas on building practice in your staff meeting.
Case studies can be very useful in developing knowledge and giving practitioners a real life scenario to think about. The team can be divided into teams and given a case study to look at, these only need to be a few lines each and kept simple. Each case study will be a made up scenario involving a child, and will either talk about some marks on the child, behaviour they have displayed, a disclosure they have made or something about their relationship with a parent, a practitioner or another child. It is then down to the teams to discuss if they would have a concern about the child and what course of action they would take.
Some practitioners can find it difficult to think of next steps following the children’s interests and need support in setting up activities; this staff meeting activity can support initiative and develop practice. Members of staff can be divided into teams and given a box of simple resources such as paint, paper and lego. It is then down to the team to create an activity idea based around the resources in their box. This idea of sharing good practice will support the staff team and promote overall good practice.
Whole team planning
Planning for celebrations or festivals will often happen within each room however staff meetings are a great time to share practice and ideas as a whole. Team meetings give the opportunity to build on your own ideas and develop fun activities on a larger scale within the setting.