Ways to support new practitioners who join your team
Starting a new job can be a daunting and stressful time for a new employee, however this can be eased through a smooth transition into the setting. It is the responsibility of the nursery manager to ensure a new employee is supported and made fully aware of their role and responsibilities whilst working within the setting.
A smooth induction can be promoted through using a clear checklist to ensure the employee has had a variety of areas explained to them. They should be given a copy of their contract and a job description upon acceptance of the job. This will allow the new employee to fully understand their role and where they stand legally. The contract will outline working hours, rates of working pay and sick pay, holiday allowance and be signed by both the employee and employer. The job description will contain duties that the role includes and highlight what is expected from the employee.
During the induction process an employee should be made aware of any policies and procedures that are applicable to their job role, including safeguarding and whistle blowing procedures. The employee should also be introduced to important people within the building such as the designated safeguarding lead and the Senco. Health and safety information such as fire evacuation procedures must also be shared with the new employee, in order for them to work safely.
Using a buddy system
The employer may choose to use a buddy system with the new employee, pairing them up with a current employer for them to shadow. This can help the new employee to build relationships with other staff members and feel a valued member of the team. This tool can also help the employee to learn about the nursery routine, whilst having someone on hand to answer any questions.
Creating a mentor system
Some nurseries have room leaders and this can provide the new employee with a ‘mentor.’ The mentor can then support the employee in their day to day role, showing them how to complete learning and development paperwork for the children they may have as a key group. The room leader should support the new employee and carry out a supervision with them after their first couple of weeks. This allows the room leader to find out how the employee is getting on and provide some feedback.
Most new employees will be given a three month probation period when starting a new role. Information for a three month review should be gathered by the employer from the employee’s mentor or buddy. This information may include understanding and ability to complete duties and their relationship with children and parents. The review will then be held with the new employee to discuss the information gathered, opinions of the employee and, if necessary, set targets for the future.
The transition for a new employee should be fully supported by the employer, offering guidance and advice to further their development within the company.