How to Hold Your Teachers Accountable and Lead with Confidence

As child care businesses continue to struggle to find teachers due to the hiring crisis that is happening across America, many ECE leaders are left feeling forced to keep their D-players on their payroll out of fear that they won’t be able to find a replacement for them. Some of these D-players are performing so poorly that they aren’t even keeping their classrooms compliant, potentially creating a very high-risk situation for their school and the families and children that they serve. While you may be eagerly anticipating a day where you can pull the trigger and fire your D-players, have you ever stopped to think about why they may be performing so poorly?

As a leader, it is your job to discover the root cause behind the issue that you are having with your staff member and create a plan of action to try to correct their poor performance and behavior. In this YouTube video, I will walk through the three most likely reasons behind employee performance issues, what you can do as a leader to salvage what you can of your D-players, and how to keep your A and B players performing at a high level.

Key takeaways from this video:

  • When having an honest and open conversation with employees that are performing poorly, start off by explaining the “why” behind the conversation – if they are continually putting your school at risk, then you won’t be able to continue to make a difference in the lives and children and families – and then hold them accountable for their actions and put them on a performance improvement plan. 

  • When an employee is performing poorly, it’s typically because of one of three reasons…

    1. It’s a policy training issue – You need to go back and retrain them properly and figure out a way to make their training stick. 
    2. It’s a policy issue – Your policies don’t support the outcomes that you are expecting, so you need to update your policies and then enforce them.
    3. It’s a leadership issue – You need to take time to reflect on yourself as a leader. Do you enable this type of behavior, allow gossip and negativity to spread, brush poor performance and issues under the rug, or favor certain employees over others?

  • Even though you are busy working with your D-players, don’t forget to give attention to your A and B-players as well. Give core value shoutouts to them and let them know that you notice their good work so they are encouraged to keep performing at a high level. The more that you continue to lay out the specificity of what are the rockstar qualities that you are looking for within an employee, the more your employees will want to and start exhibiting them.

  • When placing an employee on a performance improvement plan, be clear with your expectations and ask them how you, as their leader, can help support them to meet your expectations.

    When having difficult conversations with your employees, use a leadership-level communication style – lead confidently with empathy.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Child Care Success Academy or how working with our team can be of service to your child care business, we invite you to schedule a free 45-minute Coaching Call with one of our Coaches!

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