Masterclass Recap: Staff Strategies Q&A

This year’s THRIVE Masterclass superstars, Kathy Ligon and Kathe Petchel, came together once again for another information-packed webinar tackling staff strategies, but this time YOU picked the topics. We received loads of great questions from childcare owners and directors across the country—so many that we were unable to tackle them all in our hour-long masterclass! But do not despair, we will be answering each and every one of your questions, either directly or via a dedicated Q&A blog to be posted soon.

Kathy and Kathe launched the webinar by sharing key takeaways from each of this year’s THRIVE Masterclasses. From Kathy Ligon’s Controlling Labor Costs in a Demanding World to Kathe Petchel’s Guide to Full Enrollment, there were a ton of takeaways to share. Here are the highlights:

Kathy Ligon shared three things for owners to consider for managing staffing costs: 1 - Have a tool that will show you children’s schedules so that you can create a logical staff schedule. 2 - Management by walking around. Ask yourself, are we at a ratio where I can send somebody home? Do I need another team member here? And don’t ignore the power of saving the 15 minutes of salary at the end of the day. 3 - Engage your team in knowing what the ratio should be and when one of them is allowed to leave because they’re under the ratio. Train and engage your team on this!

Kathe Petchel’s hiring strategies included great nuggets like, “Build your bench!” and “Cast a wide net!” But how do you cast your net wide enough to attract quality candidates? Kathe believes in posting to a wide-variety of platforms like Indeed, Newton and Handshake. She also believes in updating job postings by changing the languaging. Adjusting job headlines can help engage different candidates. For instance, some may respond to words like ‘energetic’ while others will respond to phrases like ‘make a difference with children.’ It’s important to include languaging that reflects your core values.

Another great Kathe takeaway? Vet like crazy! From the very first phone interview to an initial interview to a group interview with staff to a tryout day, you want to make sure the people you bring into your team have been properly vetted.

Want to hear more takeaways from this year’s webinar series as well as answers to your sent-in questions? Then watch our Masterclass recording!

Here are the time marks for each question:

28:25 - How should owners operating in states with minimum wage increases incorporate these changes?

36:35 – Is there a formula for setting tuition rates? 

41:23 – What Christmas bonus amount will be meaningful enough to improve retention?

46:20 – What systems do successful centers use to determine a salary scale that works to give teachers and other staff regular increases without breaking the budget? 

51:45 – What are most childcare centers doing about health insurance?

56:15 – I am having obtaining quality staff. Please share some trends.

Join us next year for a full series on Succession Planning: What You Need to Do For Your Future, Today. We will release our 2019 THRIVE Masterclass schedule on the website soon so stay tuned!

Meredith Martin