Defining The Staff We Need

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					Defining The Staff We Need

SKILLS - Proficiency, facility, or dexterity that is acquired or developed through training or experience. A developed talent or ability. TRAITS – A distinguishing feature, as of a person’s character.



Quality staff have a good balance of skills and traits.

Personality Characteristics Of Staff
Gatekeepers -

Soul Searchers –

Activity Freaks –

Finding the right mix of staff for your program is important.

Creating Ads That Attract The Right People
Ads should use descriptive words that describe the qualities of the person you are looking for whether it be a Gatekeeper, Soul Searcher, or Activity Freak. Ads should also include words that describe qualities that each of your staff should possess such as punctuality, responsible, or dedicated. Using this approach will help you to attract the people who have the specific skills you are looking for.

General Punctual Good Hygiene Honest Self-motivated Responsible Mature Tolerant Flexible Dependable Accountable Accepting

Gatekeeper Organized Detail-oriented Prompt Computer Good writer Accounting Follows through Punctual Neat Orderly Careful

Soul Searcher Nurturing Loving Caring Child-centered Warm Compassionate Friendly Kind Sociable Gentle Amicable

Activity Freak Fun Resourceful Vibrant Creative Energetic Artistic Playful Active Musical Imaginative Ingenious

Additionally, think about what job titles will attract people to the advertisement.

Posting Ads And Looking For Staff

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Higher Education Institutions – Colleges, Universities, Community Colleges: Look for those students who are pursuing degrees in education, social services, child care, family & consumer science, youth services, or other related fields. Employment agencies both local (ESC) and online. Faith-based communities Community service organizations such as Rotary Club Newspapers – local, regional, statewide Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies Your staff members Families of children enrolled in your program Principals – If your program is located in a school, speak with teachers, guidance counselors, music teachers, art teachers, coaches, student aides, etc. about potential staff members Other ideas:

Consider volunteers to enhance your program.    College students Grandparents of children enrolled in program RSVP: The Retired Senior Volunteer Program connects volunteers that are 55 or over with service opportunities in their community. You can locate you local RSVP at Americorp: Other ideas:

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Expectations for volunteers should be the same as other employees.

Setting The “Unspoken” Stage of Professional Expectations

Remember that the interview, in many instances, is the first impression that the applicant has about your program. In order to attract the very best staff possible, you need to set the stage for expectations by providing an interview experience that:    Provides a professional atmosphere Makes the applicant feel welcome and valued Is organized and has a planned format

How do we provide a professional atmosphere?:

What makes the applicant feel welcome and valued?:

What is required to organize and plan for the interview?:

Interviewing Applicants
  Be sure to ask all applicants the same questions Write down answers to questions clearly, legibly and accurately

Sample ideas of interview questions:

After the interview, you may want to create a grid that lists each applicant, along with the major attributes and job requirements. Rate each applicant on a scale of 1-5 for each requirement/attribute. The applicant with the highest rating is probably your best candidate for the job. (Judith Lindenberger, The Lindenberger Group, 2006). DO NOT:    Ask applicants to bring photographs or take photographs of applicant Permit interruptions except for emergencies Ask any questions regarding the applicant’s age, race, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, marital status, physical impairments or disabilities. Ask questions about prior hospitalizations, prior psychological or psychiatric care, prescription medications, previous absences from work, health-related reasons that may prohibit the applicant from performing the job that they are applying for, and past treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism (Title I of the American with Disabilities Act)


Follow Up:  CHECK REFERENCES! – o All questions must be job related o Contact only those references listed on application o Be consistent in number and method of reference checks Call the applicant you want to offer the job to as soon as you are ready Notify other applicants that the vacancy has been filled

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Supporting New Staff

Lack of good orientation has been cited as one of the top reasons for staff turnover. Good staff orientation is critical to keeping good staff. Ways to provide good orientation can include: 1. Information packets given to new staff before their first day on the job might include: a. Family and staff handbooks b. Program brochure c. Job description d. Information on proper attire e. Expected arrival and departure times f. Name of person to report to upon arrival g. Directions to site and which door to enter h. Transportation and parking information i. Other:

2. Orientation at site on first day: a. Warm welcome b. Introductions to staff and key personnel c. Review job description d. Tour facility e. Set up mentor for new staff f. New staff greets children and parents 3. Set up date, time, location for 30 day review to allow for: a. New staff self assessment b. Discuss self assessment – strengths and challenges c. Q&A of their job responsibilities d. Set goals and develop plans to meet goals


Saying “Thank You”
Think of a mundane, routine, and utterly critical task done by each of your program employees. List these tasks here to remind yourself to acknowledge the importance of this work by saying thank you. Employee Task

A thank you should motivate. When you thank your employees, you will underline the importance of their work and your appreciation of their efforts if you follow these three guidelines:
1. Be specific about the behavior you are recognizing with your thanks. “Thank you for greeting family members as they come in to pick up their children. I know how tiring it gets at the end of the day, but I appreciate your positive approach to each family.” 2. Tell the employee why the behavior is important to you and the program/agency. “Your helpfulness and good nature keep our families feeling good about having their children in our program. Our program depends upon families staying with us throughout the year.” 3. Be immediate. Thank your employees on the spot, if possible. Waiting until a staff meeting may be too long. Say thank you at staff meetings too, but in addition to the spontaneous times. “Thank you for staying calm with that parent. I appreciate you working through the problem despite the parent’s aggressive behavior.”
Adapted by Ellen Clippinger, NOIST associate, from Donna Deeprose, American Management Associate

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