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Handling Staff Poor Performance



Hey everybody! This is your coach, Andrea Dickerson. Welcome back to the IOwnADaycare blog. For the next four consecutive blogs, you’re going to discover a united theme. Our theme for these four consecutive blogs will be about the most common mistakes that childcare business owners make when documenting their employee performance and how to better manage your employees.

For today’s blog post, I want to talk to you about a real question. Ask yourself, are you ready to conduct employee performance reviews? I believe that it’s so necessary for you to get tools and give yourself the confidence you need to tackle every step of performance appraisals and processes the right way, correctly, every time. If you are a childcare business owner, and you can honestly say you’re inconsistent in that you do not have it on your yearly calendar for documented employee performances, then admit today that you need to get help. Conducting effective performance reviews, recognizing your staff’s achievements, correcting poor performance and management reactions, requires knowledge and information to help you execute while retaining staff.

Number One Mistake

The first discovery that I want you to learn from is our number one mistake that childcare business owners around the world are making. This number one mistake is surprises. No employee should be surprised when he or she is terminated or disciplined due to poor performance. We spend lots of our days during the new hire 90-day process with progressive coaching. However, one of the main issues with progressive coaching is that there’s no  one documentation or giving them the understanding of what happens next to this corrective action.

If you are like me, and you have dealt with years of turnover in staff, then let’s get clear about why they’re leaving. If staff members are leaving due to offense, due to feeling as if they cannot do the work that you’re requiring of them, then you must ask yourself why are they so surprised that I have a standard for excellence? It is all too often that we find that scenarios go like this. Most childcare business owners see when there’s something going on in the classroom. They approach the staff, talk to them about their error, and observe for the correction to be created or made.

In this scenario, what went wrong? Initially, staff weren’t aware that they were being observed. Of course, there are times when you observe your staff members without their agreement. There must be times when they recognize through your disciplinary process, or your progressive coaching process, that observations happen to them, how often they happen, and what to expect. When you train your team that they are being observed, watched, and their performance is documented based on what you observe and watch, it gives them the mind to perform on another level. They understand that this is a part of your job, which is to observe and watch.

Scenario two

Let’s check out another scenario that has nothing to do with childcare, but yet the formula remains the same. There was a manager named Andrea. The manager put Betty on a super-secret probation for the past year but never tells her about it. Finally, the Manager decides enough is enough and wants Betty terminated. When the Human Resources manager reviews her personnel file before signing off, Betty’s performance actually looks pretty good. The Human Resources manager asks the manager why the file doesn’t reflect her true opinion. She says, “Well, she’s sensitive, and I don’t want to hurt her feelings.” The resulting ambiguous documentation doesn’t put the employee on notice, but it gives Betty reason to question the real reason she’s being fired, discrimination perhaps.

Have you ever had that happen to you? Staff members don’t understand why you keep asking them to do their job right over and over again. They’re not getting the clarity from you that this is a job oversight that could cause termination. Make sure that there are no surprises when it comes to your team understanding your performance reviews, how you recognize them for achievements, your thoughts and ideas for correcting poor performance, and any management reactions through your policies and procedures.

Here’s your tip

Make sure that you document what you observe and be very direct. Include any specific expectations and the reasons why the employee says she’s not meeting those expectations. Keep a simple performance log for each worker. Be sure to add your performance dates and times to a calendar. Include your performance dates and times of observation to the employee so they’re aware and not surprised. Be sure that you jot down ongoing notes on performance, whether they are good or bad.

If you believe that you’re ready to up your game and discover more about shifting your employment, processes, and procedures to the next level, then you definitely want to become a part of my 16-week JumpStart Academy program. Together, we’ll work month after month, until the end of your coaching sessions with me, to help you create your performance standards and reviews, your systematic processes and procedures, and keeping your business respected and regarded on a professional level with your team.

To join us, sign up now for a 15-minute consultation where I’ll give you a call, personally, and we’ll speak in reference to my coaching style and your desire to learn more about shifting your staffing policies and procedures to the next level. Click here.

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