PART 1: BUILDING A TEAM
The first year starting a preschool business can be a great experience for many preschool operators. Most of the time, many started with a small number (comparatively), with minimal facilities. Though this is not applicable for all, it is still a common scenario for a new preschool.
Later, in the second and third year, a preschool will normally heads its way towards improvement and increment in the number of students. At this point of time, most preschool operators are adapting and coping with the changes.
Most of the time, they are ready for it. But, some are not. Managing a preschool with 15 students is different from managing 51 students. It begins from the daily flow, the operational matters including educational content and curriculum deliverables.
This is when a dedicated team to maintain the daily operation of a preschool or and educational institution is needed. This will enable any preschool operators to have ample time for monitoring.
Below are some practical steps:
- Prepare a clear ORGANISATION CHART
Organization chart is something ordinary but important.
Actually, it simply tells everyone about who should each of everyone go to talk to.
For example, teachers need to know whom should they talk to if they need more books. Simple, but important right?
- Write it out: Who is doing what?
This relates directly to the job scope. But the whole idea is to tell each of the team members about who should be responsible, and who should be accountable for.
When there is situation and issues, handling it can be very challenging. In most cases, anyone would just love to say ‘I don’t know’. Later, everybody will be investigating on who should be responsible rather than finding the right solutions. Usually, it leads to finding faults and blaming others.
A good working environment needs to be created in order to ensure everyone knows what to do, and what need to be done. Though it could be done through practice and routine, it is best to make things written and can be easily referred to.
Job scope and task description must be written down for easy reading and understanding. Job scope is not just another sentences to be kept in file. Walk the talk.
- Add in staff to do specific task and job
When we work in smaller team, we always have a person to do almost everything. Most of the time it will be ‘ME’.
Therefore, when there is a need to monitor more students, we need to delegate some specific task to be more efficient. The task will include payroll, recruiting and hiring, coaching and training, finance and purchasing and even cleaning.
The list could be more, but it also important to look at the budget on how many more administrative personnel need to be engaged.
By doing this, we are sharing more job opportunities with more people. The existing team members will understand that the growth of the team, gives a significant clue about their performance too.
Again, delegation needs to be done with responsibility. It means, when we have more team to be in charge of the monitoring process, we will need the expected output and deliverables must be met.
The difference between 15 students and 51 students must be taken into account. The additional of one outlet to 6 outlets need a tremendous change in the management team. Therefore, adding in more people in the team is an important consideration to be made.
- Prepare a ‘Visit Schedule’
A simple schedule needs to be prepared to ensure enough time to talk and discuss with the team leader of each operational team. Therefore, in a week, there are days allocated to be spent with certain contact hours with the team leader.
The time spent, will include coaching, observing and also ‘show and tell’ session to all team members of specific location and premise if necessary. ‘Show and tell’ is where we have to show how to do certain thing and tell them how to do it.
Well, the time spent on the road is even more compared to the time spent on coaching. Therefore, it is very important for us to plan the schedule, where to go and whom should we meet for the day.
We need to take the challenge to really show up as often as it needed.
“Real leader shows up”.
Text by : Noraminah Omar