Great leaders know the key to creating a positive workplace culture is to build positive personal relationships with their staff. To do this, they will show interest in their team members personally, learn about their likes & dislikes, find ways for them to use their strengths on the job, and publicly recognize them for all their contributions.
Featuring your staff members on social media (or in school newsletters) is a great way to build relationships with your team members AND boost the morale of the featured person(s) in the process.
It builds the relationship because when you publicly recognize your staff members, it sends them the message that you are proud to have them on your team, that you value them, and you want the world to know about them. It conveys that you CARE about them, which is the single most important factor to a positive workplace culture.
When you are sure to do this for your whole team by rotating them through a planned cycle (to make sure you don’t miss anyone), eventually everyone gets to experience those warm fuzzy feelings of pride and acceptance. You end up contributing to your relationships with everyone through these “social media shout-outs.”
Celebrating your staff on social media also indirectly helps your team build bonds with each other. They get to learn about each other and follow the model of respect and pride that you establish. As a leader, you set the tone for how staff view each other.
Featuring your team in this way helps your families and the community get to know your team, as well. Most centers have multiple classrooms with multiple teachers and floaters. If parents only have children in one or two class rooms, they usually don’t have the chance to get to know every staff person in the building, yet they see them or pass them in the hallway on a daily basis. Featuring little tidbits about your team members can help to build that sense of community at your center, allowing families tofeellike they KNOW everyone who works at your center, thus increasing your TRUST factor.
There are a number of ways to publicly recognize your awesome team on social media. Here are a few ideas:
1. “All about me” posts– Help your audience get to know your staff members. The post doesn’t require any grandiose action or achievement on the part of the employee. It is simply to tell the world about the best qualities of this person and convey that you are proud they are on your team. These can be silly or serious.
2. Show off their expertise– Feature them doing something they are really good at or passionate about. Do you have a teacher that heads up gardening with the children? Or music lessons? Make sure to “brag” about them and how they are benefitting the kiddos.
3. Life celebrations/accomplishments– Has one of your staff members just finished college, won an award, completed a certification, had a grandchild? Celebrate with them by sharing this stuff on your social media channels. It really helps them feel like you are excited about what is happening in their life and proud of them. It also has the added bonus of helping to build that “Know, Like, Trust” factor with your parents and prospects.
4. Share testimonials from parents that praise your team- When a parent lets you know how happy they are with your teachers & caregivers, let the world know! Publish that praise to showcase your stellar staff!
5. Feature your team members on a blog or video– You can either take the lead and write it (or conduct an interview) or have your staff person write/talk about something they are excited about or have an expertise in.
6. Remember the Ordinary– When you are featuring posts about the children and what they are learning in the classroom, be sure to include your team members in the photos. Also share a little bit about the role they had in prepping for the activity, or just mention the fact that “Miss Jonni reads at least 3 stories to our toddlers before nap time every day.”You can even include posts of your team mopping floors or sanitizing toys and emphasize the hard work that they do to keep your school clean and sanitary. It makes for great marketing content and recognizes the team for the ordinary, not so glamorous things they do everyday.
Using social media to feature your amazing staff members is just ONE WAY to build relationships with your team. If you are interested in learning more, please check out my brand-new book, Relationship Roadmap: Real-World Strategies for Building a Positive, Collaborative Culture in Your Preschool (bit.ly/sa-rr) where I share 75 additional tangible, actionable strategies to improve the culture of your center. Even if you already have a great program, the ideas shared in my book will help you keep the momentum going. I wrote this book with the goal of helping child care programs lower their staff turnover rates by taking you through all the necessary steps to set up your workplace culture for success, starting with personal leadership. Learn more here: bit.ly/sa-rr.