December 1, 2023

3 Ways to Support Team Morale

By Katie Worsley, Employee Experience Specialist 

In the realm of early childhood education (ECE), keeping your team’s spirits high is so important to creating an environment where both educators and children can thrive. When team members feel a sense of belonging and enthusiasm, they are better equipped to provide learning opportunities, care, and guidance in the center.  

Here are three simple, yet effective strategies to cultivate a culture of appreciation and celebrate the remarkable contributions of early childhood educators.  

  1. Provide Team-Building Opportunities: Team building activities are great ways to build trust and improve communication among your team of ECE professionals. Whatever activity you choose, make sure they are fun, purposeful, and inclusive. Plan a potluck, pair up team members in a ‘buddy system’, optional book clubs, or create a shared playlist of your team’s favorite songs. One of our Center Directors for Educare Academy centers in Toledo, Ohio, planned an art night for her team. These are just a few ideas for you to foster a strong and happy team! 
  2. Motivate Your Teachers with Recognition and Gratitude: Recognizing and appreciating your team’s efforts is a powerful way to keep them motivated. Celebrate their accomplishments, both big and small, and acknowledge their contributions. From overcoming minor obstacles to achieving challenging milestones, make it a habit to express your appreciation. A simple “thank you” can make your team feel valued and recognized. There are many ways to show gratitude, such as personalized thank-you notes, positive messages around the office, and spotlighting team members who go above and beyond.  
  3. Prioritize Mental Health and Well-being in the Workplace: A healthy work environment is one that values the well-being of its employees. Consider providing resources to help your team members better manage stress and prevent burnout. By taking care of your team, you’re taking care of your entire center. Some ways to promote well-being might include setting aside time during team meetings to share self-care ideas, giving small gifts that emphasize self-care, establishing regular check-ins, and engaging in self-care activities as a team.

Elevate your team’s spirit by stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing the fun along the way! There’s no limit to how you can celebrate your team’s accomplishments. Talk with your team for their feedback and brainstorm ideas that match your team’s unique personality. Consistency is the name of the game. Don’t wait until stress takes over or save celebrations for special occasions. Instead, be intentional about supporting positive team morale regularly. The most important thing is to show your team members that they are valued and are committed to creating a positive environment that benefits everyone- the team, the children, and the families we serve.