Three experts with experience in working with children or teaching staff give their advice in a fun place for families.
If you’ve ever visited a family-oriented business, such as a gym or entertainment center, you know that they often have young employees who have no experience working with children. Often times, visiting these businesses can be frustrating. Of course, we can’t say that a teenager is doing their first job. However, we can agree that businesses need to do a lot better in training their employees to work with children. After all, working with children is not for everyone.
I don’t blame employees who get frustrated when they work in some family fun places. As a mother, I often get frustrated! However, I often look for ways to communicate better with my children. I believe that family-owned businesses should do the same in training their employees. It will make the service and the customer much better.
I spoke with a number of professionals and children from different areas about how businesses can train their employees better. This is what he said.
Meredith Tekin – who is the president of the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, an organization that trains and certifies people to work with children with autism, mental health and cognitive disorders – said there are several things that businesses can add to their list and training . employees. First, business leaders should consider working with a “trusted partner or supplier, such as a certification body that has been providing software for a long time.”
“Make sure the information comes from multiple medical and professional perspectives, including the opinions of people who have lived through it (those with disabilities or disabilities, etc.),” Tekin said. “Also, repeat and reinforce the training – make sure that employees and managers discuss all possible actions, and provide documentation for implementation.”
When talking to children, staff should be flexible in their communication style.
“Speaking in a friendly but direct and clear manner can help avoid confusion – many people may not understand certain words, slang, or may take things for granted,” Tekin said. “Sometimes kneeling down or getting on a child’s level can be helpful, but not everyone is comfortable making eye contact or talking to others closely. Also, remember that some people with autism or other differences may not speak, but this does not mean that they cannot communicate. Best policy, when in doubt, ask! “
Above all, Tekin said the greatest success comes from hiring and evaluating employees properly.
Is there a checklist that these businesses should have when hiring new employees? For example, what happened to work with children at a previous job, etc.
“Education can help create empathy and understand different points of view, especially for visitors with disabilities if the employee has no personal experience,” said Tekin. “Providing specific, up-to-date and relevant training can reduce knowledge gaps that help and empower staff to do what they do best, which helps guests have a fun and safe time.”
Whitney Racerdirector of education at the San Diego Children’s Discovery Museum, recommends following the “three Cs” when working with children.
“Keep your expectations clear, concise, and consistent,” Raser said. The shorter your ‘rules’ the more they stick to the child and are often easier to understand. Most of our expectations are no more than three to four words. For example, ‘Use kind words’ and ‘Be your boss.’ In addition, the term is similar when used by a guest assistant or a member of the management team. Consistency is important. “
Raser also advocated using visual aids to communicate with children.
“Children may have language differences or emotional differences from the staff at the facility – Having signs, as well as procedures related to each expectation, helps children to adapt to the needs of the facility,” said Raser.
Finally, Raser said it is important that all employees “approach work with humility, compassion, and lifelong learning.”
“Organizations should reach out to local nonprofits that work with children from rural or linguistic backgrounds,” Raser said. “These non-profit groups are often eager to share best practices with their community partners. These groups can provide culturally relevant and/or research-based approaches to better support children. It is important to engage in this process and these interactions regularly because new ideas and learning can contribute to the ongoing work of creating an inclusive environment. ”
Janelle Owens – The human resources manager at Test Prep Insight, an EdTech company that has also done human resource work for Target and Wells Fargo – said her best business tip is to play with employees.
“Participating in an employee’s training session can have a significant impact on their behavior once they start working on their own,” Owens said. “Playing provides a safe, controlled environment in which you can subtly expose employees’ feelings and prejudices. Games can play a big role in preparing employees for whatever comes of social interaction, as families can do.”
Owens also said that business leaders should remember that “HR education should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. It should be flexible and dynamic.”
“For the younger members who may be working on their first job, I can review the training using role plays,” Owens said. “With veteran employees, you can use their past experience and maturity to discuss training issues. You can ask them to explain and see how they have done certain things in the past. Even with green employees, you have to guide and train for example, which part it’s good. In a sense, it’s ‘learning by doing.’ Also, using exercises to train young workers has the added benefit of being more involved. It’s an active and participative training method that engages young workers, especially young people.”
As a parent, what are some tips for businesses that work with children? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
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