GROUP 7 WIKI SITE Topics: Staffing and Leadership Styles and Issues

Welcome to our wiki site. Below you will find information about staffing (hiring, interviewing, locating and rewarding employee etc...) and leadership styles and issues (managing your team/company, solving problems, managing difficult conversations at work, how to be a leader etc...)

Resource #1
Smart Staffing- How to hire, reward,and keep top employees for your growing company

This book is written by Wayne Outlaw, a professional who is a former Xerox branch marketing manager and marketing consultant as well as the founder of the Outlaw group, Inc, that has recruited employees for different companies. His experience allowed him to teach hiring skills for employers and managers in administrations.
This book is easy to read, enjoyable and detailed as well as a book that guides employers, management team “how to…?”

Step 1: Think before you hire
Step 2: Locate qualified applicants
Step 3: Interview and select your new employee
Step 4: Keep and reward top employees
Step 5: Learn from your losses

This books is excellent as it creates a big picture of the process of hiring from “establishing a job Definition and Hiring Criteria”, “types of employee you need”, “developing a recruiting plan”, “preparing an interview, screening applicants and conducting the interview”, “implementing strategies to keep your new employees”, “communicating with your employees” and lastly, reviewing reasons employees leave” (p. 213) It provides sample job definition (p. 12) for owners to review as well as sample interview questions (pp. 111-114) along with steps to provide owners how to prepare for an interview as well as different types of interviews (e.g. patterned interview, serial interviews, panel interview etc…) (pp. 106-107) The appendix is a beneficial tool including application for employment, hiring check sheet, exit interview worksheet, final exit interview form etc…

Some useful quotes from the author:

“Choosing the Wrong Employee for the Job costs you money” (p.4)

“To make your investment worthwhile, you should create an accurate, compelling ad that will generate the response you need from qualified candidates." (p. 64)

“Each employee is critical and valuable” (p. 5)

“Define the Musts and Preferred- the qualifications you need a candidate to possess are called the musts- the criteria absolutely necessary to perform the job.” (p.17) “Once the musts have been identified, the balance of your requirements is grouped in to a category called the preferred.” (p. 19)

I think the step by step methods and strategies were useful for the management team. Outlaw illustrated ways to hire, and that “each employee is critical and valuable” (p. 5) He also showed us how to keep and reward employees as well as learning from our losses. I think learning from our mistakes is essential as it will allow us to grow. As a manager, I think it is important that the whole team is on the same path and that each one is appreciated for his/her work. I also believed that each employee has a voice therefore it shows good communication. For example, the centre I’m working at right now shows that the employer hired the right manager as well as staffs as we always open to communicate with each other and our manager makes us feel a sense of belonging.

Resource #2
Managing Difficult Conversations at Work


This book is written by practitioners to help us handle different conversations more effectively where it develops relationships and expands performance. It is an excellent book for us to understand that difficult conversations are a “universal problem and that they are almost always associated with negative feelings.” (p. 21) I find that the ten common types of difficult conversation at work very helpful as some of us have difficulty communicating with co-workers, parents and even children.
The author illustrated the ten types of difficult conversation along with annotated examples of the closed-to-learning approach, how it plays out and the results in adverse outcomes within the ten difficult conversations Oppositely, it also showed us how the switch from closed to open-to-learning approach in a conversation operates in practice, along with how in plays out and results in beneficial outcomes for each of the ten conversations.

Here are the ten types of difficult conversation.
  1. 1.“Say something critical.” (p.24)
  2. 2.“Communicating unwelcome information that we are obliged to convey.” (p.24)
  3. 3.“Say something you think will go against group consensus.” (p.24)
  4. 4.“Retrieving a setback in an interpersonal relationship.” (p.24)
  5. 5.“Engaging with someone who will not discuss things with us.”(p.24)
  6. 6.“Dealing with a conflict of loyalties.” (p.24)
  7. 7.“Coping with being criticised.”(p.24)
  8. 8.“Responding to non-verbal behaviour that bothers us.”(p.24)
  9. 9.“Responding to pressure to go beyond what we feel comfortable with.”(p.24)
  10. 10.“Handling a conflict of views between ourselves and another person.”(p.24)

Example of a closed-to-learning approach in difficult conversations

John is the manager and he is difficult to tell Alice that the reason he has not been promoted because of his poor interpersonal skills.
Words that John uses “We rate you very high, we value what you do, but it’s just one of those things, you know”– making irrelevant comments to avoid answering Alice’s questions when Alice asks him why she didn’t get promoted. John is avoiding discussing Alice’s poor interpersonal skills so she can work on her flaws.

Example of an open-to-learning approach in difficult conversations

Thoughts: Principle one “Question any relevant assumptions.” (p. 156)
Principle two “Promote Partnership” (p. 156)
Principle three “Promote the exchange of all relevant information.” (p. 156)

Reviewing back to the above example, when Alice discusses why she didn’t get promoted, John immediately identifies worried feelings (alert) and uses these the three principles before he replies (cue) instead of avoid giving true reasons for the promoted decision. John states “You’re right to be concerned about the promotion. I have considered about promotion you but for a few reasons, I felt that there’s still room for you to grow and develop. I wonder if you would like to discuss the reasons together? Instead of avoiding the problem, John used “alert and cue” as well as the three principles to discuss Alice’s promotion.

I think this book is suitable for both the management team as well as other people. It’s a great resource for us as sometimes we have difficulty communicating with our colleagues. It is also essential for us because a lot of times, we have difficulties in using the types of wordings when communicating with our supervisors, managers and directors. It is also useful for the management team in ways that they can communicate with their employees in a manner where the problem is faced. There are difficult types of examples in the book that demonstrates us how to approach these problems.

Resource #3
Managing People


This book provides different coaching scenarios for managers e.g. customer complaint, job responsibilities. It also illustrates different categories that a manager should focus on e.g. how to motivate employees, provoke leadership, making work fun, building a team, communication, making changes and conflict resolution. There are also a lot of information, graphs, self-assessment forms for management to have all the information in a book. Besides that, it also provides advice on hiring, new employee orientation, retention and recognition and managing and firing problem employees.

Quotes by the authors:

Characteristics for successful coachers-

“You must be consistent in everything you do.”
“You must be scrupulously honest.”
“Demonstrate your passion for your company, your product, and/or your service.”
“Support the training efforts of your company.”
“Be flexible and able to make adjustments as necessary.” (p. 12)

Coach=teacher=educator=trainer (p. 13)

“Effective coaching can boost morale and productivity tremendously by making employee feel empowered and by creating the feeling of “ownership” of their work.” (p. 22)

“Good communication and empowerment are great starting points for positive motiviation. When employees run into problems, be prepared to help guide them to soluations while avoiding taking control or leaving them stranded without help.” (p. 40)

“Employees expect to be treated fairly and consistently, and they expect to be challenged and heard.” (p. 80)

"Teams can do wonders for pushing your company ahead! Members of teams can feel important and empowered.” (p. 102)

“Managing change requires extremely careful attention to communication, to empathy, to building trust, to being positive, and to finding creative ways for employee input and empowerment.” (p. 164)

“Identify a conflict as early as possible, determine the kind of conflict that is involved, determine any underlying causes of it then actively involved the affected employees in finding solutions.” (p. 180)

This book is useful for the management teams as it illustrates clearly how to make a good team as well as how to solve problems with your employees. It allows them how to manage employees including hiring, solving conflicts etc... There are a lot of scenarios for us to apply it to our work. I think as a supervisor, it is very important to communicate with your team. For example, the management team at my previous job is not organized. The supervisor will tell us some information while the employer would correct us by saying it's incorrect therefore every time we have to confirm it with both our employer and the supervisor. To make things easier, I believed the supervisor and employer should communicate following by the supervisor giving us information on what to do.

Resource #4
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How to be an effective leader “Factsheet” found on the website of Ontario’s Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural affairs (oddly enough!) provides a brief yet very useful summary on how to be a great a leader. Although it was published online in 1994, the key issues addressed on this website on the concept of leadership are still relevant today. Some of the discussions provided on this Factsheet include the following:
  • Are leaders born or made?
  • What makes a leader?
  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Skills and ability communication
  • Teamwork
  • Visioning
  • Risk taking
  • Value in others: recognition and encouragement
  • Leadership styles
  • The four situational leadership styles
  • How to choose the most useful situational leadership style

Some useful quotes from this page are listed below:
"The person who exhibits leadership is ... someone that makes things happen that would not happen otherwise."
"Recognizing strengths and compensating for weaknesses represents the first step in achieving positive self-regard."
"Successful leaders, we have found, are great askers, and they do pay attention."
“Effective leaders insist on the support and assistance of those affected by the project. They think in terms of we not I.”
"Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world."
"Leaders are pioneers - people who are willing to step out into the unknown."
“Showing a genuine concern and respect for your work, your people and your community may be the best strategy in reaching your goal of outstanding leadership.”
The author also points out that the “situational leadership” theory is a very popular framework within which researchers have tried to categorize the different leadership styles and lists the following four leadership styles under this framework as follows:
1 - The "Directing/Telling" Leader
2 - The "Coaching/Selling" Leader
3 - The "Participating/Supportive" Leader
4 - The "Delegating/Trusting" Leader

I like this factsheet because it lists all the essential characteristics of an effective leader. It is a very easy ready and it directs you to more resources if you are interested to find out more.



Resource #5
How Great Leaders Inspire Action

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Simon Sinek

In this short talk at TED, Simon Sinek proposes a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" His argues that this is how great leaders like Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers inspire action.

Simon Sinek points out that all the great and inspiring leaders and organizations in the world -- whether it's Apple or Martin Luther King or the Wright brothers -- think, act and communicate the same way; through what he calls a golden circle of Why? How? What?

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This idea explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others aren't. The “what” in the golden circle is in the outermost orbit because it is the question with the most obvious answer: every person and every organization knows what they do, 100 percent. Some know how they do it, whether you call it your differentiated value proposition or your proprietary process or your USP. But very, very few people or organizations know why they do what they do. The "why" doesn't mean "to make a profit." That's a result. It's always a result. The "why" asks: What's your purpose? What's your cause? What's your belief? Why does your organization exist? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? And why should anyone care? Well, as a result, the way we think, the way we act, the way we communicate is from the outside in. It's obvious. We go from the clearest thing to the fuzziest thing. But the inspired leaders and the inspired organizations --regardless of their size, regardless of their industry -- all think, act and communicate from the inside out.

He also makes the case that this way of thinking is grounded in the tenets of biology. If you look at a cross-section of the human brain, looking from the top down, what you see is the human brain is actually broken into three major components that correlate perfectly with the golden circle. Our newest brain, our Homo Sapien brain, our neocortex, corresponds with the "what" level. The neocortical brain is responsible for all of our rational and analytical thought and language. The middle two sections of the brain are constitute our limbic system, which is responsible for all of our feelings, like trust and loyalty. It's also responsible for all human behavior, all decision-making, and it has no capacity for language.

In other words, when we communicate from the outside in, people can understand vast amounts of complicated information like features and benefits and facts and figures. It just doesn't drive behavior. When we can communicate from the inside out, we're talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behavior, and then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do. This is where gut decisions come from.

A famous quote from Simon Sinek:
“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”

Resource #6
Improve Staff Well-being for Next to Nothing

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Saltbox Training and Events is an organization that helps individuals and companies to perform better by providing training and development services which increase people’s skills, knowledge, confidence, motivation and well-being. This short document posted on Saltbox’s website lists ideas for improving staff well-being without spending a lot of money. The ideas presented are listed under 4 main categories as follows:
  1. Recognition and rewards
  2. Building teams/increasing interpersonal connections
  3. Relaxation and physical fitness
  4. Practical working arrangements
The saltbox website is a great resource for getting ideas on how to improve the work environment and the team morale.
As a child educator, I believe that great leadership and staff well-being at the work place play a key role in creating a high quality childcare centre.

Resource #7

First Call: Survey on Staffing Issues and Concerns


In 2007 First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition conducted a survey that would "obtain key issues and concerns in the ECCE field." First Call felt there was a strong need for this survey because of the many complaints they would receive on a daily basis regarding staffing issues and concerns. The survey was sent to 450 people through First Call ECD email list. The list included community agencies and services, family and child agencies and services such as group care, infant and toddler programs, family childcare, preschool and Aboriginal programs as well as many more. First Call's staffing survey was conducted through an online survey host where after the 100 people responded the survey automatically closed. However, when the survey shut down First Call received numerous emails requesting the survey be re-opened. Thankfully they were able to re-open the survey, where in the end 329 people responded by the time it closed for good.

Issues and Concerns Addressed:

  1. A lack of availability of qualified ECE staff.
  2. Concerns about the recruitment and retention of ECE staff.
  3. Concerns about the amount of professional development dollars allocated to ECE by the Ministry for Children and Family Development.

First Call's staffing survey included 9 questions. The majority of the questions were yes or no with one scale question; the respondents were given the opportunity to respond to three questions which gave first call better results in the end.

Sample Survey Questions:

  1. Have you experienced difficulty in recruiting and retaining Early Childhood Educators?

    YES 296

    NO 31

    2 people skipped question
  2. Have you had to offer extra benefits to recruit staff?

    YES 174

    NO 128

    27 skipped question
  3. How critical do you think the ECE staffing situation is in your area? Rate on a scale of 1-10 (1 is not critical; 10 is critical)

    316 responded to this question

    1-5: 28 responses

    6-10: 300 responses

    (169 people responded with 10)

    2 skipped question
  4. The BC Provincial Government has allocated funding for staff professional development. Do you think this will help address the recruitment and retention issues?

    YES 80

    NO 244
  5. skipped question

Respondent's Comments:

“Wages are too low. There are ECEs all over our community who are working in other jobs and not using their amazing skills to work with young children. Most of them make more waitressing.”
“I feel until we place the same value on the people that care for our children
0-6 as we do once they enter school, there will always be a staff shortage. It is criminal that a person serving donuts makes the same wage as an Early Childhood professional.”
“Without consistent quality childcare, we are placing our children at high risk. Economically, it has affected businesses due to few childcare spaces, which prevents parents returning to the work force, and in turn, they are now living within the
poverty levels.”
“Government wants to open new spaces for childcare, but how will they be staffed when we are already facing a crisis? We are not creating new spaces; we are closing centres (especially infant/toddler centres) because of lack of qualified staff.”
“Agencies are forced to hire who ever they can get vs. interviewing and hiring qualified staff and staff who will work well in a particular setting.”
“I have been in the field a while and it seems this is the hardest it has ever been to find subs for sick/away staff. I am pleased a survey is taking place so the government can understand this crisis we are in.”


I found First Call's staffing issues and concerns survey to be very helpful and eye opening because it offers an outlook on the ECE field that desperately needs to change. Staffing issues and concerns in ECE classrooms often get put at the bottom of the 'important' list because we as early childhood educators and administrators don't have a choice as to who we can hire. We are often put in a place where we have to hire an unqualified staff in order to meet our ratio. The low wages ECE's face are making it harder to stay in the field. Often ECE's are forced to find a second job or a job that isn't in the ECE field. This survey highlights our concerns with the intent of getting the government's attention. I believe if the government were to review this wonderful survey they would be able to see the importance having qualified staff in early childhood centres.

Resource # 8
Woman in Leadership Foundation:National Mentorship Program
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About Woman in Leadership Foundation:
  • WIL is a non-profit organization that was founded in Vancouver BC in 2001.
  • WIL aims to "Promote the advancement of woman's leadership".
  • WIL"Facilitate[s] the leadership development of women".
  • WIL "programming exposes aspiring women to other female role models as well as fosters the expansion of networks".

"The Women In Leadership Foundation (WIL) creates inspirational programs that bring women together in developing their leadership skills and creating positive change in the future of women’s leadership in Canada." The Woman in Leadership Foundation offers a National Mentorship Program every 6 months in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. This "6 month program connects female role models in business and helps women develop their leadership potential and build specific skill sets necessary to thrive as leaders in our businesses and local communities". The National Mentorship Program is offered to any woman in the workforce who is seeking improvement on their leadership and mentoring skills. Any woman can participate in this wonderful program; woman ranging from college students to retired professionals. This program dives into the ideas around leadership and what makes a great female leader.

What the Program Offers:

  1. Group Mentorship and Networking
  2. Workshops specifically designed for mentors to improve their leadership skills
  3. Workshops tailor-made to meet the mentees needs
  4. Roundtables (incl. one session showcasing local CEOs and one Career session with panel discussion featuring local employers)
  5. Certificate rewarded on completion

Previous Member's Responses:

“Having a mentor was first of all a gift of a friendship as well as a support system for gauging and advancing my journey in all aspects of my life and career.”
“I thought it was really great to speak with someone who was once in my shoes, going through the same questions and difficulties and then seeing where they are at now… I enjoyed this program and hope you’ll continue to work towards making this accessible to more young women.”
“I feel so glad for have the mentor who know listen and understand to me, who have the time and the experience to give me advice to really work in my life.”
“I was uncertain going into this as to my value as a mentor, but seeing myself through the eyes of my mentee and how much she appreciates my “wisdom” has brought me so much confidence in my own career path and choices that I make. Also interacting with the other mentors has been a great experience. I wasn’t sure that I was mentor / leadership material, but interacting with them and realizing we all face challenges, none of us are perfect and we are all on a journey has given me even more confidence in my own abilities.”

Considering the ECCE field is 90 percent female, Woman in Leadership Foundation's National Mentorship Program is very refreshing because it empowers woman to be better leaders and shows them how. This program is for all woman ranging from college students to retired professionals which I think is great because it is giving leadership opportunities to woman of all ages and all professions. I feel this 6 month program would be great for woman in the ECCE field because it's designed to expand woman's leadership skills by offering one-on-one mentoring, skill building work shops and roundtable sessions which turn this program into 2-way learning that benefits all. This program also sets you up with mentor that is a experienced professional in the same field as you, so you are learning hands on how to be an effective leader in profession that is specific to you.

Resource #9

Mind ToolsEssential Skills for an Excellent Career
Mind Tools is a useful website that offers basic practical skills that can be used in any career. Mind Tools was established in 1996 and from there has expanded to over 300,000 subscribers. They help over 15 000 000 people each year to find their leadership style and how to effectively manage a team while still keeping themselves sane. Mind tools main attraction is their tool kit that offers an abundance of information on team management and that when all the steps are "used together, these skills can help [people] become exceptionally effective, be a great manager and leader, be more successful in [their] career".

The Tool Kit Offers:
  • Leadership Tools
  • Team Tools
  • Strategy Tools
  • Problem Solving Techniques
  • Project Management Skills
  • Time Management Skills
  • Decision Making Tools
  • Stress Management Techniques
  • Communication Skills
  • Creativity Techniques
  • Learning and Study Skills
  • Career Development Skills

The Tool Kit offers an array of useful resources that can be applied to anyone. Within each section of the Tool Kit there is a number of interactive resources that expand the readers knowledge; these resources include quizzes, self assessments, video clips as well as numerous articles that dive deeper into the topics. All the resources in the Tool Kit have been created by the Mind Tools' team. Mind Tool's not only offers a Tool Kit, they also have extra resources. These resources include:
  • Book Insights
  • Expert Interviews
  • Coaching Clinics
  • Tool Talk
  • Mentor Tips
  • Forums
  • Videos
Administrators in all early childhood centers would benefit from all of the resources that are made available my the Mind Tools' team because the website is effectively laid out for easy navigation and the topics that are being presented can be interpreted to support an ECE team. In this website we learn what a leader looks like, we learn how to effectively manage a team as well a developing and rewarding them. As educators, we are in constant need of developing and it would be beneficial to have a supervisor that sees the importance of it and will promote to the best of their ability. This website also offers great problem solving skills which is always a good think in any work place. I found this website to be very useful, I believe it would be beneficial for any one to look at, not just administrators.


Adams, B et al. (1998). Adams streetwise Managing People: Lead your staff to peak performance. Holbrook, MA: Adams Medial Corporation.

Clark, S., Myers M. (2007). Managing Difficult Conversations at work. Management Books 2000 Limited.

DeKlein, K. (1994, July). Retrieved 04 21, 2012, from

First Call,. Results of Early Childhood Education (ECE) Staffing Survey: October/November 2007. Retrieved From:

Kanigan. M,. Woman in leadership: national mentoring program. Retrieved from:

Mind Tools,. Mind tools: Essential skills for a excellent career. Retrieved on April 22, 2012 from

Outlaw, W. (1998). Smart Staffing: How to hire, reward, and keep top employees for your growing company. USA: Upstart Publishing Company.

Saltbox. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2012, from Saltbox:

Sinek, S. (2010, May). TED.COM. Retrieved April 21, 2012, from