Swings + Roundabouts Winter 2022

The workplace culture within a centre is the collective mindset and attitude of those working there. The mindset that each team member brings to a centre each day will influence how they care for the children within that centre – Shane Green. Our workplace culture is no longer something we can just let evolve. It is now considered one of a business’s most important ways of taking care of their teams which in turn takes care of their customers. Shane Green, the author of Culture Hacker, shares that workplace culture is the collective mindset and attitude of those who work there. The mindset that each team member brings to work each day influences how they feel about working there and what they share about that business. This in turn will affect the operations of a business and has huge implications on that business’s reputation. Workplace culture can make or break a centre By Tiffany Smith, Smith Architects In the case of an early learning centre, the team is everyone that works within the centre and the customers are the parents and tamariki who choose to visit each day. If a centre’s culture is just left to evolve instead of being cared for and nurtured, it will grow to represent the repeated accepted behaviours done every day – the good, the bad and the ugly. A centre can have the best pedagogy in place, but if its culture is not constantly guided to align with its pedagogy, it will dominate and take precedent over the pedagogy everytime. A centre’s workplace culture needs to be cared for at every level within a centre, from the owners to the centre manager and to the teachers on the floor. If the workplace culture is aligned to the centre’s pedagogy you will find that the centre's culture then becomes an expression of the centre's pedagogy. Shane Green believes a centre’s culture will impact three areas of a centre; customer experience, how much effort a team will put into what they do every day and the ability to attract and retain the best team.1 The reason for this is that research has shown that how someone feels about coming to work affects their energy level and cognitive abilities.2 Therefore, it is critical to create a great culture – a place your team want to work. Three stepping stones to building an amazing workplace culture ● The first stepping stone to building a positive culture is to ensure a centre has a clearly defined pedagogy and values. This will define the language and activities the team uses and does every day. (Ref p20 Swings and Roundabouts Winter 2020) Kakapo Creek Children’s Graden, Mairangi Bay, Auckland (Centre designed by Smith Architects, Image by Mark Scown) June 2022 { 28 }