ERSEA Institute 2022
Addressing the Retention of Staff and Families
Maria Eugenia Vazquez: Well, hello, everyone. Welcome to the Staying Power: Wellness Recovery – Addressing the Retention of Staff and Families. During this session, I’m going to be talking about some really great, interesting information about helping staff on retention and family retention. It is very important to focus on staff and family well-being due to the pressure given to staff during turnover and under-enrollment changes. Today with me, I am accompanied by my friend, Alejandra.
Alejandra Davis: Thank you, Maria Eugenia. It is a pleasure and honor to co-facilitate this training with you. Hello, everyone. Welcome to this session. My name is Alejandra Davis, training and technical assistance specialist for the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement. We are very excited for you to join us to have an interactive conversation about a topic that is very relevant these days.
Let me tell you that on your screens you will find a PPT presentation and resources available. Then through this conversation, we are going to have the opportunity to talk through that question-and-answers box. To keep this conversation going, we want to invite you to share any reflections, ideas, or questions that you have. Thank you again for being with us. We are very excited to start talking about this topic of wellness from the perspective of personal, professional, and family well-being.
Maria Eugenia: Thank you, Alejandra. Yes. I’m going to say that my full name is Maria Eugenia Vazquez. I’m part of the National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety. I work as a training and technical assistance specialist there.
Let’s start our session today. First of all, I will start this session by thinking of a phrase or a mantra that gives you peace of mind or lets you have a small break, just to be mindful, just to be in focus on the moment right now. For instance, I will share a phrase like, “I will have a great day today because it’s my choice, because I decided.” I will repeat that for a few moments for a few times in my head. You can do the same thing and share a phrase in the chat. Share that phrase that comes to your mind that gives you peace, that makes you feel focused.
My positive thoughts guide me to new heights. Thank you. I have a comment in the chat: “I’m kind, I’m competent, and I’m connected.” I love that. I love to be connected. I love to be connected with you all. “Today is a good day to have a good day.” Definitely. Definitely. “It’s a sunny day here at home.” I love that. Thank you. I see another one – “I’m strong and I’m capable.” Beautiful.
Alejandra: These are beautiful reflections, Maria Eugenia. Let me tell you that I like to start every day with a positive thought. I think that it’s a way to start living grateful and thinking about how we can bring hope to our lives. I can see more comments here coming. There is one here that has caught my attention because it says, “I have enough. I do enough. I earn enough.” There’s another one here, Maria Eugenia, that says, “I can be brave and kind at the same time.” These are very beautiful and powerful statements.
Maria Eugenia: I agree, I agree. Your thoughts will help you to manage your day or your behavior. Try to keep positive thoughts during the day or even difficult times, when driving in the traffic jam or in the classroom or with the staff.
Let’s discuss the learning objectives for today. I just forwarded a little bit more. Today, we’re going to be sharing strategies to buffer the impacts of stress in Head Start Early Head Start programs. We’re going to be identifying how to connect with peers to share strategies on staff and family retention, and we’re going to recommend some strategies to sketch a plan with short- and long-term goals, specifically on families and staff retention.
Why do we continue talking about staff and family well-being? We see here this slide is titled “Staff and Family Well-Being.” The well-being of staff and families will affect quality and services, which can lead to retention of staff and families in your program. Staff wellness is optimal family wellness support, effective program environment families can contribute to keeping empowering families. That’s why I love the title of this session, Staying Power.
Empowering the workforce and families can help families enroll in programs. However, the daily work of staff – families to achieve personal achievements and program goals – can be sometimes very rewarding, but also sometimes it can be a very stressful job. Many programs understand the importance of increasing wellness in the workplace, not only those that influence, retention and productivity. It can ultimately affect program success.
Also, now more than ever, meeting employee expectations for supporting their well-being is essential for employers to be able to compete with talent out there. But given the changes that sparked the COVID-19 – I have to mention that; it’s still with us, around us – and the great resignation that is happening, it’s important to find that right formula to protect and enhance employee well-being, has become like even more challenging.
It is necessary to balance work responsibilities and the multiple activities that must be carried out during the day-to-day to establish contact with families, facilitate access to communities, resources, and also coordinate services with other collaborators. This is very likely to increase the level of stress sometimes and affect the well-being of the staff even a little bit more. While the staff may also being experiencing some sudden serious or widespread adversity – such as the pandemic or violence or racial discrimination and racial and ethnic discrimination, and any natural disasters likely – this will increase your stress level of work and life. We need to be very conscious about what’s going on. Alejandra.
Alejandra: Well, Maria Eugenia, this is very valuable information, and thinking from that perspective of family wellness, it’s crucial for us to think how we can help children and families to succeed. And then in programs, we know staff and family members, they play a very important role in the work and efforts that they are making to advance in well-being.
Their work provides them unique and powerful opportunities to build positive, goal-oriented relationships with families to promote their well-being. By strengthening the well-being of staff, families, and children, it is possible to grow and achieve the goals and dreams of parents, children, and other family members. The only way to do it, we know, that it is doing it together.
Then the concept of wellness – it’s at the roots of Head Start’s mission, ambition. And this is evident in the daily work that we are doing in the communities and with the families that we are working.
It is also important to mention that we can find, and we are going to find, this concept in the Performance Standards where the family partnership process includes all the elements that we need to consider when we are working on the Family Partnership Agreement and the activities described in this section to support family well-being, including family security, the health of the family, economic stability, and support for child learning and development.
Let’s pause here to reflect on the importance of relationships between staff and families in strengthening staff and family well-being, and what this means when we are looking forward for the staff and families’ retention. Then please keep in mind that we are thinking about different ways and very creative ways to keep families in our programs.
You can consider during this presentation how your programs can bring innovation in the way how we are working with families, how we are communicating with these families, and how can we support for us to continue growing and expanding their retention practices. Providing support to both staff and families is a daily practice, and it’s something that we want to do every day because we recognize the importance of the staff and family wellness in our programs. Then, Maria Eugenia, it looks like we are ready to talk about the staff staying power.
Maria Eugenia: Definitely. As you mentioned before, it goes all together because we are a big team in the Head Start and Early Head Start programs. We are a part … We’re as a team, as a family and staff, all staff, even from the bus driver to the teacher, to everyone … Companions of the program.
Let’s talk about employee well-being. The term “employee well-being” may evoke best [Inaudible], employees getting up and tracking their steps or employees offering healthier options in breakout rooms and in break – not breakout rooms, in break rooms. Like for example, in vending machines. But in reality, employee well-being goes far beyond physical health. It is about nurturing the vibrance and growth of individuals within your program, including their emotional, social, financial, and career wellness, as you mentioned before as well for the family’s well-being, Alejandra.
I’m going to share with you some statistics from a recent study from Executive Networks participants. They reported the number one way for employees to support their overall well-being, it was specifically on the part of their receiving that support, of the staff receiving that support. The next, the number two, interest of the staff, considering their boss or their leaders from their programs was following on the part of the mental health support.
Twenty-nine percent of the persons who participated in this survey mentioned that it’s really important, first of all, to support overall well-being, but also the part of mental health, and also adequate staffing. It was adequate staffing – I talk really fast. I’m sorry, and then I mispronounced the word – adequate staffing. Also better health insurance. Try to help even if the program is not at the moment able to provide health insurance, maybe help them to access resources for health services.
Also, last but not least, financial wellness, and financial wellness in terms of training, maybe helping them in their financials. This is something that I’ve seen also in different programs of Head Start, how grateful staff has been – and families as well – has been from programs providing financial wellness trainings. Employee well-being benefits are now one of the most important criteria for employees when applying for a job or accepting a new job. This means that employees need to think differently about their total rewards package. And consider including benefits that address the financial and mental health and workforce.
This was just a few suggestions from Executive Network. That’s from New York. It was looking for some numbers, some statistics. Let’s go a little bit closer to numbers from UCLA Anderson School of Management Healthcare Institute. UCLA surveyed Head Start staff in 2020. This was in May 2020 – few months later when everything started with COVID. They show that after COVID started, this survey showed heavy demands as specifically looking forward from staff for retention strategies and family retention. Even that time, even that time in May ‘22, they were looking for this. Also, they were looking for high expectations, for measurable outcomes – many, many sets of standards, as well, requirements and reviews – and often felt undervalued.
Those were specifically the most important observations of the results of the survey. UCLA surveyed 4,443 individuals from Head Start at that point, at that moment. Perhaps many of us right now recognize this kind of common stress … Sources of stress for Head Start – heavy demands, high expectations, meeting all the standards. When workers feel connected to each other, valued, supported, and acknowledged for the work they do, this is where they start feeling like this work that they’re doing is meaningful. It’s important.
It is way important for us as programs, as leaders of programs, to acknowledge this reality and identify what’s going on, what is it that they need, what the staff is looking for. Head Start workers reported that work-related time pressure, interpersonal dynamics, even demands associated with meeting children’s needs or nonteaching tasks or high rates of turnover among the peers – these are factors that are most influential in terms of their job satisfaction and general well-being. Finally, this will take us to the result of a high-level or high percentage of turnover environments. I believe, Alejandra, it is important to focus as well on staff and family well-being.
Alejandra: Definitely, Maria Eugenia. Yes, you are correct. This is something that we need to continue considering and working on. All these considerations are crucial when we are talking about addressing enrollment challenges, when we are talking about the lack of staff to provide services.
It is important to focus on the staff and family well-being as a priority. Staff members can be facing and going through challenging times, too. Maybe someone has lost a loved one, or maybe have a difficult situation at home to resolve, or we can think about someone just that has too much on their plate between work and home. Then, considering all these factors that the pandemic has brought, it has created intensified, long-standing disparities for families that have been marginalized for decades.
We can mention that the number of children and families in poverty has grown significantly. It is an incredibly stressful time for staff working across the country and Tribes. We know that Head Start works with children and families that are leaving and facing circumstances, too, and conditions. It’s important to consider each of these considerations as part of the family well-being and staff well-being that we are promoting in our programs, because it’s going to play an important role. When a staff, despite their circumstances, will always want to show their competence and ability to serve, so it is fundamental to create this basis to support their own well-being.
Now, after considering the potential sources of stress, sometimes just by listening and thinking about them, they are already stressful. I would like to mention that the importance of taking care of ourselves before taking care of someone else. This is like the instructions that we receive on flights on how to help passengers next to us in case of emergencies. The best way to take care of this is taking care of ourselves first. Culturally speaking, it is common to forget about this consideration, and sometimes we don’t take care of ourselves. Right, Maria Eugenia?
Maria Eugenia: Right. We need to. [Crosstalk] Yes. The hard work every day, the routine from home, or responsibilities as an adult in general. How we can achieve that balance, how we can help our co-workers, staff, families feel good and valued and empowered and feel cared for, as well. Wellness programs that target and promote holistic dimensions of well-being are the most effective.
I love this graphic. You will find it in a bunch of different designs, but I really liked this one. It’s very colorful. You’ll find another design [Inaudible], as well. This is the six dimensions of well-being that can be addressed through a workplace program. Here we have physical dimension, which is well-being [Inaudible], often associated with [Inaudible] or a parent’s physical well-being truly refers to a smooth operation of physical and physiological system.
We have the other dimension, which is occupational, a person’s level of job satisfaction. We have the intellectual part of these six dimensions. The intellectual part is where programs can promote intellectual health by encouraging creative curiosity and even lifelong learning process. We have the other parts of this dimensions [which] are social. Humans are a social species. They rely on one another. That part of “sense of belonging” is important to their well-being.
We have also the dimension of spiritual, this being considered as a feeling. As well it entails having values and beliefs that give meaning to one’s life, as well as remaining open-minded to other people’s beliefs. Last but not least is the emotional one. The emotional is the one that regulates one’s own emotions and expresses them to others. All of us allocate more or less energy to these domains in our life, yet often without thinking, “What’s the optimal self-care plan to address each one?”
Where do you as an individual, as a professional, as a colleague, where do you invest your wellness efforts daily? Think about it. What areas might you prioritize for your wellness, for your growth, personally and professionally? Alejandra, how will you distribute your energy for these dimensions in your life?
Alejandra: This is a very important question. Let me tell you, Maria Eugenia, that I like to start the day taking care of my spiritual well-being. This helps me strengthen my emotional and social well-being, and that will bring great benefits in my health and how I feel mentally. Then I think a lot in keeping those relationships, close relationships, and having the opportunity to reflect with others. For me, it’s very important to start with the spiritual well-being.
Maria Eugenia: That’s great. I see in the chat, as well, somebody wrote, “Occupational. Being able to work as a team. This may be helpful to accomplish all the tasks for the day.” That’s great. Yes. We’re so compromised with Head Start families, that we just establish or focus ourselves specifically on the occupational part. We need to have a balance. We need to identify where to put all that energy and to have that balance in our lives, on a daily basis.
Alejandra: There are more comments there, Maria Eugenia.
Maria Eugenia: Oh, I’m sorry. Yes, go ahead.
Alejandra: Maybe to mention one of them that talks about intellectual well-being, and it says that, “Because I like to look at the strategies for me to help me grow after the situation.” And somebody else is talking about, from the physical perspective, saying, “By taking care of myself better, like taking a nap, or trying to take a walk or do something else, I can feel much better.”
Maria Eugenia: I agree. I agree. That’s great. Sometimes, like working from home, or … Well, I’m still working from home, but for those in the beginning of all these transitions from the COVID and transition into in-person services, we’re feeling so exhausted that we couldn’t manage our time to sleep well because we’re so stressed. We’re going to be talking about that just a few minutes. But taking that nap, taking five-minute power nap, is so gentle for yourself, is so good for your health and your soul. Trust me. [Laughing]
Recognizing the wellness wheel, the wellness wheel domain, is one of the strategies to have a proactive approach for staff and family retention. That wellness wheel you can also use to share with your families and have an exercise with them for them to recognize where they put their full energy into it. This can be a good, really reflective question for them.
Recognizing the wellness wheel domains is one of the strategies to have a proactive approach for staff and family retention. Once as leaders we recognize the priority areas of wellness, how can we have a proactive strategy to improve the work environment, support staff and families’ retentions? What type of well-being should your strategy address? For instance, the initiatives that you choose to implement will be unique to your own program needs and resources. It can be a tribal community, it can be a seasonal program, so it’s going to be unique to your specific needs and resources, as well as those of your employees.
Some areas to consider are, first, identify the reason of the turnover in your program. Develop a retention strategy, and implement strategies. This goal involves initiatives supporting employee mental and physical health, as well as physical safety, such as an employee assistance program. I hope you do have an infant, early childhood mental health consultant. Use that resource in your program and add them in the plan to help you identify, help you as a leader identify, what’s the need.
Try to create a good working environment. Work with the values of your program, like positive relationships and personal growth, ensuring dignity and respect, effective communication, personal growth, mentoring and coaching, resilience trainings, training on aspects of financial well-being, as I mentioned before, or even regular feedback from management. Those simple things that – as I said, simply – will definitely make a change to your program.
I’m sorry, excuse me. I’m sorry. I just pushed it too far. [Slide deck adjustment] Retention. Here we have wellness considerations in service of retention. Retention. I was mentioning a bunch of strategies or proactive strategies, but retention is an ongoing conversation. The best way to improve it is to be proactive. Prioritize a staff wellness plan. Gather data, and by maybe having family – not maybe, you should have – having family and staff voice. Analyze that data, and improve employee sentiment.
Check in with your co-workers across the day. Allow opportunity for discussion. Access your infant and early childhood mental health consultant, and add that person into the team evaluating this. Value the range of perspective, experiences, and cultural diversity of your staff and families you serve. I think that more than ever it’s really important to be sensitive to cultural diversity. We serve all around the nation Tribes and territories. It’s very important to have that peace of mind, as well.
Practice mindfulness and other wellness activities on a regular basis, not only with your staff, but with families as well so they can feel included in your program, so they can feel part of it. Reexamine the staff wellness plan. Be patient with yourself.
If you’re wondering how you can put all this in practice, you can reflect maybe on some questions like, “Am I making wellness a priority?” “Am I paying attention to communication?” “Am I encouraging open communication between families and staff?” “Are we asking for feedback?” “Am I appreciating our staff, families, and their efforts?”
Programs are encouraged to foster working environment and mutual respect, trust, and teamwork, where staff feel empowered to make decisions and know that program leadership are there to support them. This is an area that really involves relationship-building and can take some time to cultivate. It’s not like a check-the-box kind of thing. It will take some time, but it’s important, when you think about it, for overall organizational wellness.
I have heard programs making wellness challenges, like drinking water, weight-loss challenges, and were including even family members to those challenges. Keep in mind all the things that you may be able to do. [Clearing throat] I’m sorry; excuse me. Why does this go so fast? I’m sorry. [Laughing]
We have talked a little bit about staff and family well-being and a lot of interesting topics that brought us to maybe the topic of stress or the time of stress. Stress is really bad to mental well-being. What can we do to mitigate the effects of stress to support staff and family retention, which can be part of people leaving programs, or a family doesn’t want to be part of the program because of the level of stress?
You may agree with me that all these efforts on staff and families’ retention can be really, not little, really stressful. So first, what’s stress? Let’s begin with the definition of stress. Stress is a physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of work or having an illness or having a pandemic or natural disaster.
A stressor may be a one time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time. For instance, one-time stress can be identified like a positive stress or good stress. This stress helps us, helps you and helps me, to focus on my task right now, or perform at a higher level. Also, we have this short-term occurrence, or tolerable stress, that is maybe the loss of a loved one, natural disaster warning, or maybe a frightening injury.
But if we have repeatedly, over-long-time stress, that’s the bad stress. That’s the toxic stress right there. When we are threatened, our bodies prepare us to respond by increasing our heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormones. Prolonged activation of stress response system can disrupt the development of the brain architecture and other organ systems and increase the risk of stress-related diseases.
This toxic stress or bad stress can cause adverse childhood experiences. Maybe some of you know about ACES, which can have profound impacts in the brain and body in the classroom and relationships. Furthermore, some research has also linked too much stress can cause negativity effects. I bet you have heard this before. Stress can affect your physical and mental health, maybe causing anxiety, depression, frustration, fatigue, low self-esteem that may result in high rates of turnover.
I love numbers. I love to gather some data so I can just talk [Laughing] with this specificity on what we have. We in MyPeers Staff Wellness Community, one of my colleagues and myself, we did a survey about what activities do you find is stress relieving, because we have stress. We’re going to have stress almost all the time. What can you do to maybe mitigate that level of stress? Share with us what activity you like to do when you show that you have the stress at high so you want to put it down level or decrease the stress? In the survey from MyPeers community, they prefer to have that time alone, listen to music, and taking a walk. What do you say?
Alejandra: Well, Maria Eugenia, I can see some reflections coming in. We have one. Somebody’s saying that she enjoys bird watching, and going to the forest is very relaxing for her. We have another one that talks about reading. Somebody else is talking about something that you already mentioned, having mindfulness moments. Very important. Here is one that caught my attention – collect seeds and flowers. [Laughing] [Crosstalk]
Maria Eugenia: I’m part of that team.
Alejandra: Very authentic. I love it. Here’s another one – walk without shoes on the wet grass. I love that, too. Some wonderful connection. [Laughing]
Maria Eugenia: I love it. I love that you have to take some time for yourself. That means that you’re taking care of yourself. It’s really important to have a balance with some of the domains of wellness.
We have said a lot of things right now about stress or staff well-being, family and staff well-being. With all of these things said so far, and leaning towards well-being of staff, which will ultimately help their retention in the program, let’s start putting all the ideas into action. This right here is SWAP. It’s a SWAP graphic – Staff Wellness Action Plan.
Let’s start with the proactive staff wellness action plan. Let’s set a goal. Maybe we can think about setting goals, and from your recipient goals or program’s goals and objectives, that we think about big broad aspirational goals and then, however, we need to be really SMARTIE goals. SMARTIE goals stands for Specific goals, Measurable goals, Attainable goals, Relevant, Time-bound, Inclusive, Equitable goals.
Maybe it can just go little by little so you can achieve all those goals. Also, establish a team member. Who’s going to be part of this planning team? Who’s part of your team? Who will always do better when we have … I’m sorry. We always do better when we have a team, Alejandra? Consider to include your mental health consultant into part of this team, as I mentioned before. Also data, data and measurement is so important so you can identify what’s working, what is not working in short or long term.
Then action steps – what’s the timeline for this process, for this plan? What will you do first, and then what do you do next, and then from that point forward? Another great tool that you can find is TeacherWISE, the Teacher Well-being Workbook that is made by Georgetown University. You can find that in the resources area from this session. Also, this template for the SWAP, you can access in the ECLKC website.
Mental well-being, stress-related problems are serious issues for programs and their employees across all industries. In all industries, not only Head Start and Early Head Start programs. These problems are costly, and they’re on the rise. With a majority of the workforce feeling stressed at least some of the time, it’s hard to time action, so we have to help our teams find better ways to take care of their mental well-being at work and at home.
Mental health problems cost a lot of money for U.S. companies, maybe like [Inaudible] million dollars. That’s the expecting numbers that I was looking to the Mercer’s Global last year. What can be the solution? Or maybe we can try some solutions and some strategies, like the SWAP. But also, it’s not enough to simply offer the chance to participate into wellness activities at work. Managers, directors, will have to take the first leap into lead by example.
Why I’m saying this is because sometimes even the leaders of the programs are so stressed to just not being able to put in practice what they’re just saying to do or to help others. They will need to be more open about their own struggles with mental well-being and stress to create a safe space for employees to promote a real culture of wellness.
Just put behind the stigma of mental health. You as the leader of the program, speak out, be open to your staff as well. Start with small staff wellness activities that are responsive to staff needs, adaptable, and easy to maintain. An example can be a pilot study, maybe, and then you can just go forward.
Here we have an example of another great tool that you might start using is this Staff Wellness Activity Matrix. You can change the columns as you wish. It may be helpful to take a routine-based approach to integrate new strategies. This also you can use with families as well. As I said before, if most part of you include these exercises to your families, more are going to be feeling part of the team, more are going to feel their value. They’re accepted – they’re part of it. It’s a collective wellness. You can go and schedule Monday through Sunday or Monday through Friday, depending on what’s your wish, what’s your goal on it.
After all that I’ve been saying [Laughing] and after all the pandemic or natural disaster or work-life balance, and employees under extra stress, let’s try to have a minute to share with us in this chat, to reflect on how can this SWAP strategy, or any of these strategies that I just mentioned here, can be applied in your program? Or what barriers do you think the program may have in order to implement this successfully?
Alejandra: Maria Eugenia. Thank you for chatting with us about the SWAP tool. I love it. I think that it’s very practical and can help our programs to put in practice all of this valuable information. Something that I can see here is putting together all these strategies to build a plan that responds to the staff needs and supports families and children in our progress. This is great. Reviewing our current wellness plan with the purpose of strengthening. Yes. There is always a space for improvement.
Being more proactive to support the staff to reach their wellness goals. Yes. We are not alone. We can do it only together and still work. Then, let’s continue with the presentation while our participants continue sharing to talk about family staying power, keeping in mind that before you can take care of anyone else, you need to take care of yourself. Let’s go and talk about how we can support families in their well-being and how it will contribute with their retention.
When we think about the strategies, we have in the screen three different strategies. By working in these strategies with the staff and communities, we can develop knowledge and experiences that are going to lead us to approach the families and to support them in different ways.
The sayings on the screen help us to have and maintain relationships with families effectively, especially considering that enrollment is an ongoing process, and families might reflect what the program staff have always done with care and respect. Then, when we are talking about families and programs, we can support families and children during this pandemic. The best way to do it is doing it together. Then when we are able to consider and keep in mind each of these strategies, we are going to be able to be more successful in our efforts.
The first strategy that you can see on this screen is regarding listening to families’ stories. Programs have developed the capacity to listen with care to families. Then families feel invited to share and to tell us not only questions or concerns. They’re going to be able to tell us stories, and we are going to learn many things and many interests and goals and dreams that they have through these stories. Then our willingness to listen also leads us to understand what families may be trying to communicate. Listening can create a space for us to work with the families based on their needs and their interest.
In our next strategy, we are talking about another point that is crucial when we are working with families. We are talking about acknowledging the feelings of others skills is going to build trust and strengthens the community. We can say that families are comfortable in requesting and receiving support for the connections or relationships established in trust.
Programs cannot always be sure that they truly understand what families are trying to communicate on the first try. But we can try over and over and be open to understand not only words, feelings, traditions, culture, languages. There are many values in each of these relationships that we can use to strengthen our relationship with families.
Also, we can talk about partners and how we are partnering. We are not alone. You can create the space for sincere kindness and connection. This is going to increase their spirits and is going to impact hope. Helping others, remember, helps you too. You may not have to look so far for helpers in the Head Start community. There is a great possibility that they are right there next to you. You only need to find a way how to connect with them and work together.
Thinking about these strategies, I would like to invite you to read these testimonies that we have on the screen. I want to say that these testimonies are the expression of well-being practices as a result of the work that staff and families are doing together. It will bring many opportunities to contribute directly and indirectly to the construction of common well-being for families, for staff. At the end, all of us, we are going to benefit from those relationships and for being successful in looking for wellness in our programs, in our communities.
Consider asking what the word “wellness” means to each of us, because we can have different definitions depending on our conditions or circumstances of life, but all of them are very valid. We can work together to have, like Maria Eugenia said, a plan that helps us support our staff and our families enriching their well-being. Then, Maria Eugenia, I think that after going through these quotes, we are ready to talk about our next slide.
Maria Eugenia: Yes. As you said before, I think I don’t have anything else to add. I think collectively, individuals will be equals. We are becoming well, as the proverb from this great image is. It’s been lovely to be with you, Alejandra, and sharing all this great information to all the attendees today, that we have today. So, thank you very much for inviting me and hopefully, we’ll talk to you soon.Close
During this session, reflect and identify strategies you can useto help develop a staff and family retention plan, with wellness as the main element.
- Share strategies to buffer the impacts of stress in Head Start programs.
- Identify how to connect with peers to share strategies on staff and family retention.
- Recommend strategies to sketch a plan with short and long-term goals.