Overcoming staff hesitation with open communication: HiMama at Windcrest Day School

Center Name: Windcrest Day School | Location: San Anotonio, TX

I said hey, let’s just see how it goes. I took a very no pressure approach”

Linda Wilcoxen, Director
Windcrest Day School Team

Linda Wilcoxen is the director of Windcrest Day School and has been with the center for 20 years. Over her time there, Linda has experienced a lot of change, and can say from first hand experience that while change within a childcare center is not easy, worthwhile goals are always worth achieving. Before becoming director, Linda used to work in toddler and preschool classrooms. Though transitioning out of the classroom and into administration was challenging, becoming a director was a goal Linda had always wanted to pursue. With dedication and support, Linda managed to adapt and has once again found her happy place as director of Windcrest Day School. Fast forward to 2020, when Linda made the executive decision to bring HiMama into their center. To successfully make this change, she embraced the same growth mindset she used to thrive in her career transitions; that change can be hard but is necessary for future success. 

After years of paper documentation getting lost and never being able to verify records or communication that was sent out to families, Linda realized their current system was not cutting it. She began researching the best childcare management software for their center and quickly settled on HiMama. It was at this point she was faced with her first challenge: convincing the board of directors.  

The board naturally had a lot of questions about cost and benefits. I presented all the benefits of what HiMama could bring and now, the parents on the board absolutely love it. They just love seeing the photos. We used to use a private facebook group to share photos, but this is so much easier!

Linda

After convincing her board and getting approval to move forward with HiMama, Linda brought it to her staff and was faced with her second challenge: staff resistance. 

I could tell they were very hesitant, but I said ‘hey, let’s just see how it goes, we are only committed for a year – let’s just try it.’ Now, not one of them would go back, they love it so much.

Linda

HOW TO SUPPORT TECH HESITANT STAFF FOR A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION TO PARENT COMMUNICATION WITH HIMAMA

Linda Wilcoxen’s tips for managing a successful change with staff: 

1. Take the time to communicate the why behind the change

2. Have an open-door policy for staff learning the ropes

3. Let each educator learn at their own pace

The first thing Linda did was organize an all staff meeting where she could communicate the why. Communicating why the change was being introduced was a critical first step for Linda and her team. 

I told the staff that this was something that I had researched and that it was going to create a lot of positive change. I emphasized that this was meant as a tool to save them time and make their lives easier.

Linda

Once Linda knew her staff understood the value of implementing HiMama, she was able to organize an initial group training as a team. She got everyone together and they went through HiMama training materials to ensure everyone had the same basic understanding. From there, it became a trial and error process until everyone was comfortable. 

I told them to just keep trying, keep practicing and having fun with it, and eventually it will all come together.

Linda

During the practice stage, Linda kept an open door policy. It was important to Linda that her staff understood that this was a team effort and that no one felt alone in this transition. She also wanted to make sure that for those staff who were struggling more than others, they knew that Linda was there to help. 

Lastly, Linda made it clear that it was okay for her staff to get comfortable with HiMama at their own pace. 

One teacher specifically struggled and kept going back to pen and paper. I kept saying that that was okay, no problem, we will try again tomorrow and do what you need to do to get through today. In the end, she was one of the first educators that came to me and said ‘I really resisted this but I am so glad we did it.

Linda

Linda took a no-pressure approach, where as long as her staff were reaching the minimum goals she outlined for the classrooms, no one was forced to use too much of the program too quickly. This allowed for consistent record-keeping where needed, but let her educators find their own groove and routine based on the unique needs of their rooms. 

Some would come to my office and say ‘I really like how I am using HiMama for myself in the classroom, it is working for us’ and that is when I would back off and say that that was fine because I could see they were doing it in their own way and they were still doing what I needed them to.

Linda

WINDCREST DAY SCHOOL TODAY

Within a couple of months, the educators were loving it so much and thanking me for making the change.

Linda

Though initially faced with convincing her board of directors and overcoming staff hesitation, Linda and her team at Windcrest Day School have found a routine with HiMama that they couldn’t live without. Gone are the days of parents forgetting their paper reports in the classroom, or losing them to the floor of the car during a busy pick-up time. Linda can now re-send and reference past reports to help parents review documentation on their own time.

Parents are so busy and it is just so exponentially easier for them to simply pull the info up right on their phones.

Linda

With HiMama, Linda has noticed that parents are happier, the quantity and quality of communication has increased and her staff are no longer having to bring work home with them. 

I think the best thing for my staff is the time saving. They are no longer having to print, cut and glue images onto paper. They just pop it into HiMama and it all happens automatically so they no longer have to bring work home with them. That time is so valuable.

Linda

If you are struggling with staff hesitation at your center, do not miss out on our next webinar! On Thursday March 31st, 2022 at 2 PM ET we are being joined by two directors to discuss their journey to implementing digital communication at their center, and how they supported tech hesitant staff!

Register below!

REGISTER FOR OUR NEXT WEBINAR HERE!

If you are a HiMama customer with a story to share like Linda’s and want a chance to be featured on our blog or on an upcoming webinar, contact our customer advocacy specialist Maddie at madeleine@himama.com!

Windcrest Day School is one of many HiMama customers who have successfully overcome staff hesitation for a successful transition to HiMama! Fill out the form below to learn more about how HiMama can help you!

Maddie Hutchison

Maddie is a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a Master's in Early Childhood Studies. Her specialty is in Children's Rights and she is currently a Customer Advocacy Specialist for HiMama!

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