Anna MacPherson explains how her nursery has been ‘checking in’ on staff wellbeing.

Staff wellbeing is always a high priority for us at Queensferry Nursery. We are continuously evaluating how we can continue to best support staff through a range of different tools. Our ‘Staff Wellbeing Check-In QR Cloud’ came about before the COVID lockdown and was a relatively new concept. However, with our return to the workplace after the initial COVID lockdown measures were put in place, it became an even more valuable tool. With staff wellbeing always being paramount, it has become a vital priority.

As a Senior Leadership Team, we knew that coming back to the workplace was going to be tough on staff. After months of working from home, family situations being impacted and the general stress and anxiety that lockdown imposed on people, we needed to be best prepared to support our staff. Having formed a staff wellbeing working group with one of my senior colleagues, we began to develop different ways to support staff. We were very aware that not all staff would feel comfortable to come and chat openly to us or speak up about matters within their group teams.

With this in mind, I searched for a way that all voices could be heard – this led to the development of our ‘Staff Wellbeing Check-In QR Cloud.’

How it works

The ‘Staff Wellbeing Check-In QR Cloud’ is easily accessible. Each staff member has a little QR Cloud card which can easily be attached to their lanyard or kept in a safe place. Additionally, there are posters in staff spaces and it is available on our Staff Wellbeing Online Hub. Staff just need to scan the QR code, which will then take them to the Microsoft forms check-in. In their form, they can share their thoughts, worries, funny stories, appreciation or any other information they choose. Once they have completed the form, they hit ‘submit,’ and then the members of the senior leadership team get an email notification letting us know a new ‘check-in’ has been submitted.

Staff regularly submit check-ins, and not only do they share their thoughts on matters of concern, but also moments that have made them happy. Moments that have made them smile and laugh. We have had check-ins that share those times that staff felt proud of themselves, where they wanted to recognise other colleagues’ hard work, those laughable moments or just to say they have had a great week. When we receive appreciation through the cloud, we ensure we pass this on and share with the individual staff member or team to give them a little boost!

The impact

Since introducing our QR cloud, our senior leadership team members feel better informed about how staff are truly feeling, and they have been able to effectively solve matters that may arise before they develop into something bigger.

The other great element is that check-ins can be submitted anonymously, so staff can feel more confident about sharing honest responses. Some staff have said that they have used the Wellbeing Check-In QR Cloud to share things with us that would be difficult for them to say face to face. Staff appreciate that they an share true feelings without feeling the pressure of having to put their name to it. Other feedback we have had is about how staff feel valued and recognised when other colleagues share something nice about them.

The general consensus is that people feel heard, respected and supported through the use of the Wellbeing Check-In QR Cloud. By developing a simple, safe and private way of sharing feelings, thoughts and worries, we have ensured the inclusivity of all staff voices.

Author

  • Anna Macpherson

    Anna is a senior early years officer working in a local authority nursery in Edinburgh. She is part of a great senior leadership team supporting her setting which has a large pupil capacity and a large staff team
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