Kerri Smith believes staff ‘make the difference’ at Sesame Lane Care and Kindergarten, and a new program aims to attract, reward and retain the best in the business.
The Head of Sesame Lane says the rewards and recognition program was launched on Educators’ Day on September 1.
“At Sesame Lane, our people make the difference because we have one dream, and we are one team,” Kerri says.
“We’ve got 380 staff at Sesame Lane within the Moreton Bay Region. We really want to look after them. I’ve been researching, surveying and talking to our staff to find out what they think makes the best company and how we can become the best company for our staff.”
The platform enables peer-to-peer recognition in the form of e-cards, which can be used to praise a colleague privately or in a way that is visible to the broader Sesame Lane team.
In addition to this, there are monetary incentives for staff celebrating birthdays, years of service and outstanding performance.
“Our managers can send a card to their staff and attach a dollar value to it, so if someone’s done a great thing, we can reward them and say, ‘thank you so much for the amazing work you’ve done, here’s $50’ and the amount goes onto their rewards platform,” Kerri explains.
The rewards platform has discounts for retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Woolworths, Coles, Myer, The Good Guys.
“When they receive a reward, staff can spend it on the platform with one of the 300 retail partners, or they can donate it to our current chosen charity, The Pyjama Foundation.”
Another element of the platform is wellbeing with content to encourage healthy eating, exercise, budgeting and more.
Kerri says the platform was developed following staff surveys and the elements included were based on their feedback.
Sesame Lane Care and Kindergarten also pays for staff members’ Blue Cards and First Aid training, and offers above-award wages.
At its annual conference on October 16, staff will have the chance to put forward an initiative that could earn them a new car. The criteria will mirror the industry’s seven quality areas.
“The staff have to put an initiative forward, something that can make our industry or our company great,” Kerri says. “We’ll do a peer vote at the conference and go from there.”
“The industry is really struggling (with a shortage of staff), and with more and more centres coming on it makes it more challenging.
“It’s something that we’ve always done well, looking after our staff but I’m stepping it up a notch.”
For more information about Sesame Lane Care and Kindergarten, visit sesamelane.com.au