Communication is the system that enables employees to cooperate and perform their tasks effectively. The main goal of the communication plan is to ensure the effectiveness of employee interaction. In the absence of communications, workers do not have information about what colleagues do, management does not receive primary data, and leaders are unable to give instructions. Effective communications contribute to improving the work and power of the enterprise and employee satisfaction level with work and building a sense of belonging to some sphere.
The aim of this communication plan is a description of the communication process for modern private kindergarten for children of different age groups, equipped with the necessary facilities. The program will consider the communications required to achieve the effective functioning of the kindergarten. It will define the following:
- Policies for oral, written, and non-verbal interactions between employees, parents and other stakeholders
- Allowed procedures for communications
- Specific communication process and tools
It is essential to emphasize preschool education’s impact on the development of the child’s personality in the future. The attitude of the child towards the kindergarten as the first social institution in life is also formed on the basis of observation of relations between adults important to him or her – parent and teacher. Parents at this time are most active and interested in the development of children, and it is crucial to create conditions for active communication, including all interested parties.
Verbal (oral) communication is most effective in attracting and maintaining the information recipient’s attention, as well as obtaining feedback. Methods of oral communication include conferences, meetings, reports, presentations, panel discussions, one-on-one meetings, informal conversations. The most effective communication process occurs when the parties are mutually polite and instructive. It is also necessary to adhere to specific rules that will help to avoid conflict situations.
Communications Between Employees
- The relations among educators are based on the postulates of collegiality, partnership, and respect. The teacher protects not only personal authority but also the authority of the colleagues.
- Teachers avoid unfounded and controversial conflicts in relations. If differences arise, they seek a constructive solution.
- The most critical problems and solutions in pedagogical life are discussed and taken in open conversation.
- The work of kindergarten is grounded on the principles of freedom of speech and belief, tolerance, democracy, and justice. Moreover, the organization respects a culture of communication expressed in mutual respect, benevolence, and the ability to reach a consensus.
- Nobody may discriminate, ignore, or prosecute educators for their beliefs or on the basis of personal sympathies or antipathy.
- Teachers respect the administration and the chain of command.
Communication with Parents and Guardians of Children
The primary and only purpose of pedagogical interaction should be creating a single educational space for harmonizing children’s development and ensuring their safety.
- The consultation of parents on children’s education problems is one of the most critical parts of the teacher’s activity.
- Teachers should communicate with parents in a respectful and friendly manner, but the individual attitude should not influence the assessment of the personality of students.
- Educators should maintain a high level of ethical relationships in any situation and any circumstances.
Written communication ensures a higher degree of purity of information transmission and keeps it unchanged indefinitely. It includes letters, memorandums, reports, notes, rules and procedures, orders, e-mail. Rules for written communication include:
- The address in the text of the message should reflect social status in its respectful design without a personal tint.
- To be most effective, written communication must be concise, understandable, and consistent with the business style.
- In order to maintain the image of the organization, written communication must be competent and literate.
- Tact and adherence to the rules of generally accepted ethical norms are of particular importance.
Non-verbal communication includes human behavior, facial expression, gaze, intonation, pose, gestures, and more. Rules are the following:
- Teachers should use more positive non-verbal signs that attract others and, if possible, get rid of negative signs.
- Workers should respect personal space and observe the distance to the interviewer.
- Since impulses of the human subconscious cause the non-lexical language, teachers are encouraged to master the methodology of controlling their non-verbal means of expression.
Decision-making is a special feature of any manager’s daily work, and it is an indispensable element of the all the organization’s management. Kindergarten is a system in which constituent elements make its work possible. On this basis, it will be appropriate to take a systematic approach in decision-making, which, according to Sproull (2018), includes the following steps:
- Formulation of a problem situation;
- Defining of goals;
- Identification of criteria for achieving the objectives;
- Building models to support solutions;
- Finding the optimal (acceptable) solution;
- Coordination of the decision;
- Preparation of the solution for implementation;
- Approval of the decision;
- Managing the progress of the solution;
- Check of efficiency of the decision.
Considering the fact that people, working in the kindergarten, and all the stakeholders are different, they can perceive various situations distinctively. The contrast in perception often leads people to disagree with each other, and a conflict may arise. Conflict is determined by the fact that one party’s (person, group, or organization as a whole) conscious behavior contradicts the interests of the other party. In the case of contradictions between employees, the administration should apply structural methods that mainly influence organizational disagreements arising from the incorrect distribution of powers, organization of labor, adopted incentive system, etc. Such methods include clarification of performance requirements, coordination and integration mechanisms, corporate objectives, and the use of compensation systems.
A professional teacher should not allow conflicts with parents by following the rules of communication with them. It requires active dialogue with children’s guardians and their awareness about important events in the kindergarten. It is also recommended that the teachers use various forms and methods in working with parents – talks and consultations with a psychologist, questionnaires, open days, and much more. The most effective way to prevent conflicts is the qualitative work of educators.
A communication process is a procedure of information transfer between people. The primary purpose of the communication process is to provide an understanding of exchanged information, for example, messages. However, the fact of data exchange does not guarantee the effectiveness of communication between the people involved in the transaction. Four essential elements can be identified during the communication process:
- Sender is a person, generating ideas or collecting information and transmitting it. In kindergarten, it is assumed that there is constant communication between different parties. For this reason, the senders can be parents, teachers, and representatives of the administration.
- The message is actual information about any important events, rules, holidays, and others.
- Channel is a means of information transfer – telephone, e-mail, and many other tools.
- Recipient (receiver) is the person to whom the information is intended and who interprets it. Parents, teachers, the administration may also be recipients.
When information is exchanged, the sender and receiver go through several interrelated steps. Their task is to compose the message and use the channel to transmit it in such a manner that both sides understand and share the original idea. This process is often difficult because each stage is also a point at which meaning can be distorted or completely lost. According to Guffey and Loewy (2017), steps are as follows:
- Generation of an idea.
- Coding of the message and channel selection.
- Transferring the data.
- Decoding the received information.
Several processes can be identified for the effective operation of the kindergarten. First of all, communications are internal and external. Kindergarten can use a variety of means to communicate with the components of its external environment. With existing potential clients, it is assumed to communicate through advertising and other programs of promotion. In public relations, priority is given to creating a positive image. Moreover, kindergarten must comply with state standards and provide data about its accommodations, career opportunities, and others. An internal communication process involves several types of data flows. Information moves within organizations from level to level within vertical communications. It can be transmitted downwardly, that is, from the higher levels to the lower levels. In this way, secondary management levels are informed of current tasks, priority changes, specific tasks, recommended procedures, and so on. In other cases, it moves vice versa – from the lower to the higher level. Details of these processes are following:
- Downstream communication. Classical management theory deals primarily with this type of information spreading. It is obligatory to make sure that employees understand the meaning of messages and can work more effectively in the organization’s interests. It requires simple, clear, and understandable communication tools. This process involves interactions between the kindergarten administration and teachers.
- Upstream communications. The transfer of information from the lower levels to the higher levels can significantly affect productivity. In this way, the administration learns about current or emerging problems and offers opportunities to correct the situation. Upstream communication usually takes the form of reports, proposals, explanatory notes.
- Horizontal communication involves data circulation between teachers – information exchange between them is necessary for the coordination of tasks and actions.
The essential communication processes in kindergarten work are conferences between employees, and meetings with parents. The staff gatherings’ purpose is to review the work with children over the past month-period and discuss the prospects for the next one. The meetings also discuss possible problems, ways to solve them, make proposals for the development of methods of working with children, and solve other issues affecting the effectiveness of the organization. The meetings address the current problems of working with parents and guardians of pupils and approve the dates and agenda of parental group conferences. Moreover, current issues of organization of interaction with the society are raised. In the end, if necessary, the functional duties of kindergarten employees are considered and approved.
It should be notes, that regular meetings play an essential role in communication with parents. At such consultations, the teacher has an opportunity to familiarize parents with tasks, methods of working with children in kindergarten conditions. During the meeting, the main form of communication is the educator’s report. The main thing is that parents should not be only passive listeners. It is necessary to ask them questions, to give examples from the practice of working with children, to analyze pedagogical situations, to offer parents to watch video segments of classes with children, games, and other activities.
In recent years, significant progress has been made in improving information exchange within and outside the organization through information technologies, including local computer systems within the company and the global Internet. Communication is a complex process of interaction between people. For them to be most effective, different types of tools – synchronous and asynchronous – should be used. Each of these kinds has its advantages, and it is crucial to choose the most important ones.
Asynchronous communication tools allow workers to transmit and receive data at a convenient time for each participant of the process, independently of each other (Sedighi & Isaai, 2017). This type of communications can include:
- Forums, cloud storage, SharePoint, and bulletin boards. The convenience of their use consists of the public exchange of experience, knowledge, and any other information. It is required to create a new topic or join an existing one, and then leave messages. The data will be available to all participants of the process, allowing them to respond or read the note at any time. In turn, bulletin boards have a similar role but limited functionality, and for this reason, they are less popular. Such a feedback method has a positive side – information accumulation. All discussions held can be read, and answer added to them at any time. In kindergarten, such a tool will be convenient for teachers to use to exchange experiences and methods of working with children. It is also useful to work in this format with reports that are of interest to parents. For example, what activities children took, what they learned, and how to develop a child at home.
- E-mail. It is one of the first means of communication on the Internet and still no less popular among others. A teacher or administration can send targeted questions, answers, or approvals to anyone. However, spam filters are increasingly blocking letters, thus disrupting dialogue and making it unreliable. This type of communication is only suitable for personal and targeted communication, making public discussions difficult. Accumulating materials in the form of e-mails is extremely uncomfortable, as is storing them for a long time. When organizing kindergarten work, the e-mail will become a convenient tool for sending the necessary data or documentation, and also creating advertisements.
- Wiki, which is a relatively new and popular way to share information. It is a website that is filled with content by all stakeholders, with the ability to edit and enter new data multiple times. Group participation in material creation makes the process enjoyable, involving workers in the formation of a methodological basis. The ability to edit is not only a strength of the wiki but also a weakness. Abuse of the ability to change content and enter any data can have negative consequences. Employees involved in the same process can use this tool. For example, teachers can reveal the theme of sand drawing methodology for children. On the other hand, the administration and teachers may be participants in the topic of the organization of theatre performances.
Synchronous communication tools provide an opportunity for the real-time dialogue between stakeholders. This type of collaboration between employees, thanks to direct interactions, allows them to resolve issues and problems quickly.
- Voice and video conferences. Communication takes place in direct contact with teachers, administration, and, if necessary, parents. With video conversation, the line between personal or remote presence is erased. Such a method of communication combines all positive qualities from classical meetings and remote dialogue.
- Text conferences or chats. The most common communication options are personal chats between two participants. However, if necessary, the conversation can be public with three or more participants in the communication process. Disadvantages include lack of visual contact, increased possibility of misunderstandings. However, it is particularly critical for emergencies, or less important discussions than on SharePoint.
Communication is as essential to the manager as the functions of organization, planning, and control. Staff should continually improve communication processes to carry out their challenging but interesting professional activities successfully. This paper presents a communication plan for the effective operation of a private kindergarten. Considering the processes, tools, and policies studied and presented, it appears that the success of any enterprise and project depends on the professionalism of the employees. Such effective communication processes can help them improve their skills and make certain aspects of their activity easier. Work in kindergarten is important and challenging and requires much effort from employees, including those in communication.
Guffey, M. E., & Loewy, D. (2017). Business communication: process & product. Cengage Learning.
Sedighi M., & Isaai M.T. (2017). Transformation of knowledge sharing motivations in the presence of social media. In Helms R., Cranefield J., Van Reijsen J. (eds) Social knowledge management in action: applications and challenges (pp.39-60). Springer International Publishing.
Sproull, B. (2018). The problem-solving, problem-prevention, and decision-making guide: organized and systematic roadmaps for managers. Taylor & Francis.