Skip to main content

5 Layers to Building a Culture of Retention: Gratitude & Community


Click Here to Listen on Apple Podcasts                Click Here to Listen on Non-Apple Devices

What does it feel like when you belong?

It’s not always easy to put into words, but when you know, you know.


Think about what it’s like to go to the mall. Each of its stores has a unique environment and style that appeal to different types of people—you won’t find the same crowd in Abercrombie & Fitch as you would in Old Navy.


The reason for that has to do with belonging.


Even if you can’t explain why, you feel drawn to certain stores over others because in some way, they make you feel like part of a community—one that welcomes you in without judgment.


It’s an experience that many leaders have had at our Summit of Excellence, including Sheila Smozynski. At last year’s event, Sheila was deeply moved by the connection she felt with other owners and directors:


“This room is a safe space. I feel so supported! People shared hard things at the table, and there were tears. I feel I can relate, and most importantly, I belong here! I can share my story because no one will judge me. Chanie created an energy in the room where we all just want to connect and build relationships.” 


Feeling like you belong is a powerful experience. It has the potential to make or break the way you feel about an entire community of people.


And that’s exactly why it’s so important that you nourish a sense of belonging among your staff.


Creating a culture of community in your center not only supports the health and well-being of your staff, but it also makes them want to stay—which is what so many owners and directors need during a time when staffing is such a hot topic within the early childhood education space.


In this week’s podcast episode, I’m diving into the first of a multipart series on building a culture of retention within your center. 


To begin, I’m focusing on the role of gratitude and community in creating an environment that your staff are excited to be a part of.


Join me for a conversation about:


  • Why retention continues to be a struggle for early childhood education programs
  • Community and what it means to design a culture of belonging
  • Why the way you were raised affects your mindset toward community
  • How the gratitude matrix can make staff feel valued and appreciated 


Developing a sense of gratitude and community within your center is the first phase in building a culture of retention. It will serve as the foundational layer of everything we talk about in the weeks to come, so I encourage you to listen in!


Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

I love doing these deep dive series together, but in truth, there’s so much more to explore than I could ever put in a podcast. If you want to go even deeper in building a culture of retention and challenge yourself as a leader, our Owner’s Only HQ and Director’s Inner Circle membership programs are the perfect space for you. 


You’ll have the opportunity to grow alongside other leaders through a combination of tools, resources, and coaching that will help you build a school of excellence and leave behind a legacy.

Click Here to Listen on Apple Podcasts

Click Here to Listen on Non-Apple Devices

More about the show:

If you are an Early Childhood director or owner, prepare to transform your school and life with the Schools of Excellence podcast. Tune in each week to learn from Chanie Wilschanski, the founder and host of the Schools of Excellence Podcast and a mom of 4 little kids. Each episode will be packed with tools and strategies – equipping you to build schools with higher staff retention, teacher motivation, parent partnership, collaborative culture, and beautiful quality of life.

Every week, Chanie shares the truth about the journey to excellence, the strategies that are working TODAY, and the mindset about the critical decisions and choices that you make every day which impact yourself, your teachers, parents, family, and children who you serve every day.

In addition to weekly solo episodes, she’ll also be inviting industry leaders and the changing makers of the landscape of education to give listeners the inside knowledge of what it takes to sustain excellence.

Don’t miss an episode, subscribe today for everything you need for your leadership journey!