✦ Way to go Meg!! Brilliant-Online has shared her stories so we know her journey through her years at TG's Child Care. A more than deserving recognition of an amazing leader.
Lucky are the ones who have found their vocation or calling from an early age. Meg is one of those. She had always known she would be working in the Early Childhood environment. She believes that if children have passionate, supportive and loving educators to teach them the foundations, they will be set up to succeed in whatever they do in life.
Meg went from being a parent at TG's to becoming TG's State Manager. That is quite a journey if you think about it! She has been with the TG's Family for the past 13 years. From Preschool Teacher she went on to become an Educational Leader, Centre Manager to her current role now as NSW Manager.
We wanted to find out more from Meg what it is that makes her who she is today - an Outstanding Business Leader.
If you are positive, you’ll see opportunities instead of obstacles and this gives you the possibility to open your frames to reach your fullest potential”. - Meg Barnden-Hyde, NSW State Manager, TG's Child Care
What is your role as a leader at TG's Child Care?
I give all my team players the confidence to reach their fullest potential. I do this by role-modelling, supporting, feedback guiding and sharing the tools to gain knowledge, self-confidence and the tools to succeed. It's a common saying at TG's, that every opportunity is a gift, to learn, to grow. I allow my team to see their opportunities to learn. There are no negative experiences, only experiences that allow us to grow and develop.
Do you use any special leadership techniques?
I have learnt a lot over the years, and from the very beginning when I first started, it was Gayle who was a great role model for me. A lot of what I do I've developed based on this amazing foundation she gave me.
It's important for me to get to know each person on my team. We are here to build a connection based on love, respect, compassion and honesty. This is the foundation and once you get this up and running, you can move forward with the next part. I have 7 Leadership Skills in my resource toolkit that I use to help grow and develop my team.
Delegation – As a leader, you need to know and understand the knowledge and resources you have in your team. When you understand each person's individual gifts, you can tap into them and achieve outcomes with a team focus.
Decision making – It's really important to allow your team to be part of the decision making processes at work. This allows them to feel acknowledged, respected and valued when they have input into decisions.
Effective communication – I cannot stress enough what an important tool this is to deliver and understand your team. Difficult conversations are needed within the workforce to keep the team accountable.
Time management – You need to set time frames to achieve your objectives and to go beyond your goals even.
Problem solving – More heads are indeed better than one. Be open to hearing new ideas. Other people's views may open up different views you have never thought of before. This has allowed me to grow and develop, not just as a leader, but also in my personal life.
Accountability – I use accountability to show my team how their actions affect others and the dynamics they are accountable for within the team. At the end of the day, we are all interdependent, and part of a whole.
Vision – Every leader needs a vision. I share this vision with my team, and I share the steps to complete this vision. I also ask for support to reach this vision and allow everyone to have input. At TG's, we paddle the canoe together!
What has worked really well for me with these 7 Leadership Skills is it creates trust and really grows the team. Leadership roles also emerge naturally and I have created several such as WHS Officer, Sustainability Officer, IIT reporter, Reconciliation Officer and these have filtered through across all of our campuses. I mentor Educators to reach their fullest potential by encouraging them and giving them opportunities to take on more challenging leadership positions. You don't want to stay a trainee forever. You want to move up to a room leader position, and those who already have their diploma and more experience would want to go for management roles.
What were some of the challenges you faced as a leader?
You can probably guess I'd have something to say about the pandemic. That was really tough. At some point every day, I had to make decisions that affected families, children and Educators.
It's during such trying times that effective communication is really important. I had to define with my team what changes were needed and when to implement them. It was important for them to understand and support the delivery of the communication to key stakeholders. There was a lot of work behind the scenes which people don't see.
For TG's, the children's wellbeing and safety as well as that of the families are key and the Educators are always ready to go the extra mile to do that. The Educators themselves also need someone to look after their wellbeing just as they do so for others. As the Mother Hen of my Educators, I am the one to support my team's wellbeing.
You'd be surprised at how the tiniest things can make a huge difference to someone's day, especially when it has been a very hard one, and with so much uncertainty in the air during the pandemic. We made changes within the company structure to support our Educators, and this ranged from appreciation posts and acknowledgements to employing extra staff to support staff members in each of our rooms. We wanted to give our Educators the support they needed and to share the workload across the teams. We take care of our Educators, so they can be at their optimum level to take care of the children.
What's your take on the shortage of educators across the country?
That is worrying indeed, you see it across so many industries. People are reassessing their careers and family lifestyles. I think we need to be flexible in our Early Childhood industry to maintain Educators in our field. At TG's, I'm proud to say that we've been able to balance the situation by really listening to our Educators. We want to know what they need and want. We've been working with our Educators to give them a healthy work-life balance, reducing working hours, providing a 4-day roster instead of five days, allowing for child care for our Educators' children within our service. As a parent whose child used to go to TG's service, I have to say this is really a huge help.
Ultimately, it's really about creating a positive workplace environment where Educators feel respected, loved and trusted.
As a leader, how do you support others to take on leadership roles?
At TG's, it's really important to support the growth and development of our Educators. We want everyone to reach their fullest potential.
Upskilling - Our study support system allows Educators to upskill, gain confidence and knowledge to keep growing professionally and personally. Our Educators can work towards diploma level qualifications or become ECT through this system. We provide one-on-one mentoring, and we help incorporate study with working hours. Where needed, Educators have access to regular mental check-ins and support.
Support - When we appoint new management team members, we help them learn through a gradual pace to ensure they are mentored, guided and supported through the transition into a leadership role. We want to avoid burn out, encourage accountability and develop a leadership team that is passionate, respected and loved.
TG's Educators are all an incredibly dedicated and passionate group of people. We want to continue doing what we do well, and provide more care and education to all families across NSW and QLD. Each of our Educators is proud to be a part of this support network within TG's, and to be a contribution to opening more TG's Child Care centres across Australia. We all want more families to experience the TG's Way and to be a part of the TG's Family.
Recently, TG's Wauchope centres were Highly Commended for Excellence in Professional Services in the 2022 Wauchope & Hinterland Business Awards. We couldn't be prouder. It's a clear testament to the hard work and efforts of these genuine professionals who are fully committed to the invaluable services they bring to the children and their families in our communities.
Which of your leadership attributes is closest to your heart?
I'd have to say a good leader has to be a part of the community. I am always open to the communities around me. These are opportunities to promote, gain feedback, support, develop and network.
Have you noticed? Everyone is always welcome as soon as they step into TG's. Children, Educators, families. All of them. By providing an environment where people feel welcomed, supported, trusted and respected, we then provide the right environment to nurture, guide and support others to reach their fullest potential.
Trust and respect - this is especially important in Early Childhood Education. By fully respecting and trusting my team, everyone is more motivated to show initiative, be open, ask questions, to give and absorb feedback. It creates a process whereby we are all constantly learning, from new approaches and from each other.
For us, our Educators, the children and their families are one big happy family and a cornerstone of the community. This I believe, has been TG's magic ingredient to making TG's so well-loved and reputable.
What makes a good leader?
A good leader is only as good as how good they allow their team to be, to share their gifts throughout the business. TG´s has really grown over the years because the leaders place huge importance on building relationships, both internally with our staff and externally with the families and their children. These relationships help strengthen the team and provide a platform for success in any business.
Thank you, Meg, for sharing your thoughts with us! We wish you the very best in your leadership journey!
Meg is not known as the Mother Hen of TG's for nothing, and here's what her staff have to say about growing under Meg's safe and loving wings.
"She takes the time to listen, supporting whenever needed."
"Meg uses technology in different forms to connect with the different ages of Educators."
"She's considerate of everyone’s needs and takes them on board and intertwines them into what’s best for the company."
"She believes in others and pushes them to see that they can reach their fullest potential!"
"Meg sets a vision and shares that with our team so we can be a part of it."
Meg's story is always an inspiration to educators. If this has sparked something in you to become an early childhood educator, speak to TG's Child Care, and be a part of their beautiful TG's Family!
TG's Child Care locations and contact details (below)
61 Miller St, Urangan, QLD 4655
11 Samuelson Crescent, Armidale NSW 2350
23B John St, Uralla NSW 2358
Wauchope - Hastings St NSW
33B Hastings St, Wauchope NSW 2446
Wauchope - High St NSW
223A High St, Wauchope NSW 2446
Wauchope - Riverbreeze NSW
3 Riverbreeze Drive, Wauchope NSW 2446
Advertise with Brilliant-Online
✦ Brilliant-Online is the only publication that offers a single interactive multichannel advertising package.
✦ The purpose of Brilliant-Online is to push for a better world in the digital era.
✦ Brilliant-Online is an empowering read for progressive individuals and dynamic businesses.
✦ For all enquiries about advertising with Brilliant-Online, please contact us here.