Read Daniel E. Straus’ blog to learn about healthcare, philanthropy, employee relations, and more.
Posted on: October 30, 2017
Being a senior care provider requires a diverse skill set. The work is rewarding, but also demanding and requires a great amount of patience and care. Despite these challenges, however, many healthcare providers choose to stay in the profession because it is a privilege to be of service to patients and their families, and to help them spend this phase of their lives happy, comfortable, and well-cared for.
If you are managing a senior care facility, it is important to ensure your staff is motivated and their morale is high so that your residents and patients receive the best possible care. While the work is demanding and round-the-clock, there are ways to motivate your senior care staff.
Under the direction of President and CEO Daniel E. Straus, CareOne successfully initiates many employee-focused programs to great success. Similarly, here is an overview of ways in which elder-care facilities can create pride and excitement with their staff.
Show Your Appreciation
Dr. Eleanor Feldman Barbera, Ph.D., a speaker and consultant on psychological issues affecting long-term care providers, has some helpful pointers on how elder- and senior-care facility supervisors can make their employees proud of what they do. According to Dr. Barbera, one of the things is being sure to show staff that their work is appreciated. One of the best ways to let senior care providers know their contribution is valued is to recognize their efforts.
Show your team that their contribution to your community is being recognized and appreciated not only by the residents, but also by their managers or supervisors. They will be more inspired and motivated to go to work with smiles on their faces. This will create a ripple effect that also has a positive impact on the patients and residents they are caring for. At CareOne for example, staff appreciation days are routine with lunches and fun games for employees. This is a great example of how you can show your team that you care.
Here are some ways in which supervisors and facility owners can show that they appreciate the work of their senior care staff.
- Recognize your team’s attempt and commitment to their work. By doing something as simple as saying, “thank you”, senior care workers will be more inclined to follow their superior’s lead.
- During staff meetings or in staff reports, make it a habit to recognize a person, department, or action. By bringing attention to positive behaviors, facility supervisors and managers are able to provide a guideline or roadmap for the rest of the staff on the kind of work they would like to see executed by the entire team.
- Consider establishing an official recognition program such as “Employee of the Month.” Managers don’t have to spend a significant amount of time or money on programs of this ilk because it’s all about the little things. Something as simple as a good parking spot, a plaque on the wall, or a gift certificate to a local restaurant can go a long way towards making an exemplary worker feel appreciated.
Maintain a Fine-Tuned Working System
No matter how well-planned and well-established your current employee system is, it is very likely that you’ll experience certain hurdles. As such, if your current employee management system has been in place for a very long time, you may want to revisit it and see if certain areas are in need of modifications.
It is important to maintain accountability with your team. As such, make sure their questions and requests are being acknowledged. You want to make it easy for your senior-care staff to perform their daily tasks and fulfill their duties and responsibilities, not harder. By having a responsive, two-way employee communication system in place, you will boost morale by ensuring staff feels they can clearly communicate what they need to in order to best do their job. This can range from maintenance issues and needed supplies to requests for time off.
Ask for Feedback
Communication is a two-way street, which is why it is also important for managers and supervisors to listen to their senior care staff. An open discussion of their day-to-day, work environment, schedules, and other issues should be encouraged. Managers must also provide their subordinates with different ways to express their ideas and suggestions in a positive and productive way.
Feedback can be obtained by engaging staff members during meetings or asking them to participate in monthly or quarterly surveys and performance reviews. Suggestion boxes can also be set up throughout the facility to encourage everyone to express their opinions. This process is often included at CareOne by recognizing each of its departments separately. Each division of the company is acknowledged with their own week or month, keeping the lines of communication open and clear between management and staff in each department.
In short, by asking members of the staff to provide some feedback, facility managers and owners can immediately address any employee problems or concerns before they get worse.
Provide Leadership Opportunities
To create pride and excitement in their work, senior care providers should also be given the opportunity to demonstrate their leadership skills. This can be done by allowing them to lead staff meetings or execute studies on how to better serve the needs of residents.
A senior care worker can also be tasked to present small educational sessions about senior care policies, issues affecting their daily work, or simply helpful pieces of information they think will support their peers. This was exemplified at CareOne’s Clinical Conference where nursing staff, directors and assistant directors attended and were led by the company’s Chief Nursing Officer in an intensive educational seminar with some of the region’s top healthcare professionals.
By encouraging everyone to mentor and help each other, managers and supervisors are able to create a work environment that promotes teamwork, camaraderie, and cooperation.