A care home’s workforce is effectively the “family” a resident becomes a part of when they join a care home. It’s up to the staff to support the residents in thriving, not just in care, but in personal aspects of their lives. If a resident feels valued and well looked after, is surrounded by staff who care, and feels their needs are being met, then they are likely to settle in well and adapt quickly to living in that new environment.
The composition of staff that constitute a care home workforce is therefore essential to ensuring the success and reputation of any care home setting. Employees need to be caring by nature, responsible, flexible and adaptable. They need to have a positive mindset, be people of integrity and want to make a difference in a person’s life and the environment in which they work. Finding and recruiting the right people, investing in them and retaining them is at the core to this success.
Tips for Building an Effective Care Home Team
Tip 1: Investing in Attracting the Right People
Attract top employees from the outset by investing in quality promotional materials for job adverts. That can be either simply writing an appealing job description or by creating a campaign to show off certain aspects of your business. Thoroughly review job applications and look for key words, skills or personal traits that resonate with the ethos of your home.
The interview process is your chance to dig deeper and ask questions to narrow down the right candidates. It’s also their chance to ask you the right questions. Are they interested in the right subjects? Where are their priorities? Are they looking to progress, train and become a long-term key member of staff?
Tip 2: Employee Onboarding & Ongoing Support
Offer quality onboarding experiences where new staff quickly learn the skills required to fulfil their roles and responsibilities. If possible, offer a mentor to guide them in their early days and to stay alongside them as they grow into the role. Don’t stop at onboarding though. Ensure a rigorous process of high quality, ongoing support is in place to keep all staff up to speed with developments and policies and procedures, to enhance their skills and facilitate career progression in their roles.
Alongside training, have incentives and rewards in place so that staff feel valued in their workplace. Pay competitive salaries, have pay progression systems in place and offer access to a reputable pension scheme. If you value your staff, they are more likely to stay. And retention of staff is by far the most cost-effective way to maintain a fully trained and effective workforce.
Tip 3: Use Technology to Support Staff
The human aspect of the care home workforce is important for residents within a care home environment. However, the benefits which modern day technology can offer shouldn’t be understated. Increased training and implementation of technologies such as care home software, can greatly enhance and simplify care planning, daily structures, accountabilities, policies and procedures, and more. This, in turn, frees up staff from routine administrative tasks and places them back on the frontline caring for patients and enabling them to do the job they signed up for in the first place.
CareDocs covers all aspects of a resident’s care plan in a fully personalised and person-centred format that is easy to read and simple to maintain, update and manage. The assessments follow a natural, dynamic structure with questions changing according to client responses ensuring a comprehensive and fully personalised care plan is achieved. And with its ready accessibility and user-friendly documentation, CareDocs eliminates the need for duplication of paperwork across the workforce.
Tip 4: Understand your Employees and What they Value
Consider the needs of your staff and develop a flexible and adaptable workplace. For example, flexible shift patterns. Whilst nine-to-five shifts might work for someone initially when starting their career with your care home, personal circumstances can change over time and having the option to adapt working hours will enable a valuable member of staff to stay on.
Continue to value your staff, whatever their roles, however long – or short – they have worked for you. Hold group meetings where everyone has their say, encourage feedback, hold social events, “treat” your staff on ad hoc basis to put a smile on their faces. Chocolate chip cookies or doughnuts are always a winner!
It’s also often beneficial for managers and senior members to be seen in the care home. Both staff and residents will notice and it will make a difference to morale. A workforce that is looked after will perform well and will ensure its service users always come first.
Get Started with CareDocs
A care home should be precisely what it says it is: a “home”. A home for people who can no longer live independently in their own home and a place that “cares” for each and every person who lives there.
Drawing together a thriving and effective care home workforce needs investment from the top, both financially and personally, as it needs to be done right from the outset. Or, you may already have staff. Invest in them, train them, keep them up to date with advancements in technologies and policies and procedures so that they are competent and confident.
Look for new technologies that are out there, developed to ease word processing workload, simplify administrative tasks and put the resident back in the heart of the care home community.
This is where CareDocs can help. For an informal discussion of what CareDocs can offer, please contact us today.