Silverline Care recognises the current challenges the industry faces in recruiting and retaining great staff, and are working to build an internal resource of the best talent in the industry across their seven homes. Rachel Dryden, CEO of Silverline Care has introduced a unique Developing Potential Programme, with the aim of giving staff confidence to realise their own potential, as well as empowering them to speak up and make decisions to contribute to the overall values and culture of the company.
Rachel shares her top tips on motivating staff to enable them to provide excellent care to residents…
- Clarify roles and responsibilities: In the care industry there is too often a lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities amongst staff, and also a ‘fear culture’ whereby staff are quick to blame others when things go wrong, as they don’t feel empowered to do something about it themselves. Making sure staff are fully aware of their own responsibilities will give them a focus, and encourage them to work efficiently as a team with other staff members.
- Empower staff to use their voice: It is so important to empower staff to provide feedback, to build their confidence and encourage them to be brave and come forward with suggestions on what is and isn’t working well. Staff may have great ideas but don’t feel they can talk to managers about them – let them know their views are valued and you want to hear from them, whatever the topic may be.
- Create a caring culture: Staff need to feel included and feel like they can participate and contribute to the home, both with decision making and talking about any concerns or problems. Sometimes it is as simple as recognising their job can be hard but you want it to be enjoyable and that staff should also feel cared for. Care home managers need to clearly communicate the company’s vision and , values, and help create a positive culture for staff.
- Practice ‘active’ listening: Managers need to take the time to talk to staff, but also listen to them. Often issues are small and easy to solve, but without open, honest and ‘active’ listening from managers, small issues can become bigger problems and staff motivation and enthusiasm can drop. It is important that staff feel part of the overall plan of the care home, and live and breathe the company values in their day to day work, but to do so, they need to be heard.
- Actions speak louder than words: Staff need to feel empowered to come forward with their recommendations and ideas, which can be implemented by managers to benefit home overall and the care which residents receive. If staff’s recommendations and ideas are taken seriously and responded to, they will feel a true part of the care home and confident enough to share their thoughts in the future.
- Value your staff: We all want to feel valued, to learn new skills and gain knowledge. At Silverline, we have invested in our ‘Developing Potential’ Programme across our homes with the aim of developing staff abilities and potential, empowering them to increase their confidence to know that they can make a positive difference to residents in their care. It’s all about making staff better at what they already do and showing them that they make a difference every day – and above everything, make them feel worthy and valued.
- Build an internal resource of the best talent in the industry: Our industry is facing a challenge of recruiting and retaining really great staff. At Silverline, we’re responding by investing in our staff’s training, supporting them into long term employment at our care homes, and ultimately into the leadership roles of tomorrow – I would urge other care providers to do something similar. Staff feel motivated to achieve when they know their work will be recognised and rewarded.
- Encourage staff to build relationships in the care home, and across the group: This enables staff to share ideas and experience, but also to talk about concerns and share best practice in how to deal with problems. Staff should not feel like they work on their own, teamwork is vital to bringing out the best in people. Not only this, working with others and sharing ideas is motivating for everyone.
- Act with integrity: Encourage staff to do what is right at all times, and to take individual responsibility in providing a professional service, knowing that their efforts will lead to a better experience for residents, greater job fulfilment and potentially future leadership opportunities.
Rachel Dryden is on a mission to implement all of these points across Silverline’s seven care homes. The Developing Potential Programme began in June this year and runs for 15 months, with a graduation ceremony in September 2017. Modules on the course include building your confidence, building relationships and communicating effectively, dealing with transition and change and being braver.
The modules take place every three months, and in between, each student will work with buddies, keep diaries, write learnings and interact on a networking group on the care home’s social media pages.
Rachel Dryden has been working in the healthcare sector for over 13 years and has a comprehensive understanding of the challenges often faced in operating care homes and ensuring high quality care provision. Rachel has first-hand experience in establishing a care home operating platform, helping another care home operator grow from three to 27 UK homes.