How to create positive cultures in care homes

It is important to create a positive culture in a care home.

Here Maxine Parry, Managing Director of Caresolve, has put together her tips and advice to help the registered managers of care homes to create and maintain a positive culture.

  • Set out clearly what your expectations are as a manager. Don’t take it for granted that they know what you expect.
  • Listen to what your staff are saying, and ask them what they think will help improve things.
  • Explain to staff if actions are not taken. There is nothing more toxic than a workplace where staff do not raise concerns because “there is no point – nothing ever happens”.
  • Give staff responsibility. Champions in areas will give staff the opportunity to improve their practice in certain areas. Give them the time to develop this role and give them extra training where it is needed. Ask them to evidence how they will disseminate this to the staff team and how this has improved the lives of the residents that they care for.
  • Lead by example, and put aside some time each day to be on the floor out of the office. Talk to staff, highlight good practice and discuss areas that they may improve.
  • Thank your staff for their hard work – tell them that they are appreciated.
  • Explain to staff the importance of being positive around the residents, and use examples that people can relate to in their own lives to express the importance of this.
  • Get families and friends actively involved in the life of the home as soon as possible. Get them engaged and part of the positive culture change.
  • Discuss with the residents how they think improvements could be made, and have the staff involved with these discussions.
  • Establish some kind of appreciation program for the staff, such as Employee of the Month, and well done for good work certificates. Put forward staff who go above and beyond for awards.
  • Share lessons learned from CQC, because this gives staff a deeper understanding of how good practice (or bad) can impact on the people that we care for.
  • Have regular meetings with your staff team, listen and ask for their views. Ask them for solutions not just problems.
  • Don’t be afraid to performance manage staff that are not working to the standards that you have clearly set out.
  • Monitor and have a clear policy that you follow for staff sickness.

Explain to staff why this is taken so seriously:

  • Reduced quality of performance and service levels — sickness absence can leave the organisation short staffed.
  • Work disruption — staff off sick may have special skills or work roles that are not easily covered by others
  • Low morale — morale can quickly suffer in organisations where sickness absence rates are high, usually manifested as general dissatisfaction and resentment among employees filling in for absent colleagues.

Do get in touch if you would like help to improve the culture in your home. Email Maxine here.

Maxine Parry