5 Simple Steps to Creating Happy Carers!
It’s not easy to become a Bright Care Companion Carer! Our selection, interview and training programmes are rigorous and aim to identify the best of the best; those people that we are genuinely excited to work with on a daily basis. We only hire people who have a great attitude, and are warm, genuine and caring people and we are committed to keeping them happy, so that in turn, they will keep our clients happy and well looked after.
Here’s how we do it…
Know your Carer
A Care Package that works well is built on a strong foundation, by finding the right match of Companion Carer to Client. Our office based teams spend a great deal of time throughout the interview and training process getting to know our Companion Carers on a personal level, and develop an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and personal preferences. We always want our Companion Carers to work in the way which makes the most of their talents and skills, and which helps them feel fulfilled. This means we spend a great deal of time in our selection process when assigning them to clients to ensure that both the Carer and the Client feel comfortable together and a great relationship can flourish.
Praise where praise is due
Our countless focus groups and feedback sessions from staff across the organisation have all highlighted how important it is to our staff to have a sense of job satisfaction and to know whether or not they are doing a good job.
We receive so much positive feedback from clients, it is often easy to assume our teams out in the field already know what a great job they do and how much they are appreciated – but this is not always the case. We never underestimate the power of a short phone call to someone to say thanks or a courtesy email offering up some positive feedback about how well they are doing, and any compliments that we receive about our Companion Carers are recorded on their personnel file and are always passed on to the carer, with our thanks.
Respecting the Work / Life Balance
The type of people who are most suited to working in the caring profession are likely to be very family orientated, caring people. As such, we recognise that it is vital that we allow our staff space and support to ensure that they have a good work/life balance. Whether its giving someone the flexibility to attend their child’s school play or to take a relative to a hospital appointment, this sends a strong message to our staff that we recognise that there is more to life than work, work , work!
Nurture and Support
Caring for others on a one-to-one basis out in the community can often be lonely and isolating, and we recognise that a strong relationship and a sense of support from line managers and the rest of the office based team and other carers is critical. Any actions that build trust, loyalty and a sense of being truly valued by your line manager is well worth the investment. We take time to connect with our Care Staff through regular formal supervisions and informal chats to stay connected to see what is going on in their lives.
We often find carers are not interested in ‘career development’ in the traditional sense. They are not looking for a ladder to climb but are committed to developing their own skills and knowledge base and are happy to actively engage in all the additional training and support that we provide.
Rewards do not necessarily need to be financial to show appreciation. At Bright Care, all compliments received are passed on to the Companion Carer, and going the extra mile is rewarded by awarding a “Carer of the Month” and a “Carer of the Year”. It’s the little things, like receiving a card to wishing a ‘happy birthday’, or to ‘get well soon’, or perhaps ‘good luck’ for a driving test or exam, or even a simple ‘thinking of you’ card when we know that times are tough; this is what sets Bright Care apart as an employer, and as a care provider.
It is, however, still vitally important that staff are paid well for their work and efforts. Historically, the skills and effort involved in caring for older people has been undervalued, and unfortunately, carers wages have reflected this.
It will take time for the value of a good carer to be recognised, and for salary scales across the industry to reflect this. Unfortunately, with increasing wages come increasing costs to people who purchase care, but we strongly feel that there should be a firm commitment from employers to pay staff well in proportion to the responsibility and challenge that they have in their role and play their part in improving pay rates in the industry.