Posted on Monday 6th August 2018
More employers are seeing the benefits of supporting the health and wellbeing of their staff, particularly on performance measures such as productivity, employee engagement, turnover and sickness absence.
Many do this because they think it’s the right thing to do and it aligns with their organisation’s vision and values, and there are real benefits for organisations that do it right. However, others invest in wellbeing strategies as a token gesture or for financial reasons and for them, there’s a real risk that it might not reap the rewards they expect.
The reason why - any actions to improve health and wellbeing will only be effective if they’re aligned with your workplace culture, and lots of businesses overlook this element. For example a health and wellbeing initiative that promotes a healthy work-life balance won’t work if your culture encourages people to work long hours or lots of overtime.
This week we launch our updated ‘Culture for care toolkit’ to help you develop a positive culture in your workplace. It has updated guidance and activities to help.
Anne Wilson is a registered manager at Riverview Residential Home, part of Priory Adult Care. She talks to us about how a strong, person-centred culture has helped them achieve an outstanding rating in their CQC inspection.
Your service has been recognised for taking an ‘outstanding’ approach to proving person-centred care. How have you done this?
"Our culture at Riverview is all about putting the individual at the heart of everything that we do.
One of the main factors for anyone that comes to live here is getting the environment right. Our focus is always on ‘how do we get the environment to fit the person’ rather than ‘how will the person fit our environment’.
Time and time again we see that getting this right increases an individual’s sense of self-worth, purpose and belonging, improves their mental health and wellbeing and gives them increased control and personalisation.
An example of this is when one individual came to us from a previous secure placement. He displayed behaviour which challenged and had previously received five:one support and used PRN medication on a daily basis.
We believe that small things add up to big differences for the people we support, so a small step each day leads to a giant leap over years. We’ve supported him to find coping strategies so when he’s feeling unhappy he can communicate this to us through gesture, rather than using negative behaviours. He now accesses the local community, regularly goes swimming and takes part in a range of activities. He has the opportunity to fulfil his personal potential with a limitless future ahead of what is possible, and we have the honour of playing a part in his life story and celebrating his successes."
You take a person-centred approach to managing your staff, please can you tell us about it?
"I’ve worked in care for many years as a support worker, senior team leader, deputy manager and registered manager, and this has given me an understanding of how important it is to treat staff members as individuals, taking time to support, coach and mentor them. This is really important to me. I feel staff leave managers not a service.
I understand the struggles my team face on a daily basis such as stress management, dealing with individuals’ emotional and physical needs, dealing and responding to behaviours that challenge, long working hours and challenging time management – so sometimes just having enough time to sit down for five minutes for a cuppa can be a really important part of a member of staff’s day!
I value every member of staff. Each individual brings something extraordinary to the team. I strive to make them feel valued every single day. If it wasn’t for the commitment, empathy and integrity they show day in day out, the service would not be where it is. I’ve worked in care for many years and they really are a special lot!
Having a personal-centred approach when it comes to the team is easy for me due to their openness, honesty and motivation to improve the service and the lives of the individuals we support.
I’ll always encourage them to identify and reach their goals, give them additional responsibilities and would never hold them back in terms of promotion or experience whether that’s with the Priory Group or another provider.
Our staff team is the fundamental foundation of Riverview."
Find out more
Workplace culture is a powerful force and has a big impact on the care and support you and your staff deliver.
We’ve updated our ‘Culture for care toolkit’ to help you develop a positive workplace culture in your organisation. It’s for leaders and managers of adult social care employers, and explains what a positive workplace culture looks like, how it can benefit your business and how you can develop it in your organisation. Visit the toolkit here.
A positive workplace culture can help you improve the health and wellbeing of the people who live and work in your service. Follow our ‘improving health and wellbeing’ campaign here or on Twitter using #happyworkplace.
Support for registered managers
Anne is a registered manager member of Skills for Care. She said:
“The first thing I did when I got my registration letter through was to become a member of Skills for Care. This is because they have been a source of information throughout my career. I have found the 'Social care manager’s handbook' really helpful and use it frequently within my new role.”
For out more about registered manager membership here.