One of the biggest challenges facing the care industry is not only finding staff but retaining them.
People are the heart of any care service, they can make the difference between an ‘Inadequate’ and an ‘Outstanding’ rating.
In the second in the series of interviews with Foto Pupurayi the Registered Manager for Outstanding care provider Hand in Hands, he talks to us about how they avoid high staff turnover.
Getting off to a good start
Hand in Hands respect, value and support all of their staff and this starts from Day 1, with a robust recruitment, induction, training and on-going support programme for all staff.
All staff are employed by Hand in Hands with a contract of employment, they do not employ anyone on ‘zero hours’ and never use agency staff. They join as an integral part of the team, making them feel valued from the outset.
New staff undertake a 2 day company induction, 5 days of Care Certificate training and a further 5-7 days of mandatory training, relevant to the individuals they support, including Autism, which is delivered by an individual who is Autistic, giving a ‘real life’ experience, Epilepsy, Positive Behaviour Support, Administering Medication and End of Life Care due to the number of individuals we support with an Epilepsy diagnosis who may be at risk of Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome (SUDEP).
They work shadow shifts under the guidance of a Team Leader before discussing their progress after 7 days and again at 4 weeks with a Manager.
As part of induction to the organisation, all staff complete a ‘staff profile’, including their favourite foods, likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests. When a referral for a new care and support package is received the profiles are used to ensure the ‘right staff’ are allocated based on their knowledge, skills, experience and interests. This aids satisfaction and fulfilment for both the team member and the individual.
In line with the organisations Quality Assurance and compliance procedures and ‘best practice’, all staff are subject to 26 week probation with reviews at 8, 12 and 26 weeks. (Reviews take place every 4 weeks up to week 26 if under the age of 18). Any staff that do not meet the expected standard may have their probation extended by a further 3 months or they are dismissed. They also have 3 monthly competency observations, 6 monthly medication observations, infection prevention and control observations and supervision (or sooner if needed) and annual appraisal.
Staff are regularly rewarded through development and progression opportunities, bonuses and reward schemes, and are allocated additional annual leave when it is their birthday.
By treating staff well, it generates loyalty and pride in the job they do which is reflected in their commitment to their role, the organisation and the individuals they support.
There are always sufficient numbers of suitably experienced staff on duty in line with individuals care and support commission and a designated 24 hour on-call. So everyone feels supported at all times.
If under the age of 18, staff are not permitted to work alone so are allocated to a mentor and shadowed at all times. We believe sharing best practice is paramount and peer support from experienced staff proves invaluable to those less experienced, enabling them to develop knowledge and skills vital to providing person-centred support.
Each staff member has a Continuous Professional Development Plan which they contribute to during supervision and appraisal, enabling them to reflect on practice and determine goals for progression.
Hand in Hands believe “the best leaders are home grown” and in light of this, all staff commence employment in the role of a Support Worker. They are then given opportunities to progress within the organisation, including accessing relevant formal qualifications and progression through qualification levels is encouraged.
All staff hold or are working towards a minimum qualification of Level 2, many staff have progressed to achieve Level 3 and all Team Leaders and Locality Leads have now achieved Level 4. 1 Service Manager has achieved Level 4 and 2 Service Managers have achieved Level 5.
These are some of the key components to managing staff well-being and ensuring they feel supported and valued. This undoubtedly contributes towards a culture that in turn provides a high quality service provision and a team that really cares about the needs of others.
In our final instalment from Foto he talks about the CQC inspection process and how it feels to have maintained their ‘Outstanding’.
To hear more from Foto, read the first in the series – Being a Registered Manager to an ‘Outstanding’ Social Care Provider during the pandemic.