Your care team are the most important part of home care. Creating a culture of mutual trust makes life easier for everyone involved. Trust takes time but is easy to lose. Many factors affect this, both personal and professional. Establishing goals, boundaries and a communication plan help to build trust.
There are a number of factors that can influence the trust between management and staff. Job satisfaction must be managed and monitored, engage with employees to understand their frustrations or concerns they may have with their role. Communicate with them about their well being, attitude, motivations, and anything else they may want to discuss with you. Keeping a good pattern of communication ensures that trust is maintained.
How to make your employees trust you:
Get to know your employees!
Everyone involved in care is there for a common reason; to help others. Carers are naturally very giving people, who give their all when taking care of people they themselves grow relationships with. By providing support to your staff, you can take care of them better, to ensure they are enjoying their time in your employment as much as possible. Regular one to ones are important to get feedback and address any concerns. Try having a one to one in a relaxed environment, perhaps out of the office, such as a local cafe for a coffee. These confidential discussions will provide excellent insight into a staff members life that you can provide support. This also works the other way, with them being able to provide support to you, so utilise one to one meetings as frequently as possible!
Show your trust
Staff won’t trust you if you do not trust them first. It is important to show you trust your carers are doing a good job, and representing the company in the best way possible. When a new carer starts, shadowing visits to make sure that quality of service is maintained is the best way to make sure that your brand will not be affected by an uneducated or inept carer, but do not overbear or over antagonise a carer during these shadow visits. Confidence needs to be built, and communicating faults needs to be done carefully. By doing this, you give them enough freedom and space to perform their duties. This gives them a feeling of self responsibility and challenges them to provide as best care as possible.
Be consistent in your messaging
People trust you more when you are more genuine. Keeping care staff informed and keep the promises that you make. People trust you better when you can be dependable and therefore predictable, and how you will react to certain requests or situations. Make sure to manage your body language as well!
Gossip – zero tolerance!
Never say a bad thing about a colleague or employee. It decreases your trustworthiness as an employer as the other person might start to fear you could to the same about them. Tell your frustration to someone outside the company if you need to! Be an example for the others to see, and make sure everyone knows gossiping is something you don’t accept!
Don’t blame people / teams in front of others
Blaming someone in front of others does not help anyone, and will make you lose credibility very quickly! This includes criticism of a carer in front of a client; just don’t do it! Determining what is open conversation and confidential discussion is the key to managing your care team. Being lenient and forgiving also helps people to try harder in the future, rather than reprimanding them straight away. Being fair doesn’t mean you should accept any issue; it is better to have a clear practice on acceptable practices and what is allowed and what is not.
Show you are a good person, and don’t always think about the money!
Employees trust you more when they see that profit is not the only driving factor behind you and behind the business. Goals should be set by a company, but especially in the care environment, being as profitable as possible is quite frowned upon. Carers are underpaid across the globe for the role they perform, so this will not resonate well with themselves. A strong mitigator is contributing to a good cause; a charity or research group that your company’s goals align with. If you can manage staff bonuses, that always helps, but at least a small gift around Christmas time goes a long way to building trust and improving staff retention!
Trusting the organisation:
Staff need to understand and respect the brand and strategy of your organisation. By sharing strategy and vision for your company, you engage with everyone to grow the business and improve standards. Consistent messaging is needed to drive these goals, so once you have a message, stick to it!
Create an open Culture
Make sure your door is always open to listen to your care staff! A welcoming atmosphere that allows employees to feel comfortable approaching you with their worries and ideas will help them build trust with you as a person, but also the company. Involving employees and gathering feedback is important to improving communication between all staff members, building trust, and improving your business.
Get the basics right!
Make sure that your business basics are all in place; make sure everyone gets paid on time should be top of that list! There is also a lot of admin for bringing on new staff or adapting systems internally with all staff, so make sure that these procedures are documented properly and communicated with the team properly. Remember, first impressions matter, so having a good onboarding procedure can help build trust with new staff members!
Trust is the most important part of care. It is the basis of every action and decision made by any member of staff. Building trust takes time and can be destroyed instantly, but by taking precautions, making plans and enacting proper procedures can help you and your organisation grow together in a trusting way!