Psychological Safety and Support in home care

“Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business. It’s as simple as that.”
Sir Richard Branson

A recently promoted home care manager asked on Facebook, what do the carers wish for from their manager. The care workers gave so many wonderful advices that one blog post couldn’t cover it all. Instead we’ve gathered them into four blog posts and this is the last one with the theme “psychological safety and support”. Read more about psychological safety and team meetings, leading by example, and ensuring support in all shifts.

 

Team Meetings and Psychological Safety

“High-Performing teams need psychological safety”
Laura Delizonna,

PhD, an executive coach,
instructor at Stanford University.

Psychological safety means that people are allowed to speak their mind, take moderate risk, be creative, and being able to “sticking your neck out without fear of having it cut off”. (Harvard Business Review, 24.8.2017)

Team meetings create a safe surrounding were your staff can speak openly about their experiences in work. It can be either official or a more relaxed event for the staff such as non work-related activity where carers would have a safe place to express their opinions, frustrations and success. “We become more open-minded, resilient, motivated, and persistent when we feel safe”, continues Mrs. Delizonna.

Carers wish for the managers to be visible and approachable to all their teams. A phone call to the carers once in a while to ask how things are going, can make a big difference to feeling valued.

Paul Santagata, the head of Industry at Google, lists 5 steps to increase psychological safety in your team:

  1. Approach conflict as a collaborator, not an adversary.
  2. Speak human to human.
  3. Anticipate reactions and plan countermoves.
  4. Replace blame with curiosity.
  5. Ask for feedback on delivery.

Ensure that the care workers feel safe to give feedback. Picture by www.freepik.com.

 

Walk the Talk – Leading by Example

“As a leader, part of your job is to inspire the people around you to push themselves – and, in turn, the company – to greatness. To do this, you must show them the way by doing it yourself.”

Bruna Martinuzzi, Leading by Example, Mindtools.

Many care workers wish for their managers to lead by example. One care worker detailed on Facebook: “Be prepared to cover shifts. You can’t expect people to do what you wouldn’t do.” While another carer suggested that leaders should know “about the clients and interacting with service users as much as carers and seniors”.

The general idea is for the managers is to be part of the team and to walk the talk. Show that you know what’s going on in the field, be part of the team, and to provide support for the staff when needed.

Leading by example. Picture by www.freepik.com.

 

Support at Weekends and Night Shifts

“Keep your nightstaff closer as they always get left to their own devices until something goes wrong.”

– A care worker.

Ensure that the staff have enough support at weekends and during night shifts. Night shifts requires a lot from the staff and they can feel like they are left alone with the responsibilities if the managers are not easily to be reached.

If your own working hours don’t cover that time, make sure that there is some decision maker on call to help if something happens and the staff need support. Obviously you are also entitled to your freetime.

Giving support all the time. Picture by www.freepik.com.

 

Finally

Team meetings and psychological safety, leading by example, and support at weekends and night shifts are just a few things that care workers wish for their managers. The best way to learn how to be an excellent leader is to ask from your staff what do they expect of you.

Just remember sir Richard Branson’s words, that when you take care of your carers they take care of your business. It is a win-win-win -situation as happy staff provides the best kind of care for your customers.

 

This is the last part of a series of blog posts about carer expectations to their managers. You can read the previous blog posts from here:

What carers expect from their managers (Part 1): Training and information flow

What carers expect from their managers (part 2): Time management

Care workers’ health and safety