Don’t let anyone feel forgotten
Twice last week while working with different clients I referenced a story of an interview with an assisted living resident, Martin Bayne. Unfortunately Martin Bayne is one of the many residents in our industry that feel “forgotten…to the world around them.” It’s a sad reality that too many residents suffer silently in pain, that is an emotional pain of feeling forgotten, lonely, and unappreciated. Click here for more on Martin Bayne.
At Drive, we often share the story of Martin Bayne because too many team members also feel forgotten, lonely or unappreciated. We meet with night shift staff and they share with us, “no one tells me anything,” “They don’t care about me.” Other times we hear, “Don’t worry about the money that you pay me. Worry about how you treat me.”
Research shows that 53% of people say they would stay at their current job if they were appreciated more. How can we ensure that our residents and staff never feel forgotten to the world around them? How can we show more appreciation?
Insights from Workshop 1
On Tuesday I met with a group of leaders for one of our private clients where we talked about how to become change agents in their home and ways to eliminate “us” vs. “they” mentality. When I asked them, “how can we make sure no one feels forgotten,” they shared:
- Always use a person’s name
- Be (mentally) present when speaking to someone
- Practice active listening
- By always saying simple things, like “good morning” (Hello, have a nice day, etc).
- Being genuine
- By caring about one another
We further discussed having more celebrations, building deeper relationships with everyone, but reaching out to specific people in need. We talked about having more one-on-ones and making sure new employees especially feel welcomed and can meet and make new friends.
Insights from Workshop 2
On Thursday I was invited to speak to a group of nurse leaders who were attending a 3-day nurse bootcamp. I was asked to connect the importance of person-centered care to the importance of engaging your front-line staff. Happier staff = Happier residents.
In this session we spent a good chunk of time acknowledging that we are all different, and that as you shift to a culture of caring you must remember that your residents are people. But that your staff are also all people. We all have different likes, dislikes, talents and weaknesses. These nurse leaders valued the importance of having a good initial assessment on a new resident, and so I challenged them to consider this same concept for new employees.
Here are a few simple tips for welcoming new employees:
- Ask how they got into this field originally and what career aspirations they may have for the future?
- Generally, ask them lots of questions! Ok it’s probably not a great idea to ask them 100 questions all at once, but you can have some standard intake questions that help to get to know them a little bit better. Consider asking them their favorite drink, food, candy bar, etc. to personalize appreciation.
- Learn how people feel appreciated (we talked about the 5 languages of workplace appreciation)! Are they words of affirmation? Quality time?
- If you’re not using a coaching model in your organization, you should look into simple coaching questions and techniques that will help you to regularly meet with new and seasoned employees. We can help!
- Ramp up your onboarding program to help integrate your new employees into your culture. Set up lunch, coffees, and other informal ways for them to get to know you, other leaders and their peers. Don’t forget to involve your residents too.
Minding my blindspot:
It’s not natural for me to ask someone on Monday morning, “How was your weekend?” In fact, truth be told on Monday morning I’m usually trying to dig through emails, plan for the week, the day, and crank out any last minute things I need to get done that morning. It’s not my strong suite to chit chat on a Mondays at all. However, I have personally made it a point to ask everyone I work with or speak to, how was your weekend? It’s a simple way to show people you care, so never let a busy Monday morning get in your way of being human and showing people you care about them.
This article was written by team member, Allison Duda.