Let’s just stop and really digest this for a minute, where would we be without Care staff? It doesn’t even bear thinking about.
Your care staff are on the frontline of what is an unprecedented and somewhat daunting time for the care industry. The predicament of staff caring for people who are the most vulnerable has left them feeling stressed, scared to go into work and anxious.
Yet despite Covid-19, care workers remain at the forefront of care, working unsociable hours, battling it out with a lack of PPE, remaining positive despite minimum wages and most importantly, always providing the best care possible.
Covid-19 has hit Care Home and Home Care owners hard in relation to staff sickness levels and aiming to avoid using any form of care agency. Let’s face it, using agency staff is only increasing the risk of spreading the virus and adds to the lack of continuity of care.
So what options do you have to support your current permanent staff AND hiring new permanent staff?
Below are the top 5 initiatives you can be implemented to support your staff.
1. Increase in staff wages.
I don’t need to ramble on about current care staff wages, we all know the so called ‘unskilled’ care staff are now the ones we are turning to in our hardest times. I myself spent 2 years on minimum wage whilst working 45 hours a week in dom care from 7am-10pm, 5 days a week. And I was one of the lucky ones.
Increasing your staff wages as a temporary measure will increase staff morale, show the staff you appreciate their dedication and commitment and more importantly, it’s the right thing to do.
Increasing staff wages will show potential new staff that you’re a company who really values it’s workers.
2. Offering a bonus
The staff that are working additional hours to help out with sickness levels could be offered additional pay such as time and a half.
Staff in general should be offered a set bonus once the lockdown is finished to show your appreciation for their loyalty. We are already hearing of care homes in Oxfordshire agreeing to pay each staff member £250 after lockdown.
Offering a bonus will keep all staff members motivated and will increase the likelihood of them referring friends and relatives to work for your business.
3. Send updated letters or emails
Communication and regular updates with your staff are essential in general and even more so with the current climate.
A letter or email to your staff, thanking them and updating them with the provisions you’ve put in place for safety, PPE updates, training and what the future holds, will be a huge motivator for your staff.
Your staff will appreciate that you understand how hard they are working and the risks they are putting on themselves, their families and the people they care for, for the sake of your business.
It takes you 5 minutes to send a group email to all staff. There’s simply no excuse not to say a huge thank you to the people on the front line of your business.
4. Introduce Zoom or Sykpe to avoid meetings in the office
Your business has to carry on no matter what circumstances are thrown at it. To check in with your staff you can have a face to face meeting via Zoom or Skype.
These simple forms of technology will allow you to have a more personable conversation with your staff where you can show your genuine gratitude towards them.
Why not even have fun with your Zoom meetings and hold a weekly quiz or singing competition to keep morale high!
Phone calls are great, but your staff will appreciate a face to face meeting or catch up over a smartphone or computer.
5. Introduce e-learning and ongoing training
As we all know, training never stops in care and nor should it. As we’re unable to complete face to face training such as moving and positioning, medication and food hygiene, to name a few, we are relying on the resources we have.
With ongoing legislation changes, completing e-learning is a fantastic opportunity to keep on top of updated rules and regulations.
E-learning will not only keep your staff complaint and knowledgeable, but it will also allow staff to develop their skills as a carer and look towards future development and progression with your company.