Making patients and residents feel welcome is essential in the care industry. As we previously mentioned, being personable is the key to achieving this.
This involves being mindful of what patients want to hear and how they’d like to be treated, taking the time to listen and most importantly, remembering to smile!
In fact, an article by the Evening Standard revealed that smiling makes you more approachable and trustworthy. It’s an inviting facial expression which eases tension and makes people feel comfortable around each other – which is particularly important in the care industry.
What’s more, smiling makes other people do the same. The said article also stated that it increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure, meaning that you can help patients benefit when they smile back!
If that isn’t a good enough excuse to get your care workers smiling, then I don’t know what is!
However, trying to get your staff to smile through long and taxing shifts isn’t always easy. To help you spread some joy among your team and your patients, here are a few of our favourite methods.
Set the tone
Just because you’re a senior member of staff, manager or owner, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t got the ability to do something nice for an employee.
Take the time to make them a cup of tea when they’re busy or pull them over for a few minutes to enjoy a casual chat.
While it may feel counterproductive, showing a friendly and caring side will give your employee an opportunity to relax and lighten up.
They may also open up and share their problems too, which will enable you to make effective changes to the organisation.
Reward care workers
Dedicated care workers put a serious amount of hard work and graft into helping others – so recognise it!
Highlighting their achievements can really give the team a boost and make them feel valued. You can achieve this by running a simple employee of the month award or just mentioning names in team meetings.
(It can also generate better productivity rates too!)
Socialise out of work hours
Breakdown the work barriers and arrange a fun social evening for all care workers to attend. This isn’t just a perfect way of making newbies feel welcome, but it allows your team to get closer and bond.
And we all know, the key to a successful team is one that works for each other.
A word of warning – it’s also worth asking your employees what they fancy doing first to avoid a poor turnout or an awkward night.
Make it apart of what you stand for
You see many big corporate companies creating an ethos for their staff to abide by. Eric Jacobson, a specialist in management and leadership, says: “without a statement, the company will lack soul.”
Adding: “true reflections of what the company believes – and management and employees are willing to live by”.
The same principle applies to organisations. You see, if you tell a care worker why they’re working for you and continually remind them about the great job they’re doing, it will make them feel valued.
Naturally, working in the care industry is fulfilling in itself, but giving employees an extra incentive is bound to make them smile.
To implement this idea doesn’t require you to sit down for hours on end. Just printing off little prompts on pieces of card and sticking them in the staff room or kitchen can give them a boost when you’re not there to provide support.
Conduct weekly huddles
Whether you run an organisation where care professionals work individually or in a team, making time for a weekly huddle is an opportunity for you to inspire your team and get them smiling.
Snacknation has some hilarious icebreaker games designed to wake people up, reveal some information about themselves and make them laugh.
Our particular favourite is the toilet paper icebreaker. Every employee must rip off as many pieces of toilet roll they used last time they completed their business.
Once everyone has done it, each employee then has to reveal one fun fact about themselves for every sheet they ripped off.
(Heaven forbid if you’ve got a bit of a bad stomach!)
Bring in snacks
It’s simple but very effective. You’ll be surprised how happy a packet of biscuits or punnet of raspberries (for the health-conscious) can make your staff feel.
Just get to know what your team like and provide the goodies.
It’s an easy way of keeping energy levels up and getting employees through a particularly long or tough shift.
Get your recruitment right
There’s no doubt that hiring new care workers can add a new dimension to your workforce. New characters often bring different personalities and ways of working.
This can translate into more friendships and extra smiles. However, this all starts with hiring the right care workers from the outset.
Choosing a care professional without much thought can, in fact, have a negative impact on morale. So it’s vital that you sit down, take stock of the personalities you have and establish what kind of people will fit nicely into your organisation’s culture.
Here at Temps4Care, we specialise in helping care organisations find the right employees. Register your details with us today and we’ll find you the most passionate and happy care professionals around.