Not everyone would be prepared to carry out such challenging and responsible roles for the pay of a typical care worker. Which makes every care worker a highly valued resource and deserving of the highest levels of respect and consideration.
Because of the demands of the job, if they feel unsupported and unrecognised, they are highly likely to leave. And high staff turnover has a negative impact on your reputation and on your business efficiency.
Respect is closely linked to autonomy, which is an important element in delivering the ‘right care.’ The right care is a combination of training to know what’s right and culture to do what’s right. You need both. An autonomous workforce feels trusted and valued. It will be efficient and need less resources and supervision.
An undervalued, stressed employee will create vastly different outcomes when faced with challenging situations, compared to someone who is confident in their role and equipped to make decisions.
What do care workers want?
Care workers should see a clear pathway of potential progression with relevant rewards in place. Rewards can be financial or aligned to professional development. Care workers should have the opportunity to develop a specialism in something that interests them, that they enjoy, or at which they excel. This improves job satisfaction.
Often, what people want most is simply the confidence that their efforts are being recognised and appreciated. As the main connection point with clients, carers are often the closest to those receiving care and best placed to offer suggestions regarding the wellbeing of those they look after. Their opinions and suggestions shouldn’t be overlooked.
Carers should also be encouraged and helped to hold their own wellbeing in the same regard as the wellbeing of those receiving the care.
To create an environment where individuals feel supported and respected, communication, leadership and supervision must be exemplary. To help your staff improve their communication skills, please see the Tips for Communicating Effectively information sheet in our Resource Library.
In the right kind of supportive environment the role of a carer is highly rewarding. Carers make a positive difference to the quality of life of those who are less able to achieve it themselves. It is a professional role and enables individuals to develop a range of skills and experiences that can be used in a variety of situations. Many of these skills, such as being able to communicate on different levels, understanding a person as an individual and dealing with conflicts, are valuable in many areas of personal life as well as their professional capacity.