Section I in a 4-Part Personnel Series
Some refuse to discuss it for fear they may be accused of elitism. Others simply ignore the issue and as a result run a business in care that becomes known for rampant personnel turnover. The reality is there is often a gap in the thinking between direct care staff and management and/or owners of care businesses.
Entrepreneurs generally approach everything with a longer range view, not looking at their daily tasks as disposable or able to be dismissed in exchange for another job. The entrepreneur also is focused on their investment into the business and the need to nurture and protect it. While the opposite attitude is by no means true of every person you hire to render direct care, you will encounter those who: (a) simply are there to get paid and who leave lights on that are not needed or, (b) are clueless or unconcerned about controlling operating expenses or , (c) who do not view warmly greeting resident guests as a necessary ingredient of customer service.
Knowing you will have to deal with some individuals with these issues how can you keep it from frustrating you into anxiety attacks while not allowing it to destroy your business? Well there is no way to be rid of it 100% but you can develop strategies for a meeting of the minds so that behavior that works against the business does not destroy your operation. Take note:
- Have rules that are tied to employment such as what lights should be on and when and how long. Drive this point home by showing staff utility bills from a month when good practices were used and a month when wastefulness ruled the day. Remember you may be dealing with someone who has never taken responsibility for the totality of their own monthly expenses so some things could be foreign.
- Be sure your own behavior is observed as focused on conservation. If you as the boss are observed being wasteful it will trickle to those you supervise.
- Show a little patience when the practices you ascribe to are ignored. Remember it may take a while for people to get the hang of what you prefer. If you frustrate them, employee turnover will be rampant and that will hurt your business. USE CONSISTENCY WITHOUT ANNOYANCE!
- Use reminders that help people stick to best practices. This will add uniformity to what you do.
At no time must this advice be interpreted to recommend some type of 2-class state in your assisted living or adult day care program. It is the simple reality of how different perspectives and priorities have to merge for the overall success of the operation. Do you agree?
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