Care workers have been generally unappreciated for longer than any of us have experience. But there are many care providers out there that do work hard to value and appreciate their care teams. So, what do these companies do? And what do we want, that would make care workers feel appreciated?
What does it mean to be appreciated?
Being appreciated is to be made to feel that you are valued by the company, the manager, the team you work with and the residents you care for. It is that feeling of self-worth and knowing that you make a difference. That without you there, things would be a little bit tougher.
What have companies done to show appreciation?
Some companies show their appreciation by paying a Real Living Wage. Which is above the average carers pay! (You can help change that by signing this petition). Others offer benefits, such as extra holiday days, bonus’s for reliability and rewards through Perkbox.
Is it all about money?
Absolutely not, most of the above is not what is wanted. (Other than being paid a Real Living Wage, but shouldn’t that come as standard?)
It is the little things, that make the big difference.
Remembering it is your birthday and not scheduling you for work, so that you do not have to take it as holiday.
Saying thank you, when you go above the call of duty, which is most days.
Being spoken to as a professional and with respect, which sounds crazy to say, but it does not always happen.
These are just some of the little things, that when done regularly make a huge difference.
What is the impact of having a care team that feels appreciated?
Working in a team that feels appreciated is going make the work environment but better for staff and create a more homely feel for residents.
Appreciated care teams are likely to be more loyal to company, happier at work, more helpful with each other and be relied upon.
There is a huge benefit to companies in terms of quality of care, by appreciating its carers!
What can be done to get more companies to think about this?
I do not think that care workers are unappreciated intentionally! There is a huge amount of pressure on care managers and companies. Most are underfunded and understaffed. There is a demand on care managers to deliver continually improving services by the CQC. The pressure is being applied from all angles and, rightly so, the residents are the ones that are concentrated on.
However, this does mean that expectations on care teams are higher and managers don’t have time to think about how they ask for things to be done, just that they are done.
For this to change and improve, services need to be better supported by local authorities. So that managers can afford to attract staff, train them well and have time to develop their own leadership skills.
We will be continually adding to this, as we find more examples of care workers being appreciated.