As leaders we oversee the people who oversee the people... I think we can all agree that without staff our beds are empty, our communities are compromised, and our balance sheets are unbalanced. Our systems are telling us violently, that we must do something different, as what we are currently doing is not sustaining our staff and people are tapping out!
I have been in this industry for over 30 years, and the challenges have been consistent. Money is tight, time is short, and turnover is high. For me this is the definition of insanity, taking the same actions repeatedly, but expecting a different outcome. If we could pull back far enough and look at the bigger picture, we would see that retention comes from seeing people and making them feel like they matter. If you think about the last place you left, was it because you felt like you didn’t matter or didn’t belong?
This is the first time in our lifetime that we have experienced the same things as our clients and families. We experienced uncertainty, helplessness and vulnerability at levels never faced before. As time continues to happen our level of anxiety is not decreasing it just takes on new forms. With so many challenges in the world today, most people are having a tough time finding their center and supporting their own humanness, let alone our fellow staff, residents, and their families.
Emotional and mental support through understanding our own humanness is imperative for self-directed sustainable careers going forward. Filling the requirement and just checking off the training boxes is no longer effective to sustaining and maintaining your staff and their careers.
Our staff know how to physically support people, but they don’t know how to emotionally support people. Think about how everyone’s role has changed in the last 2 years. Professionals had to play a much larger role in families. In many instances they had to sit with people in their sadness, lonesomeness, and grief. Do any of us have the skills to support ourselves through this? Who supported the families through the grief, anger and despair COVID left in its path? How did it impact your moral values to watch people die without their family by their side? Has anyone taught us what to do with all this humanness that continues to happen around us? Nope.
It is not what we as professionals physically do to support another human, it is how we feel about it, that makes us stay or go. Our days are filled with human experiences that are made up of emotions and stories. When your humanness can’t reconnect with and emotionally process these stories, they accumulate and eventually become the things you can no longer hurdle on your way into work.
Now we are in recovery mode... we are losing staff at rapid rates and recruiting less. We are spending more and more on recruitment and less and less on retention. It is forecasted that 68% of our front-line staff will resign and obtain new careers outside of the healthcare industry. How many times have you thought about flipping burgers in the last 2 years? Better pay, less stress and way less emotional investment?
Now more than ever our systems need human gatherings to refresh, refocus and reengage. I am encouraging (begging) you to create an opportunity for your staff to connect with each other, gain the knowledge and understanding of their own humanness and understand “why” they do and react the way they do. What would happen if we helped each other create a self-sustaining, self-directed support system for ourselves so we could have less bad days and more compassionate bad moments? How would this help the way we support each other, our residents, and their families?
We have seen this Human Centered Approach impact morale, retention, and even entire communities! If you don’t choose us to help your community, please make a choice to do something different, and love the ones you got!
Thanks for showing up today and making someone’s day a little brighter!
I see you!
Wanna chat about what is possible in your community? Schedule a time here!