Your company values are probably written on the pages of your website, in your brochure and they may even be displayed on the walls of your building. But how can you use those company values to increase quality of the staff you hire, your existing team and the quality of care you provide?
Most start with Values-Based Interviewing. A bit of a buzz word in social care in the UK. But if that’s the only time your values come into play then you may recruit great staff, but they won’t stay if the culture within the company doesn’t match up to the values on the wall.
So how do you use your company values further? I believe there are a few building blocks to have in place to really make the most of them.
1. Your Company Values
One of the biggest problems with company values is that the majority of the time they’ve not been created by the staff, and so the staff don’t feel like they have any ownership over those values.
Think about your own personal values. How would you feel if someone told you they wanted you to have different ones? You might resist or even disagree, and so there’s no guarantee you’ll embody those values being asked of you.
Another problem with a lot of care company values is they are very similar, and often identical to other care company values. When this is the case the values can quite often get diluted and the meaning has no difference from one organisation to the next.
Watch the full video of the talk at the Dorset Care Conference:
A good way to discover more about your own company values is to go and ask people as you walk around your building. Ask them if they know what your company values are and if they do then ask them what it means to embody those values. If you’re not happy with their answer then there’s work to be done.
2. Building Company Culture
One of the best ways to get staff engaged and embodying the company values is to hold a staff meeting or bring in an outside facilitator to run a workshop (get in touch if you’d like to know how we do this) and start to discuss with the staff the company values and what it means to embody them in their day to day working lives.
Take it a step further by taking those values and transforming them into values statement, or you can call them culture statements which go into more detail about how you are expected to operate as an employee of your company or home. You might find the staff start to come up with some really good statements that reinforce how they want to work and the environment they want to work in. With the staff having such a big input this really helps them to take ownership of the values statements and bring them into their working day.
Don’t stop after the meeting; include visual aids around the building and introduce recognition for people living up to the values statements. That way the message will continue into the future.
If there’s one person who can help influence and drive the culture being built in the company, it’s the manager and we find many managers find it difficult to get out onto the floor and lead by example when they are bogged down with day to day tasks and processes. Quite often the “people” aspect of the job can end up being put to one side or neglected.
We’ve also found a surprisingly high amount of managers who started as support workers and risen through the ranks, while this is great, we found that many had never received any formal leadership or management training and as a result their confidence and self-esteem were often lacking. It’s so important to upskill new managers, not just in the technical skills required for the job but also in the soft skills so they can be confident in their own ability to lead a team.
Last year we took part in the biggest study of “outstanding” rated managers ever conducted, and the results were fascinating. The research proved how important a strong leader is within a care home and how they can really drive not just the culture but even the CQC ratings up.
Referrals are really one of the most cost effective ways to recruit new staff, but you’ll probably find you won’t get many unless you have the three steps above in place. What’s interesting is that managers will often find their best staff come from referrals because the person being referred will already understand the culture from their friend, and will have already decided it fits with their values and want to work for a company like that.
The Department of Training Industry did a study and found that engaged teams were 78% more likely to refer their company, promote their company and meet customer satisfaction levels so this really proves why you need steps 1-3 in place before you can reap the rewards of quality referrals.
3. Use Social Media To Share Your Story
One of the best (but most neglected) ways to attract new staff is through social media and particularly through Facebook. If your last company page post was a sad looking photo of the outside of the building or even worse! A stock photo of a smiley nurse then it’s time to take action as I can guarantee the other care homes in your area will not be doing this.
Every care company has a website, but it’s important to recognise the website is a clinical, polished look of your business – it’s like a brochure. What Facebook gives you the opportunity to do, is showcase behind the scenes of your business and it lets you tell the story. It lets you share the values and the team culture and the spirit of the company in a way that could attract both residents and staff, so don’t dismiss it.
Why not empower a few members of your team to run your Facebook page? It’s a great way to give some extra responsibility and encourage ownership for your staff. For more information on how to make the most out of your company Facebook page then listen to this episode of The Road To Outstanding podcast, with Facebook Expert; Michelle Purse.
6. Values-Based Interviewing
And now, everything really comes together. You can use the solid set of values and culture statements you created with your team in step 1 to create a powerful advertisement for the company and also to interview the candidates more effectively. You’ll be able to really describe what the culture is like in your company and understand if the candidate will fit within that culture.
The candidate themselves will be able to see the spirit of your company and see it being driven by an engaging and empowering leader, they will probably have seen the great stories being posted on social media and they’ll see staff who are promoting their company as a great place to work.
Your entire recruitment process will probably have become much easier as you’ll be retaining staff and have better quality staff working for you.
Want To Take This Even Further?
If you’d like to understand how the Judgement Index assessment can be used as part of your values-based interviewing and recruitment process, and how it also can help with the development of staff then just give us a call to discuss further.
As mentioned, we also run workshops, leadership academies and tailored training to help develop leaders, build a values-based culture and increase engagement within a team. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in running for your team just let us know and we can discuss further.