A key indicator of a well-run care service is the rate of staff turn-over. A stable workforce indicates a happy and settled working environment, which should see this reflected in the quality of care.
The Registered Manager position is of vital importance to the smooth running of any care home. Finding the individual who can tackle all the challenges thrown at them, from staffing to regulatory obligations, can itself be quite a task. But the regulators are more likely to feel reassured about the quality of the service if they have confidence in the registered manager.
It’s a balancing act to ensure that the right staff are motivated to stay with your business and that the weak ones are managed out. Financial incentives aren’t always an option in an industry with such tight margins, but morale can be a key factor in whether good staff want to stay. Maintaining morale can include the management engaging with the entire staff team so that they feel involved in decisions that affect them and the business. It’s also important to be seen to be tackling difficult staff members and to lead from the front – creating a more cohesive environment that avoids the “us” and “them” attitude between workers and management.
Being “well-led” is one of the five key areas that the Care Quality commission look at when evaluating a service. This means not just management and administration, but also leadership.
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One in eight registered manager posts is vacant at any one time and close to half of all those in post are 50 or older – a picture that Kelly finds alarming. “But then our statistics tell us that only about 12% of the entire workforce is under 25. That’s probably the scariest thing,” he says. “We have got to get better at sourcing young people to work in the sector.”