order for any change to be sustainable it needs to become ‘the way we work’. Human resources has an important role to ensure that policies and processes align with the new way of working.
Considerations for recruitment;
Adverts - reflecting person centred values.
Relevant job descriptions that align with the organisations philosophy and vision and best practice dementia principles.
Interviewing acknowledges that person centeredness is as much about ‘being’ as ‘doing’. Interviews may include questions about person centred approach, enablement and wellness but you would also want to know the person’s values, their life experiences and how that has enabled them to connect with others - often this is the key to getting someone who is a cultural fit.
Interviews are made at convenient times to suit both the organisation and the candidate.
Consider having consumers on the interview panel to determine how the candidate interacts with the organisations clientele.
Some organisations hold information morning tea sessions for prospective candidates to learn about the agency, the role, the philosophy and culture. This method also enables the leaders to observe individual’s communication skills, ability to build relationships, motivation and enthusiasm for the role.
Once you have recruited the right staff member, you will want to keep them.
Considerations for successful staff retention;
You may want to consider matching staff with clients
Retention of staff will only occur if staff feel valued and appreciated in an organisation. Organisations that have high staff retention also have happy staff who say that they feel respected and valued by their managers. In turn, when staff are happy, so too are the clients that they interact with.
The staff that are working directly with consumers generally have a better understanding about that person. When difficult situations arise, these staff should be involved in decision making and problem solving. This is a great way of demonstrating the value that you hold for your staff.
Policies and procedures that align with a person centred approach
Organisational policies sometimes unknowingly prevent person centred care. While best practice advocates for staff to get to know their client to help meet their needs holistically, policies and procedures often tell staff to not become too attached to their clients and not to build friendships. Many organisations are proving that it is possible for staff to be both person centred and professional by having clear confidentiality and boundaries polices.
Confidentiality policies can cause concerns for organisations. We want to ensure that confidentiality is upheld at all times, but there is often a grey area between what information can be shared and who it can be shared with. To ensure confidentiality is maintained, policies should be written in basic language to ensure that all employees understand them.
Boundary policies could be created to support confidentiality and expectations of professional conduct. Again, this should be made simple and to the point to avoid unclear direction. Your organisation should consider the ongoing issues that keep presenting in your organisation, along with any complaints, comments and suggestions that you have received in the past year and incorporate these into a boundaries policy.
Some documented issues in community care include; staff giving consumers their private phone numbers; consumers giving staff a spare key to their home; staff attending services at different times to rosters; staff taking their children to services with them; staff not informing the organisation if they do not stay at a service for the allocated time. Sometimes staff do not realise that they are doing anything wrong. They may have fantastic caring qualities that will see them doing all of these things for what they consider a ‘good reason’. If staff are told from the start that these types of scenarios are not acceptable, your organisation is likely to have less performance management cases.
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