I may not be the most sensitive person in the world. Truth is, I want to write this article about being engaging and sensitive, but because I am a guy and I may not be as good at being sensitive as many of my female coworkers I’m concerned you may not hear what I have to say. For starters, I’m not saying that all guys are insensitive. We can be very sensitive and engaging. What I’m saying is, I recognize that I have a certain capacity for “caring,” but then I will often instinctively look for ways to disengage. This fact is what I believe makes me the perfect person to talk about engaging and caring.
Truth is here, I know myself well enough to see my strengths and weaknesses and feel comfortable talking about them. Other people (females) who work in the caring services field must also have some degree of this same issue going on inside of them too. When I see this instinctive act of disengagement by a Home Care Aide, HCA, play out in one of our client’s homes, an alarm goes off in my head. I usually see this as I am making phone calls or performing supervisory visits to their homes. It is also immediately apparent when the connection between the client and the HCA is healthy. This makes me very happy.
The ability for us to find employees who will engage at work in a caring way is truly the number one factor for success at Care N Assist. The reason this field is dominated by women can only be a testament to their ability to engage and care. During one of our recent management meetings it was said, “women will bring the change that is needed in this crisis.” She was referring to the cultural shift we are seeing played out on political stages right now in the United States and the impact it has had on the way we hire employees and do business. I was thrilled to think that the person saying this was so confident. I was also stunned to realize what our world needs may be the same thing that we are trying to teach our Home Care Aides, HCA’s.
We want our HCA’s to be engaging, caring and to think creatively. Most problems that occur in our client’s homes do not have simple answers. While our HCA may be doing something as common as preparing a meal or cleaning the house, they are really negotiating the emotional and painful process of their client giving up control in an area of their life. They may simply be providing support with bathing while more importantly they are helping their client to maintain their dignity.
The fact that we must find a creative way to match and introduce each new HCA shows how much of a concern it is for our clients. One way we have implemented our creativity is by creating a program called “Care Connects.” The program’s sole purpose is to connect the best HCA for each client using their personality, skill level, location and other factors. Though it’s not always perfect, it greatly helps us to produce good matches right from the beginning. If our HCA doesn’t engage in a way that is satisfactory with a new client during their introduction, then our caring service suffers. It’s never our intention for services to suffer, it is difficult to gain a person’s confidence in situations that demand so much transparency and engagement.
At the risk of over-using the word “engaging” our management team in each office spends hours engaging with our HCA’s by texting, calling, and meeting with them daily. We also, use the competitive nature of our HCA’s to set up a system of continued learning and rewards. We have to be sensitive to their needs if we are going to expect them to be sensitive to the needs of our clients.
The bottom line is, our Home Care Aides are great because of the time and energy they put into meeting our clients’ needs. Everything we do with our sophisticated policy and procedure book and our fancy computer program is only as good as each person we employ. Connecting with our clients in a meaningful way is how we work. This is the culture that has built an award-winning company. Care N Assist will continue to be successful only as long as it provides engaging care.