Listening to staff and celebrating their successes
I am going to focus my latest blog on our staff survey. Thanks to all of you whom completed it. Before going into the details, however, I do also want to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Care Talk Top 30 Leaders Award. I was amazed to win the award which I never expected. In fact, I was in such a state of shock that Helen Leigh who was sitting next to me had to remind me to go up and collect the trophy. It’s a real privilege to be recognised with a national award, but I am most pleased about the opportunity it presents to raise the profile of Iris Care Group. Following the merger of Holmleigh Care and Ludlow Street Healthcare, people will need to become familiar with the Iris Care Group brand. Iris is a fantastic organisation with amazing staff who support some incredible people. I really want to raise our profile as a leading provider which has a huge amount of expertise in supporting some of the most vulnerable and complex people in our community.
There are a lot of positives in the staff survey. A number of questions ask people to rate the organisation on a range of criteria. The scores in this survey were significantly higher than the scores in the previous staff surveys for both Holmleigh and Ludlow. However, there was also some less positive feedback. The thorny issue of pay was raised. Pay gets raised in all staff surveys in all care organisations and I know that it’s a really hot topic. We are committed to increasing pay as much as we can within the constraints of the funding that we receive. Both Holmleigh and Ludlow gave significant pay increases to our staff in the last couple of years and we will share this information in the more detailed response that we will be sending to our staff. Other areas where there is scope for improvement include communication, appraisals, staff well being and staff benefits.
Communication is always a challenge in care organisations. In the last few months, we have introduced a monthly staff briefing document. We have encouraged our managers to share the document with their staff and to discuss it in team meetings. We monitor how often the document is opened and read and I’m really pleased that those statistics have improved a great deal. In addition, members of the Executive Team (the directors) including me will be producing a monthly video which will be circulated to all our staff where we will give updates on what’s happening in our organisation. We have also re-launched our staff representatives’ meetings. Each Iris Care Group service should have a representative whose role is to act a communication channel representing the views of their colleagues. We will also be launching a new benefits App very shortly. It includes a function that will allow us to communicate messages to our staff.
The App is being introduced to improve the benefits that we provide to our staff. We have also reviewed the other benefits that we offer and, where there is a difference between what the former Ludlow and Holmleigh offered, we have aligned them. We are also paying a thank you bonus to our staff this Christmas and will be providing funding so that our staff can enjoy social events together.
We also want to create a culture that recognises the fantastic work that our staff do. We will be holding our first staff awards ceremony on the 15th December and have already received a large number of nominations. We have also implemented our “Recognise a Colleague” scheme across the organisation and are strengthening our leadership development programme. We want people to join Iris Care Group not just for a job but to make a career with us. Our new programme will help staff who are interested in promotion to achieve their career goals with us.