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Top tips to become a care home employer of choice

Care homes can recruit and retain top talent by ensuring they have an open culture, offer a clear career path and invest in strong leadership.

This was the message from a panel of experts at The Residential & Home Care Show during the session ‘How to become an employer everyone wants to work for’.

The panel was chaired by Sophie Chester-Glyn, director at Coproduce Care and featured lawyers James Sage, partner at Royds Withy King, Neil Grant, partner at Gordons Partnership and Dudley Sawyer, health care consultant, People Care Services.

Sage said care homes must find ways to stand out.

“There are a number of things care homes must offer these days,” he said. “These include ensuring people have meaningful work to do and feel challenged, attractive terms and conditions, fair pay, and comprehensive learning and development opportunities. You also need strong leadership.”

Grant explained how care homes can benefit from the CQC’s emphasis on culture which, although focused on residents, can benefit staff too.

“There is a a lot of regulation that will relate to improving the environment for employees, for example around training, supervision and support,” he said. “It is also important you have an open culture and not a blame culture.”

The panel also discussed the importance of the human element when managing care teams.

“People want to feel valued and providers need to remember many care professionals will have worked elsewhere and know why they would want to work for a particular employer,” said Sawyer. “Care homes need to think about what makes them unique and special. In fact, think about why someone would not want to work for you.”

In a separate session, Sammy Walton, head of product evangelism at workforce management systems company Quinyx, said care homes needed to go beyond pay to attract and retain staff. Despite the cost of living crisis, he said employee engagement remained crucial.

“You need to get regular feedback from your employees on what drives them at work and how happy they are,” he said. “Acting on that feedback is crucial. You also need to understand the skills people have which could be useful in different parts of the business, and be aware of how people want to progress and just need to be upskilled to do so.”

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