THRIVE's Blog for Caregivers

Managing Stress and Burnout in the Caregiving Profession

Stress and burnout results in increased absenteeism, tardiness and turnover, which can cause even more stress for those who must pick up the slack. Stress can have a direct effect on the way people handle their jobs. Those under stress may make mistakes, have trouble concentrating, become disorganized, or become disengaged in their work.

Managing stress and burnout starts with awareness and open communication.
  • Get feedback from your team about specific causes of stress.
  • Ensure team members communicate with each other if they are feeling overwhelmed and need help.
  • Be upfront about stress and burnout and continue to have open conversations with the team.
  • Ask for suggestions on how to alleviate stress on the job and discuss how the team can use these suggestions.
Identify if there are gaps in the workplace culture that are causing stress for the team.

Is there solid trust and accountability among the team; and, are team members empowered to make decisions? These will enable them to do their jobs more effectively and will help alleviate stress. Are team members validated for their efforts and hard work? These aspects of culture are extremely important to people and increase the level of job performance.

A certain amount of stress in the form of realistic deadlines or challenging work energizes us Team 2psychologically and physically. It can stimulate productivity, and it can motivate us to learn new skills. When that deadline or challenge is met, we feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. The important thing is to manage the level of stress that people are experiencing and provide a means for them to communicate when that level of stress is excessive and is causing problems.

How leaders can help their team members manage stress and burnout:
  • Support work-life balance by providing some flexibility in rearranging work schedules or allowing team members to trade shifts whenever possible to accommodate personal and family responsibilities and activities.
  • Provide a proper place where team members can take breaks.
  • Remind team members that they are there for each other, while also making sure people are not taking on too many extra shifts for others.
  • Convey an understanding of how stress and burnout can affect a person and show that you care about their health and well-being. Often, just having someone acknowledge the stressful aspects of the job relieves some of the stress.

 

 

Trust is an Especially Important Core Value in the Caregiving Profession

Caregivers 4Trust is important in any organization; however, in the caregiving profession, trust is an especially important core value given the personal nature of the relationships between caregivers and their clients. Connections help us build trust. In the caregiving workplace, these connections must not only be built between caregivers and their clients, but also between the team members who depend on each other and between team members and leaders.

Leaders need to build connections with their team members and help them build connections with each other. This will lead to stronger trust and, ultimately, a stronger connection with and commitment to the organization. This will also build unity and give people the confidence to take more initiative. It will promote positive attitudes and motivate people to go above and beyond for the clients in their care.

The level of trust that team members feel between themselves and leaders and between their fellow team members is predictive of levels of: Job Performance, Job Satisfaction, and Intent to Leave or Stay with an Organization.

Trust allows teams to work together to solve problems and make improvements because it fosters cooperative relationships. When a workplace feels challenging but not threatening, it prompts trust and trust-making behavior, which is a huge factor in team success and organizational success.

BUILDING CONNECTIONS
  • Help people look past their differences and find commonalities. We all have hopes, dreams, vulnerabilities and struggles.
  • Avoid blame and criticism. These only lead to division, defensiveness and eventually disengagement.
  • Adopt a learning mindset and understand that no one has all the answers. Display a willingness to explore and come up with answers together.
  • Recognize the universal human need for respect and dignity. This will promote positive communications and positive interactions.

 

 

A good recruiting and hiring process demonstrates your organization's high regard for its people!

Those first experiences with your organization during the recruiting and hiring process provide job candidates with a window into your culture. The interactions that a candidate has and the impression that they leave with can break or seal the deal.

Emphasize Mission, Vision and Impact

Rather than focus solely on compensation and benefits, talk about your mission and vision and how the work they will be doing is connected. In the caregiving profession, people know that the work is meaningful; but, they want to know specifically how they personally will be making an impact and are part of the vision.

Show You CareListen to Candidates

Find out what's important to them. Find out what motivates and challenges them. What are their goals and aspirations? Those who dedicate themselves to caring for others want to know that the organization they work for cares about them.

Keep Active Candidates Engaged

Ongoing communication throughout the hiring process is essential. Letting candidates know what they should expect and how you'd like to move forward helps them stay connected and engaged. Don't keep them guessing or waiting too long for a hiring decision, or you may lose some of your best prospects.

Don't ever stop "re-recruiting" and engaging your current team members. Remember, your competitors want those people you've worked so hard to find.

 

 

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From Christine Morris,
CEO at Eldercarefinders and Hometown Health:

Make Sure There Is Compassion In Your Reaction

 

 

CaregiversThe Growing Challenge to Engage & Retain Team Members in the Caregiving Profession

This is a serious issue facing organizations that provide caregiving services, with a clear threat facing those who depend on these vital quality services.

The caregiving profession can be stressful and demanding. Compassion fatigue can make it difficult for teams to consistently maintain high levels of engagement and commitment.

A positive workplace culture is the foundation for building and sustaining engagement and commitment. When people feel a connection, know they are making an impact, and know that their contributions are appreciated, they will be more engaged and committed to the team, to the clients, and to the organization. 

Leadership Support and Awareness is Key

Supportive leadership is about involving your team in decision-making and problem-solving. It is about establishing trust and allowing people to take accountability to do what needs to be done. It is about communication and giving people a voice. It is about acknowledging their efforts. It is about keeping them involved, informed and engaged.

An awareness of what your team members need to be successful will demonstrate your commitment to them. This will send a powerful message and engage them on a whole new level; and, this will help your organization retain those who are motivated, dependable, efficient, accurate, responsive to clients, and helpful to their co-workers.

Those organizations that support a positive workplace culture will gain competitive advantage - they will stand out as Employers of Choice and Caregivers of Choice!

 

Click here to learn more about how THRIVE can help your caregiving organization hire, engage and retain great people.