Benefits and Blessings of Mentoring for Retention
Building long-term relationships with new hires will reduce your turnover rate, as well as:
- Create trust
- Support and encourage staff
- Make your team feel secure and valued
- The Value of Community Relations
- The spirit with which relationships are maintained affects how organizations work together
- Constructive attitudes, optimistic actions and friendly interactions create successful relationships
Mentoring is a two-way street
The difference between a professional and a ‘wanna be’ is consistency. Patients want to experience genuine concern, respect and empathy on the part of their caregivers. Repeat out loud, “Every Patient Is Important.” Every member of your staff must understand this principal and know how to deliver on it under every circumstance.
Staff must know how to respond to every person who enters who enters your facility for services to be rendered as if he or she is the living embodiment of the person you most admire and respect in the world. Gracious enthusiasm goes a very long way to help people feel the same way (or at least good) about you.
A wise man (or woman) once said, “The best way to master something is to teach it to someone else”. Therefore, mentoring will make you better at what you do.
Make sure your caregiver is educated, tested, certified and registered by CertifiedCare prior to hire or as a condition of continued employment.
If a patient/client complains that a needed treatment is not being supplied, willingly explain the reason why that is happening. If the wrong is on your end, correct it immediately. If it is not within your control, explain that fact – compassionately – and offer an alternative. Always treat patients with respect and patient concern. Whether or not you ‘believe’ in karma, we all realize that what goes around comes around. Remember, ( ) willing, you might be in their shoes someday. So, be nice.
What can we do to ensure that once we find those valued resources that we can keep them in our organizations? I have done a lot of research and I have worked with a lot of young professionals the past few years. The message that they are sending is very clear! They like to work with a mentor and to develop that relationship with that mentor. They want to grow continuously on a personal and professional basis.
Mentoring, to some, seems like a burden, and perhaps a thankless one, and certainly there will be instances when this is the unfortunate case. But, much more often than not, younger or simply less experienced people, appreciate a more seasoned persons input about nettlesome issues.
Below are a few examples of when mentoring can be a true blessing for a mentee, and give the mentor a chance to shine, too!
- Your staff may not have the training/experience necessary to handle organization politics.
- You must be able to act as a buffer between care staff and the powers that be.
- Let staff know their issues will be addressed, and keep your word.
- Remain open-minded and stay focused on good patient care.
So, are you ready to take on the challenge of mentoring? Are you ready to help care giving staffers grow personally and professionally?
At a recent employee development seminar I raised the concept of mentoring as it relates to both personal and professional growth. The response was a mixed bag of those who thought the combination was wise and only natural, and those who seem to prefer to think of people at work as cogs in a wheel, devoid of layers of complexity and essential humanity.
It seemed to me that the first group perceived their work environment as a place where people can have reasonably enjoyable and perhaps even connected, friendly dynamics with their workmates. You know, the spirit of “we are in this together for the greater good of all” kind of esprit de corps. The second group struck me as the type of people who sees almost everyone as a headache waiting to happen, an adversary, or some other sort of competitor for scarce resource. They were definitely not feeling any love for their fellow workmates. I pity them. They must be miserable people.
You see, mentoring is all about the agape relationship. There needs to be a sincere, trusting relationship in place in order to facilitate the personal and professional growth. Both parties need to feel that they can share whatever they are comfortable sharing in order to get the best results from the relationship. Avoid gossip and maintain confidences with discretion (that means keep your mouth closed even if it is filled with secrets), like the true professional you (hopefully) are and you will be able to set the example of the true professional you hope they will become.
Professional growth is driven by personal growth. You will not have much success in achieving professional growth if there is no alignment in the personal space.
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I have found that if the ground rules are established early, you typically will have an awesome relationship and are see lots of growth take place. The transformation that I have seen in some of the care professionals that I work with at CertifiedCare.org is unbelievable.
Organizations that put into place a mentoring culture will have little difficulty in attracting quality care providers to their organization. Providing these care professionals with a mentor who is focused on their personal and professional growth will ensure that these staffers will stay with your organization for a long time.
Anna-May, one of the young care professionals that I am working with is with a medium to large organization that she says does the right things when it comes to their people. There is little doubt in my mind that attracting and retaining are first and foremost in their minds and their retention numbers do support that outcome. They, too, have a mentoring culture in place and are always looking for ways to improve that culture. As a result, their business overall is thriving and employees are happy to be there – and to encourage others to join their ranks.
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If your organization is strategically looking at the future and understands the challenges resourcing is going to play, then it’s time for you to establish a mentoring culture. Select your mentors carefully as they will determine success or failure. Provide your mentors with training to ensure that they help your care staff grow personally and professionally. The time you invest in developing a mentoring culture will provide your organization with a great return on your investment of time and a few dollars and position your organization as an employer of choice!
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To continue on to Part 6 about the Lets Talk About the Looming Crisis: Strategies and Solutions, and how to make valuable people want to stay with you for the long haul, click here. Let’s Talk About is a CertifiedCare.org sponsored series of full length articles about cutting edge topics and trends impacting the Long Term Care industry service providers and the people that industry is meant to serve. The articles are authored by Rev. Dr. Cathleen V. Carr JD MA MscD, a down to earth ordained minister, a dozen times over experienced caregiver, Executive Director of CertifiedCare.org, and author of the CertifiedCare multiple award winning Family Caregiver, Professional Personal Care Aide, Alzheimer’s-Dementia, Special Needs, and Senior Care Auditor education and certification programs, and “Grand Poobah” of the CertifiedCare Professional Care Aide Membership organization. (beware of imitators)