How to keep your amazing staff and turn around the doubters

Featured article - 06 July 2017
Christine Edwards-Daem, CEO-Kent Autistic Trust

Head-shot of the author, Christine Edwards-Daem, CEO-Kent Autistic Trust

Our organisation was losing a number of staff three years ago and we were affected by agency costs and plagued by chronic vacancies. This resulted unsurprisingly in increased staff sickness and a reduction of quality and consistency, affecting the people we support very negatively. I think that is what you could call; chronic crisis…it is so prolonged and staff get so used to it, it sounds like a normal day in the care sector…however, let’s face it …you are in crisis…

Well, despite the bad news and others paying more than the starting salaries for our highly specialist care staff…we looked for solutions and it was right there under our noses…For far too long we have been recruiting on the basis of experience, qualifications and advertising it as a job…we changed this approach. We recruit for the values and talents someone has and is willing to share and utilise. We don’t offer jobs anymore but we offer an opportunity to be part of a special organisation, a movement and a passion that sets us apart from others. That ethos, that strong sense of duty and almost altruistic commitment to others has gained us many supporters and has turned around the doubters.

Providers who moan about the state of recruitment and are fatalistic about what Tesco and Lidl are doing to their pool of staff should think long and hard…do we think that little about our care staff? Is it just a job care staff want or do they actually want to make a difference? Do they get up in the morning to churn through the day for the pay packet or can’t they wait to get in to be able to see the people they care for? Which employee do we actually want? I opt for the second type; the eager ones, the people that are committed and have a passion for care.

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