April 28, 2021

What are the threats to your care culture?

Every social care provider faces different threats and issue analysis should be done on a case-by-case basis, but there are some general categories, each with a communications focus, that can help you.

Social care leadership

Are the leaders within your organisation embodying your values? Can they be seen acting out or living these values on a day to day basis?

If they can’t there is a discrepancy between what the company wants the staff to do and what the leadership is doing and that means the culture will suffer. Executive teams must set the example of the culture, they must lead and sustain it.

Effective PR and communications plays a critical role in sharing what the leadership is doing and, crucially, how it is doing it, to the staff and wider stakeholders.

Whether sharing news through the company newsletter, media outreach or social media, the executive team must be visible and accessible for cultural values to become embedded within hearts and minds across the company.

Recognise your staff

Are staff being recognised when they exemplify the company’s values in action?

This does not need to be a formal prize or award (although there are huge benefits in those types of initiatives) it is more about acknowledging the smaller yet significant contributions to daily operations.

Such as attitude or approach to work, thinking laterally, being innovative and taking responsibility for improvements.

Internal comms plays a big part in supporting staff. Think beyond a static newsletter and look at more dynamic ways to build an ongoing team ethos.

Platforms such as Workplace, WhatsApp or Slack can all help you do this and their continuous/live approach to comms allows you to support your staff in real time and in multiple locations (off-site workers).

Involve your community in your culture

How well does your organisation interact with its local community? Do you operate in isolation or do your service and service users have genuine links with your neighbours?

Part of a care provider’s responsibility is to empower their residents and ensure that they remain active and connected within their home town. If you don’t reach out to local organisations they won’t know what you do or even that you are there.

Review your comms – who receives your newsletter? Who is invited to your events? Who do you interact with on Twitter? If you are not talking with the people nearest to you then it is much less likely that your service users are either.

Innovation and excellence must be at the heart of your culture

Every provider wants to be rated ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC and have a culture of excellence across their services and the way innovation or best practice is communicated plays a big part in that. Gaps in communication can hinder efforts to achieve excellence.

If one service is out performing the others, have you shared best practice across the group so that everyone can learn and improve?

If you’ve developed a philosophy by which you expect staff to work how has this been communicated, have staff retained the knowledge from their training or do they need reminders?

Once is not enough and there needs to be continued, regular updates that inform and inspire staff. Clinical heads within the organisation need to work with the PR and marketing team and share their insights to provide compelling and relevant data that fills these information gaps.