The Office of National Statistics predicts that, between 2015 and 2025, there will be a 36 percent rise in persons aged 85 years or more. As the U.K.’s population ages, so will the demand on care homes. Empowering care home staff to continue to learn, then, is a tricky feat.

In this blog post, we’ll outline a few ways you can empower your care home staff to develop their skills.

1. Analyse the gaps in skills

Like in any organisation, every staff member in a care home will have areas of work that they’re good at, and areas that need development. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to uncover hidden talents and encourage care home staff to develop them.

By analysing the gaps in skills and understanding what your care home staff want to learn, you can begin to encourage and nurture positive professional development and offer up the right tools for your staff to get learning.

2. Setup learning groups

To empower care home staff to develop their skills, consider working on developing an employee culture that nurtures group development. Some workplaces have book clubs and lunchtime learnings, others choose group learning seminars. As once said by American author, Edward Everett Hale:

‘Coming together is the beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.’

3. Consider flexible working as an option

Care homes in the U.K. are struggling to keep up with rising demand. It’s no surprise then, that care home staff are struggling to find time to develop their skills.

Sure, flexible working might seem counter-intuitive, but, if you can develop a flexible working schedule that means staff have time to work on themselves, you’ll inevitably have more motivated, more productive care home staff.

4. Train online

If flexible working isn’t an option, consider encouraging staff members to train online with E-learning. There are multiple courses available that can be learned from a computer during a lunch break.

Given the nature of the care sector, staff must be adequately qualified to fulfil their duties. This must then be demonstrated to the Care Quality Commission. The easiest and most efficient way for you to ensure all your staff are up-to-standard is to encourage online learning.

Whether it’s a Safeguarding Adults course or Care Certificate Assessor Training, there are many available places online to sign up and empower your care home staff to develop their skills.

5. Encourage new challenges

It’s easy for anyone who’s worked a job long enough to become complacent. To counter this, we must all continuously push each other to learn and grow.

As a care home manager, it’s up to you to offer new challenges to staff and ensure professional development. If you can provide new challenges, you’ll empower staff to begin learning on their own.

A confident employee is a happy employee

Confidence is arguably the hardest skill of all to learn. At times, we all feel like we’re underperforming. And in a role as dynamic as a care home employee, the consequences can be dire.

But, if you can encourage your care home staff to continuously push themselves, and provide them with the right tools to do so, you’ll have happier employees, and happy employees will result in happy care home residents. And, after all, isn’t that the ultimate goal?

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