“Catch them doing something right early and often” – Caregiver Leadership 101

caregiving leadership Mar 14, 2019

So you’ve just hired a caregiver ...

Or maybe you've had someone for a while ...

Or you know someone who relies on a caregiver ...

How do you keep them bringing their best?

Well, consider this obvious fact. Everyone loves to be praised and told they’re doing a good job.

I think that goes without saying.

Some of us might feel a bit uncomfortable when we get a compliment, not really knowing the right thing to say. But we love receiving them, nonetheless.

The problem is that many employers are not really good at giving compliments and pointing out when things go right. And don't forget, you (or your friend) is an employer in this situation.

The tendency is to expect that people will do a good job which means you wind up ignoring those things and focus only on the gaps in their work performance.

Help People Win!

If you’ve ever read any of Ken Blanchard’s writings, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

One of his books is rather brilliant. It’s called, Helping People Win at Work. A Business Philosophy Called: “Don’t Mark My Paper, Help Me Get an A”

He was a professor for a number of years and at the beginning of the course, he would give his students the final exam. And then proceed to teach them the answers of the final exam throughout the semester.

That raised a lot of eyebrows, needless to say. He was told that his students would never really learn if they couldn’t problem solve and figure out the answers for themselves.

Blanchard's philosophy was that life is all about getting As – and not some normal distribution curve where only a small percentage get As, most get Cs and another small percentage fail.

His philosophy makes a lot of sense because I’m assuming you wouldn't be searching for the bottom 10% to bring into your home, right?

Do you go around saying “we lost some of our best losers last year so let’s hire some more losers to fill those spots.”

Of course not.

Hire Winners!

You want to hire winners or potential winners. You want to hire the best, especially in a caregiving role. And you want them to perform at their highest potential.

You’re not there to tear them down – although I’ve worked in some organizations where that was the case, and believe me it was not a fun place to work.

If you give people the final exam ahead of time, it lets people know exactly what’s expected of them.

If they do something right, you immediately compliment them.

If they do something wrong, you don’t beat them up or save your feedback for some later discussion.

You show them in the moment where they went wrong. You do this by redirecting them and helping them see what to do or how to do it better next time.

You don’t wait for your next monthly discussion and say, “oh, remember a few weeks ago when you messed up?”

Soon after your caregiver starts in their role, you want to look for occasions when they did something right. And compliment them on it right away.

Have a short conversation about it, whatever that happens to be. This helps to build their self-confidence and reinforces the right way of doing things from the get-go.

If you want your caregiver to keep bringing their best every day, do this:

  1. Get into the habit of seeing the good.
  2. Find something your caregiver does right every week and tell them about it.
  3. Always treat them the same way you would want them to treat your loved one.

At the end of the day, it’s no more complicated than that.

We’ve created a 19-tips caregiver guide to help you through the whole process.  If you want to learn more, download it free right here!