Although leading and managing a care home can be challenging and demanding at times, it is also rewarding. The role of a care home manager involves everything from the day-to-day running of a home to introducing strategies, systems, and procedures, that benefit residents and allow care staff to provide the best possible service. As a result, care home managers have a key role in determining whether standards of practice are being maintained. If you want to prepare for your first management role, you might be wondering what it takes to excel in this job. Within this article, we will provide you with our top tips to manage a care home successfully.
Firstly, to become successful in this craft, it’s crucial to gain plenty of experience by working in junior roles in a care home. This will ensure that you understand what is required in various roles and develop key skills. Working your way up will allow you to experience the everyday challenges of working on the floor or as a care assistant. As a result, you will also empathise much better with staff as a new care home manager. Making staff members feel valued and supported in their roles is a crucial part of being a good manager.
Another important factor in achieving success in care home management is developing a solid business plan from the outset. Managing a care home isn’t easy, so you may want to check out the NHC asset management portal, which will help you put an end to unexpected issues. This will ensure the smooth day-to-day running of your care home, providing you with full insights into care equipment. You will also get easy access to history and state of maintenance and guidance on future budget needs. These features are designed to eliminate guesswork, so that confusion is never part of your routine.
It’s important to develop strong organisational and project management skills, as this is key to effective work and can help you avoid unnecessary stress. You should also learn how to manage your time effectively and delegate tasks to others. As a result, instead of overwhelming one person, you can help to share the workload and increase productivity. Also, knowing your limits and spreading responsibility around the team ensures that projects can be completed efficiently. Being a reflective learner who isn’t afraid to ask for help is another crucial factor, as you can learn from both good outcomes and mistakes.
In general, the most successful care homes are the ones that prioritise the needs of their residents. Therefore, you should ensure that your care home is person-centred, by focusing on how you can make residents feel more comfortable and supported. If you want residents to thrive, you will also need to ensure that they can have full and independent lives within a care setting. For example, it might be helpful to give them an active voice in decision-making by allowing them to choose which social activities they wish to participate in. You can ask for feedback by providing questionnaires and a visitors’ book for suggestions.
As a care home manager, you will be responsible for the performance of the care team, which means you will need to unite all staff to improve residents’ everyday lives. Consequently, it’s vital to lead by example and have a strong presence in the home. Always recognise your team’s achievements and use your past experience to show them that you understand how they feel and you know how difficult their roles can be. In addition, remember that little things matter, so even small moments of gratitude or politeness can make employees feel appreciated.
Another key requirement for a care home manager is to be able to think strategically so that you can find effective ways to develop your organisation. As a new care home manager, you might have plenty of fresh ideas when it comes to improving the care in your home. However, it’s crucial that these processes get implemented properly. This means that you should fully research how your strategies may impact your care home. Also, you should avoid changing too much at once so that you can ensure that each change you make to the care home is beneficial.
You can be the most caring and resident-focused care home manager in the world, but there is no way you can do it alone. To ensure success, you need a dedicated workforce, who is motivated and shares your values. Therefore, you should invest in staff development by offering great training opportunities and workshops. Support them if they want to study for new qualifications and be sure to provide them with progression routes. As a result, they will be much more likely to invest in you and your organisation, which will create an exceptional team of people, who share high standards.
Typically, in a care setting, health and personal circumstances, as well as residents’ needs, are constantly changing. Consequently, it’s essential to ensure transparency by sharing these changes at the earliest opportunity with all staff members and everyone that is involved in the current situation. If a resident has to repeat what they have already stated, this may be particularly frustrating. Similarly, if a staff member isn’t aware that a resident is going through an emotional time, this can cause distress. You will need to minimise such occurrences to ensure that the right care is always in place.
Remember to consult both staff members and residents to find out what activities they would like to see on offer. Organising events where someone might feel left out or may be unable to participate can have a negative impact on their physical and mental health. Moreover, offering activities that people don’t enjoy will not provide any fulfilment, which can lead to disappointment. Thus, it’s best to run a regular programme of events and activities but also be open to suggestions and feedback. As for dining, consider offering flexible meal times and avoid using the same menu too often.
Considering the health and safety of residents and employees involves identifying potential risks and the ways they are managed. There are many health and safety challenges that you might experience within a care home setting. This means that you should take steps to manage health and safety risks by maintaining good hygiene practices, encouraging the use of walking aids, and performing regular risk assessments. Ensure that surfaces are free of clutter and keep all areas tidy and disinfected. Thus, whoever walks through your door will be met with a professional and trusting care environment.
Getting involved with your care community will help you learn as much as possible. Make sure you get to know the residents, greet them by name, and have conversations with them. Being more approachable and personable will not only benefit residents but also improve morale across the entire organisation. Consequently, staff members will value your involvement and dedication, and this will make them feel more comfortable coming to you with concerns or questions. They will also feel more accepting of any changes that you want to make in the future.