PSC Enliven: embedding quality and training into every job

Niggling concerns about non-compliance and quality at Presbyterian Support Central (PSC) led the not-for-profit organisation to undertake a major quality review of its Enliven Residential Services in 2013. General manager Nicola Turner says they’d noticed some worrying trends emerging – people were making mistakes yet not fixing the problem, and there was a growing tendency to default to the quality coordinator for such issues.

“We needed to address the way quality was delivered and taught,” she said.

As such, one of the major outcomes resulting from the quality review was the decision to gradually phase out the quality coordinator role and instead look to make quality part of the job description of every employee, so that it became everyone’s responsibility. Turner says they researched this aspect carefully and looked at DHBs and other facilities to identify the best approach to embedding quality into an organisation.

Rather than undertake a massive structural change, it is a gradual process whereby quality coordinators are not replaced when they decide to leave, and all new employees have a commitment to quality written into their job description.

New employee contracts also carry the expectation for all employees to have at least a Level 2 qualification. If they don’t have Level 2 on joining PSC, they will be given the opportunity to gain this qualification during their employment. Staff are also encouraged to go on to Level 3, and although this is not mandatory, their pay will increase according to the level of qualification they hold.

PSC is working with Careerforce to deliver group training to help employees achieve their Level 2, and with Service IQ for its kitchen staff. They have enlisted Sadler’s to undertake literacy assessments.

Turner says is it is proving to be a very effective approach, and she gives the example of the “significant difference” that it’s made to the first 18 cleaners to undergo the group training. Despite some initial reluctance, often due to a mistrust and fear of education, the cleaners soon became excited by their progress.

“They’ve really blossomed. Some are saying they can now understand and help with their kids’ homework. It’s really boosted their confidence.”

She says as a result of achieving their Level 2, the cleaners are now entitled to wear badges, giving them the same status as support workers.

PSC funds 12 hours for each employee to work towards Level 2 and 24 hours for Level 3, with the expectation that employees will give up some of their time as well.

Turner is keen to roll out the workshops training model to all staff; ideally, these would take place in one location with staff travelling from the various sites to attend these.

Turner says they are still working out the best way to deliver mandatory training cycles across PSC’s various sites. At present, each site delivers training in its own way, and while Turner does not wish to remove sites’ flexibility to deliver training as they wish, she is keen to introduce more consistency across the sites. It is likely they will all work to the same training plan and resources.

While it is a work in progress, as a result of the changes PSC is making now, Turner hopes in two years’ time to see all staff with Level 2, with a shared commitment to quality. She hopes to see the workshops training flourish and policy changes more formally communicated and embedded into the mandatory training cycles.

Oceania: innovative, scalable and accessible training options

Oceania Healthcare’s business and development manager Mike Knowles says his challenge is to find engaging ways to train people that are scalable and accessible across Oceania’s 49 locations and team of 3,000 carers.

“It needs to be highly relevant to their day-to-day lives caring for our residents, as well as rewarding.”

This has been the driver for Oceania to continually come up with innovative training programmes like the tablet mobile training devices, which won the Health Ed Trust Training and Staff Development Award at this year’s NZACA–EBOS Excellence in Care Awards. It is the second year running that Oceania has taken home the accolade, with last year’s award recognising the organisation’s planning for training throughout the business.

In the past six years, Oceania has run in excess of 1,800 formal courses for its staff, with more than 19,100 staff attending courses. Oceania staff have achieved more than 940 national certificates, with another 300 people each year working towards the national certificate. Linking the courses to NZQA gives staff more options going forward, allowing them opportunities to progress to higher NZQA qualifications.

Susanne Harzer, business and care manager of Whareama Rest Home and Hospital,

says that her team are really into the Oceania training programme.

She says that those who have come from overseas or other facilities can now see a career pathway, with qualifications as they complete more training modules.

“They see the annual training planner in the nurses’ station to encourage and support each other to do courses. They soon realise that the training is actually connected to what they are doing every day and that encourages them to learn even more,” says Harzer.

It makes good business sense too. In addition to a workforce that is better trained, staff are reportedly more satisfied and Oceania is seeing an increase in staff retention.

“Having staff who are happy and engaged in learning about how to deliver great care to our residents makes achieving our business goals a lot easier,” says Emma Butler, general manager of human resources.

Bupa: showcasing staff’s personal talents for mutual benefit

Bupa’s Personal Best initiative is essentially about giving staff the opportunity to share a talent, passion or interest with residents. They are encouraged to undertake a project that will enrich the lives of their residents in some way. But the beauty of Personal Best is that it benefits not only the residents, but also the staff.

There are many, many examples across Bupa to showcase the initiative, as it extends to employees at every level, should they wish to take it up.

Abraham Antonio, a rehabilitation coach, led a group of male residents to build a gazebo together. His dad was a builder, he explained, and it was something he knew he could do that he knew the men would enjoy. It gave them the opportunity to build something they could own and take pride in it.

Pearl Haimona, a cleaner, kitchenhand, and laundry assistant at The Gardens Rest Home and Hospital, decided to share her Māori heritage with residents by forming a kapa haka group with other staff and performing to residents.

At Flaxmore Care Home, administrator Terri Coldicutt decided she could make birthday celebrations a bit more special for residents and their families, with personalised cards, gifts, and even party hats and decorations to accompany the cake.

At Tararu Retirement Village, manager Judy Port wrote down the residents’ stories and memories and had them published in a book called I Remember When…

As managing director Grainne Moss says of Bupa staff, “They bring all of themselves to work. They bring their heart, their soul, their talents … people at Bupa do more than just turn up. They turn up to make a difference on a day-to-day basis, and they also make a difference to themselves. That’s just really inspiring.”

The Personal Best is just a small part of Bupa’s emphasis on training and staff development. Its Competence Assessment Programme, Progress Steps, Professional Development Recognition Programme, and internal leadership development programmes are just some examples of its dedicated approach.

Careerforce: Peer Mentor programme

Industry training organisation Careerforce has introduced a new Peer Mentor Programme as part of its goal to help facilities build a productive and highly skilled work place. Totally funded by Careerforce, the programme is made free to workplaces.

Having a peer mentor embedded in the organisation as a ‘go-to’ person for learning support avoids training assistance filtering from ‘top-down’ and instead makes it easier for employees to get the help and motivation they need to complete their training.

Through the programme, peer mentors are expected to help co-workers identify and overcome their barriers to learning and support them to complete qualifications. It is also hoped they will take a role in raising workplace awareness of literacy and numeracy issues as well as become champions for new ways of working or new technology.

Careerforce is working with facilities to help them get the right people within their workplace to become successful peer mentors, and support them with resources, training and further opportunities for professional development. The focus is on meeting the needs of individual workplaces rather than a one-size-fits-all approach for every organisation. To this end, the programme is customised to suit each workplace.

The recently launched peer mentor programme is just one way in which Careerforce is supporting the five-year Kaiāwhina workforce plan, which aims to raise the profile of the care and disability sector workforce.

At this year’s New Zealand Aged Care Association Conference, Careerforce outlined its commitment to supporting facilities get their staff trained with the new qualifications being rolled out next year following NZQA’s comprehensive qualifications review. Level 2 and 3 qualifications will be available in the first quarter of next year, with Level 4 expected to follow later in 2015.

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