Broken Systems, Not Broken Managers

November 07, 2016
Suzette Molina

Holding-Hands (1)We have all heard that people don’t quit companies; people quit managers. That may be true, but it could also be true that people don’t quit managers, they quit broken systems. Maybe they quit because they don’t fit it in, feel disconnected or misunderstood.

Loneliness, helplessness, and boredom are Three Plagues, identified by The Eden Alternative, that affect the well-being of so many Elders. Is it safe to say that turnover could easily be a cause and/or result of the plagues? Can turnover deepen the experience of loneliness, helplessness and boredom for the Elders? Could employee care partners be leaving because they feel lonely, helpless or bored? Turnover causes so much chaos for all care partners that live and work in Eldercare organizations. These plagues not only affect the Elders; they also affect the employees that support them daily.

This issue is so prevalent that the Texas Culture Change coalition decided to take it on at its semi-annual Symposium this October in San Antonio.   I attended along with over 140 care partners. Keynote speakers Diana Waugh and Christopher Ridenhour went to work tackling this important topic.

The speakers challenged us to think about our own perspectives on employee retention and turnover.

They challenged us to ask the following questions…

  • Are we, as leaders, focused on the people we hire and how we can combat the plagues with the care partners?
  • How are we fostering deep, meaningful relationships?
  • Are employee care partner duties meaningful to them?
  • How are we integrating new care partners “into the family” and the rhythm of daily life?
  • Are we offering competitive salary and growth opportunities?
  • What is our approach to mentorship? Are we willing to listen to the new employees as well?
  • Do employee care partners believe in the mission and vision so much that they will share it on their social media platforms? If they believe in our philosophy, they will share it.
  • What are our welcoming rituals for new employee care partners? Is it engaging and fun?
  • Do we have ways for care partners to express their individual talents?

At the end of the day, it was no mystery why care partners choose to stay. They choose to stay because they feel like they are part of a family.  They stay because they appreciate the way they are treated by leaders and their peers. They stay because they have a voice, and they have opportunities to learn and grow personally, as well as professionally.  They stay because they are recognized and rewarded for their efforts with fair compensation. They stay because their leader genuinely believes that they are invested in providing care that puts the person first and honors them for their efforts.

What are you doing that makes employee care partners want to stay?






1 Comment. Leave new

Mary Kim Smith
November 8, 2016 10:32 am

I agree wholeheartedly! Thank you for your courage to speak the truth on behalf of so many care partners from the front-line to the executive office, who are unable to share their hidden experiences in broken systems. Leaders in the Culture Chage Movement simply have to be REAL with each other, so that true growth, support and empowerment can flourish. To achieve sustained growth, it must be about the well-being of our Elders and those closest to them not a hidden agenda to protect the bottom line or reduce Culture Change to a marketing tool. ????MK


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