When you read this, I have no doubt a few hands went up. Who working in Senior Care these days does not need help?
I'm not going to talk about the gravity of staffing shortages. That would be nothing new and not the point of this article. So instead, I hope that our readers pick up a few pointers that help you solve a problem.
From a leader/employee perspective, let's look at the value of the question "Do you need help?"
Last year one of our team members here at AGE-u-cate was caring for her father, who had an unexpected and sudden onset of serious health events. In addition to helping her elementary-age students while schools went virtual, the day-to-day challenges of caring for her father became overwhelming. She is a dedicated team member, passionate about our mission, and was now living it herself. She was exhausted but continued to deliver work with her available time.
It wasn't until I had a conversation last week that she shared with me how much it meant to her when we (senior leadership) reached out to ask, "Do you need help?"
She is a valued and respected member of our team and she was in crisis. Was the work she produced for us important and time-sensitive? Absolutely. Could other team members fill in the gaps while she tended to the needs of herself and her family? With some shuffling and creativity, yes, we could. And other things could wait. We were most concerned about her, not the work she produced.
Inside great organizations are great people, teams that embrace the company's culture, mission, and values. In the era of the great resignation, leaders should not take this advice for granted.
"Do you need help?" says that you care. It expresses empathy for another person's load, either in their personal life or work. It senses when another may be entering the treacherous waters of burnout. It may be the words that keep a team member from walking right out the door.
The Most Important Thing in Leadership is Truly Caring... Dean Smith
We all need reminders to stop, look and listen, right? It certainly has been a reminder to me that stepping back and being mindful and grateful for the team that we have worked hard to pull together should not be something taken for granted.
We're all in the business of caring. Let's not forget how essential this is to practice each and every day with members of our own teams.