Care workers obviously have a special responsibility towards vulnerable clients – not just to ensure that they’re probably fed, medicated and looked after (depending on their particular care needs) but that they also feel relaxed and confident enough in the client/care worker relationship to voice any concerns over that care. Not only that, but they need to feel reassured that anything which is mentioned will be taken on board and looked into with a view to fixing it.
It’s therefore not unreasonable to assume that the care worker him or herself will receive the same respect and consideration from the individual, group or public organisation that has employed them to look after the client in the first place.
HR researchers have undertaken various studies on this very subject matter and have introduced a host of proposed working dynamics. One of these is a practice referred to as the 4Cs. This can be broken down into the four terms: collaboration, continuity, communication and competent supervision.
It’s argued that in order for any type of quality functioning care worker/employer relationship to exist these 4Cs have to be in place. We’ll go on to discuss them further here:
Care workers need to be kept up to date by their employers when it comes to the organisation itself eg changes to staff and client rotas etc can be unsettling – especially if the news is uncovered indirectly from another care worker.
They should also feel that they have someone they can talk to (a supervisor or small management team) about a particular client and that both they and their organisation are working together as a team to best meet the needs of a particular individual. This way they’re able to share knowledge and ideas and learn from the experience of others.
Like continuity of care for their client, continuity is also important for the care worker. Regular management changes, for instance, can be unsettling, while the altering of job procedure can lead to confusion, resentment and even, in the worst possible scenario, reduced care for the client. In order for care workers to trust and respect management it’s important for there to be a relationship between both.
It isn’t always easy for employers to communicate with care workers. That’s because the majority of care worker roles these days tend to be within the home of several individuals (unless the care worker is employed in a Nursing Home or similar). But direct communication is essential and should be made as easy as possible. Company news can be sent out via an e-newsletter while the worker should have out-of-hours numbers for management and feel they can be approached when needed. It’s also important to set up regular meetings between employers and care workers so that the communication is two-way.
- Competent Supervision
Supervision is necessary in order to prevent bad habits from developing. It also gives the care worker confidence in their job and allows them to ask questions from an expert in their field. Competent supervision also means record keeping and this means having physical documentation both the care worker and employer can refer back to if necessary.