When people talk, Listen completely
Creating a home care agency culture of engagement is more about asking good questions and listening than it is telling and directing. Sure, as leaders of the business, there is a time and place to give directions and tell people what to do. But to really influence them and get them engaged in your business and vision of the great home care agency you are creating, you need to do more listening and ask really good questions.
“Intelligent listening is more persuasive than talking”, according to Drs. Russell and Black. Ever go to an event and admire the one person in the room that seems to be able to get anyone to talk and light up? They seem to have this natural way of guiding the conversation by listening to the other person and then asking specific questions that move the conversation toward the direction they want to go. These people have mastered the art of listening.
To be a good listener, you must be active and stay involved when engaging your care team. It is sort of a paradox; you need to be active, but yet be patient when your staff is sharing things with you. You can’t let your mind wander to other things about the business or how you are going to fill that next shift.
Stay in the moment, stay focused on your team. “Listening demonstrates genuine interest”, according to Dr. Nichols, “Listening is a sign of respect. It makes people feel valued.” Says Dr. Tanner. When they feel valued, they are more engaged in your business and more satisfied with their roles. If they are more engaged and satisfied, they are more likely to stay in your business, reducing the overall problem of retention.
Steps to Changing
Here are a few steps to steps to get you on the path of being a better listener and having a higher level of engagement with your team:
Home care agencies are built around their care teams. The more we engage our team, ask good questions and truly listen to what they have to say, the strong our teams will be and the more likely they are going to be engaged. This will lead to better care, less turnover and better outcomes.