In long term care, as in other endeavors, values are the foundation upon which rests all that we do, think, believe, and accomplish. They represent our most deep and basic beliefs. When we live according to our values, those values help guide the choices that we make in life. They become a major driving force behind our actions and identity.
Successful businesses also identify and establish core values that are fundamental to the mission of the organization. When these values are lived by managers, all employees come to understand them as shared values, integral to the character of the organization. It is the active participation of all members of the organization, combined with the development of value-based company-wide systems and processes that will ensure an authentic, understood, shared culture.
“Commitment and kindness” are the two core values of Family Resource Home Care. They guide the way we deliver long-term care, and influence all that we do, from making hiring and policy and procedure decisions, to the appreciation and caring we show our caregivers, the expectations we have of the service we provide to our clients, and the way we interface with families and others in the eldercare community.
When a caregiver arrives on time for their shift, that’s commitment. When a caregiver reports a health concern and a supervisor or nurse follows up with phone calls and visits, that’s commitment. And when we get to know our caregivers and clients so that we can make the best match possible for all those involved in the care plan, that’s commitment. When we do all these things and more with caring and a smile, that’s kindness.
We use the words commitment and kindness in our literature and materials to remind ourselves of their importance. However, they are not only values we talk about and try to live by; responsiveness, dependability, integrity, and flexibility round out the list.
In a work setting, as in a family, every person wants to be known, appreciated, and understood. We get to know our caregivers and show our appreciation to those whose work exemplifies our values, especially as it applies to long-term care. Each month our company newsletter includes a profile of one special caregiver. Very often, the interview will end with a statement like that of caregiver Rosemary Agnik, who this past March said, “…when I call the office, whoever I speak to is so happy to assist. And…. the staff there makes me feel like I am a person of value.” The feedback we get from clients too shows that “commitment and kindness” (and the other values we live by) are not just empty words, they’re at the core of what makes us successful.