I was recently asked what it meant to have positive team building and how we as a business can look after our staff. This got me thinking of all the ways we manage this but I couldn’t think really of why we do this… so I sat down with a cup of tea and I watched the team, looking for the ways they interact and the human connections that are built when you work so closely with someone and share common goals of treating the people we support with dignity and respect. Then it hit me… how could we treat the people we support in a person centred way unless it was intrinsic to our culture to do the same for our staff? Without looking after, the staff team what hope would we have to properly look after the individuals we support? It is all too easy in care to talk about outcomes and outputs as if they are the only things that count. Where we are different is that we put hope and heart first and we ensure that we work as a family to be able to support families.
This is where the team building comes in. I know what you are thinking how possibly could having a 30 mile walk being shouted at by a sergeant major in the pouring rain in the hills and valleys of Wales be classed as positive team building. Well it can’t. Unless you are in the Army. Or a Duck. Or, well, if you like that sort of thing. No what we mean by positive team building is to hold regular “stop, let’s have 10 minutes” where we can all get round a table and take a break to talk about, well, anything really but mainly to give each other time to think and to unwind. We also actively encourage our teams, many of whom work in the community to come into the office for a drink and a chat and to see that they are part of something bigger. As the Industrialist and pioneer of mass production Henry Ford once said “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is success.” We here at Mosaic think it’s quite hard to disagree with those words!
Looking after our staff can take many forms, from the simple “hello, how are you?” in a morning too real, tangible support like having a flexible working policy so an individual doesn’t have to feel guilty to pick a poorly child up from nursery and to paying our staff a competitive wage so that they can live comfortably. It also means celebrating our success together (with wine) and collectively sharing our losses (with more wine). This empowers our team to take a real personal interest in the success and hard work of others and to continuously improve and drive forward by being rewarded for sharing best practice or coming up with new and innovative ways we can improve the lives of the people that we support.
Looking after staff is not just words, it has to be a culture, a mission, a drive and a passion for being the best and taking all of those who work with us along for the ride.