caregiver hugging senior man

Since caregivers act as ambassadors for your home care company, they need to represent you accurately and positively. Though caregivers generally do their best to provide high quality care, at times they may offend or injure a client. When this happens, you may need to step in and provide the caregiver with tools and instruction for resolving the situation.

During these occasions, do your best not to assume you know what happened. Keep an open mind and ask questions to understand what happened and why. As you do this, you’ll create a trusting, open environment in which the caregiver can learn and grow.

If you need to correct the caregiver, keep these tips in mind:

  • Don’t forget to listen
  • Identify the “what now” or next step
  • Monitor your tone of voice
  • Avoid sending mixed messages
  • Be aware of feedback overload
  • Look towards the future with goals
  • Discuss observations instead of inferences
  • Focus on the actions rather than the person
  • Show genuine interest in the caregiver’s feelings

You don’t want the caregiver to feel unnecessary guilt, embarrassment, or fright during these moments of instruction. Constructive feedback can motivate your caregiver to change behavior, but you should stay focused on the exact issue at hand rather than branching into other critiques. Simply provide the caregiver with detailed instructions on how to act/react appropriately and professionally under different circumstances.

Constructive feedback needs to be information-specific, issue-focused, and based on observations. Avoid using negative sentences beginning with “you” to avoid personal attacks that may make the caregiver feel they are wasting time with your agency. This will help your caregiver keep a calm demeanor and to not become defensive when you suggest where to go from there.

Try asking questions such as “what would you do if the roles were reversed” to help them feel part of the solution. Focus on future actions and goals. This will show you are providing professional feedback to further improve your agency and caregiver. When you provide a positive environment for constructive feedback, you build the caregiver’s trust, and you demonstrate that the caregiver is part of your vision for the company’s future. Afterward, the caregiver will feel a positive obligation to meet your agency’s expectations and correct any mistakes.

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