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We’re Home Care Pulse, a leading provider of experience management & surveys, caregiver/CNA training, and online reputation management.

Developing a professional means fostering positive career choices and ensuring that your employees feel that you are invested in their capabilities and want to see them grow. Are you setting them up for success?

I’ll admit it: I went down an internet rabbit hole searching for an inspirational quote related to professional development to start off this month’s blog. Usually when I go down these rabbit holes, I just find fluff and maybe one quote that isn’t unbearably cheesy, and surprisingly I found one inspirational quote that really stuck with me.  

Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated.” —Paul F. Davis.  

When I was leading teams of home health and hospice staff, I always made a point to celebrate my employees. Whether it was a birthday, a positive CAHPS score, a compliment from a patient, or some sort of career advancement, I made it into a big deal. Everyone likes to be acknowledged, right?  

The words in the quote resounded to me because that term, professional development, has changed for most organizations. It is the title for mandatory training and seems to have morphed to focus less on the growth of an employee and more on the completion of their mandatory course transcript.  

Professional development has become the token term for the education that you are required to give your employees, occasionally expanded it to additional training and certifications that may or may not be optional based on your organization. The term is commonplace and employees may have a reflexive eye roll when they hear professional development (or visions of a falling asleep in front of a boring power point presentation with an accompanying quiz) 

Professional development is not the same as developing a professional. There is a difference.

Are you making efforts to not just tolerate the existence of your employees and hand them a paycheck after a week or two of work, but are you molding them into an asset, a celebrated piece of your organization’s collective puzzle? 

Further, what does developing a professional really mean? How do you do that?  

I believe the answer is to pay attention to the skills that employees already have and identify what else can be done to make them better.  

HCP has learning paths meant to grow the skillset of the individual caregiver or clinician, and therefore the entire organization. We want our learners to not just earn a certificate for taking a course, but earn a professional education that further develops them, and enhances them in their current profession.  

Developing a professional means fostering positive career choices and ensuring that your employees feel that you are invested in their capabilities and want to see them grow. You want yourself and your employees to not just pass a quiz and have a completed transcript on file. You want them to be skilled workers that enjoy their profession and value being in your organization as much as you value employing them.  

TEST your professional development 

So TEST yourselves and ponder whether or not you think you can or maybe already have implemented these tips to develop a professional in any healthcare arena:  

Teach

  • Encourage an environment of learning for your staff. Make sure you are not delivering the same boring education year after year. HCP has a realistic approach to writing courses that focuses on what the at-home healthcare workers need for quality training, with continuous updates and new, refreshing topics. We want learners to “use” the training we provide and grow their skillset after taking one of our courses. 

  • If you already use HCP for training, be educated on your learning paths and share with your employees why each course is important to their development. Make sure you present any new and ongoing training as an opportunity for learning and not checking the box to get completed transcripts done before the end of the year.  

Engage

  • Ask your employees what they want out of their training. Do they feel stressed because they get a big list of courses in January and then a last minute “get it done” reminder in December? Can you engage and find a way to make training less of a chore? Perhaps offering monthly reminders and prizes such as a coffee gift card, a fancy pen, or a pair of fun socks for the first employee to finish the assigned course.  

  • More importantly, are your employees getting all the training they want? HCP offers certification series, such as the Caregiver Certification or the Alzheimer’s Association approved Dementia training package. We have focused suites of clinician courses in topics like Diversity & Inclusion, Successful Documentation in Hospice, and more. Foster the interests of your staff, ask them what they are craving to learn, and then find the training for them. Employees who feel engaged will also feel valued. 

Support

  • Make sure when an employee, especially a new employee, does partake in training on a topic that they truly understand the topic. Could they teach the concept back to someone else? If everyone has been assigned a course on Abuse & Neglect, schedule a deadline for completion and make the topic the focus for a few minutes in a staff meeting. Create a fictional patient (or use one from our many knowledge checks within a course and expand upon the story) and see how everyone can practically apply the new training. 

  • Remember to keep open lines of communication with your staff. Employees should never be afraid to tell you that they need help learning about a new topic. Encourage the communication, ask how they are feeling about their current training. If an employee is feeling particularly confident with a certain skill or topic, ask them to support their coworkers and reinforce that knowledge with their peers.   

Trailblaze

  • Always look for opportunities to develop your staff. Send them to conferences. Think outside of the box too. Have your own mini-conference in the office or via Zoom. Listen to an HCP webinar together or email everyone an HCP blog to read and start a dialogue on a topic. Invest in your staff so they want to be a part of improving your organization as a whole.  

  • Share the enthusiasm of developing professionals and be a leader that creates an effective team. Brag about the professional education of your staff in your community. Announce new training efforts and celebrate internally and externally. If every employee completes a course on Social Determinants of Health, announce it in a social media post as an example that your organization is making steps to always maintain self-awareness and deliver quality care to all patients and their loved ones. Make your employees strive to want to be educated, promoted, and more than just tolerated 

Think about TESTing yourself and your organization as a whole, especially when it comes to training and developing true professionals.  

Employees will stay and be loyal if they feel more than just tolerated as filling space in a given role. An employee who feels like they are just getting by with the mandatory training for the year “because they have to” will not feel valued. An employee who knows that an organization wants them to be successful, skilled members of their team will embrace training opportunities and have that feeling of value. Don’t forget, the people that feel valued will deliver a higher quality of care.  

Let HCP help you provide that value by using our training catalog to its full potential! Above all, go out and TEST yourselves to develop professionals! 

 

Next Steps:

HCP’s Care Intelligence Platform offers RN-developed training, satisfaction surveys, and reputation management tools to help you become the best employer and provider in your area—and make sure everyone knows about it.

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