Ep. 65: How to Promote Leadership Inside Your Home Care Business
Ep. 65: How to Promote Leadership Inside Your Home Care Business
Krystal Wilkinson, CEO of Adultcare Assistance shares how to elevate your team by getting people in the right seats, having every person own a number, and creating a mission that unifies the whole company.
I want to just ask, you know, how you landed in home care? You’ve been in the industry for a few decades and I’d love to ask, you know, what you were doing before and then how you landed here in this industry.
Sure, absolutely. Yeah, so my kind of my background is theater arts. So really goes right along with home care. Right? Let’s see, there are some things, you know that’s behind the stage, you know, doing all the magic. But now I, I actually right before landing in home care, I actually worked in global outreach. So I had people who lived all over the world and I kind of in a sense, did a similar job where when they came back to the United States, I was the one who helped them find housing and doctor’s appointments and you know, schools for the kids and things like that when they would be home for periods of time. And that type of thing. But the way I actually came on the scene was my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I became the family caregiver and kind of walk the journey that so many of our clients have walked over the years.
My husband was in neurology and he did he worked for at the time Pfizer pharmaceuticals. Everybody knows that name right now, but in the, at the end of the day, he you know, got sick. And so he was looking for that what’s next and that bucket list. And honestly his bucket list was to own his own business, the business. And so we kind of met the founder, Karen through our journey and she she was also a cancer survivor, but had been rediagnosed. We became fast friends and kind of, kind of ended up where she was looking to sell her business. And we ended up looking to buy it. And at one point there was a conversation between my husband and I, where it kinda came down to, he was going, he was doing much better getting back into the workforce and when they go back into neurology and he was like, you know, I can’t do this.
And so we had the conversation that kind of ended with the fine, you know, I I’m like we have to find you do it. And I was fine. I will beat ahead here. We are still doing it and love every moment of it. And so he’s doing well by the way. I don’t want anybody to ever think that, you know, we had a tragic end to our story. We were very fortunate, but home care definitely became a part of our journey and who we are and what we do. And, and I’m very grateful for the experiences that have brought us to today. So
Thank you for sharing. I love hearing those stories. And as many as I’ve heard, they never get old because we all have a different journey to this industry. And I think that’s part of what unites us as owners and providers in the space. So I love that one more on the spot question. But I like to ask on occasion, which is what is one of your most unpopular or uncommon opinions about home care
At my caregivers are the very, very forefront of everything. Like we, you know, so many times you walk into a home care agency and in your referral source and everybody drops what they’re doing and they run to the front door and they greet them and everything else. And the caregiver comes in and they stand there for like 15 minutes. And nobody seems to notice them if you walk into our office and you’re a referral source, I hate to tell you, but you’re probably going to be the one who’s ignored for a little while, while we finish up the phone calls or whatever we’re doing, then we’ll come see you. But if the caregiver comes to the door, we like, I’m sorry, I got to go. And you’ll see like all of us come running and we get so excited to see our caregivers come in.
Our caregivers are number one. I mean, like that is the thing that really, you have to have that connection with them and treat them with the value that they really holding your business because without our caregivers, we don’t really have you know, a business. And so we’ve kind of flipped the coin on that one where, you know, in the beginning, yeah, we would jump all over ourselves to go out there and meet that referral source is going to give us that next client. And we kind of realized that maybe it should be the caregiver who is the one that we get all excited about. And so we it’s been a process to do that, but that’s something that I really proud of my team. That’s what, that’s the way we act. So, yeah,
That’s amazing. I love that for some agencies, like you said, it could be the referral sources, number one, for others, even the client may be number one, but I think we’re kind of shifting the paradigm in the industry and the caregiver needs to be number one. And so I love that you are voicing that and we could literally end the meeting here and make that the focus of this call. But, but yeah, that’s, that’s great to hear. So what we’re going to talk about today, crystal is something that you feel so strongly about, which is building leaders inside of your organization. Tell me a little bit about why you feel so strongly about this.
Yeah, absolutely. So, you know, my last job I had this amazing boss knew you always have that person that, that takes you back. You know, when you’re thinking of you have a really great teacher, you have a really great boss. And, and Scott, I worked for Scott for about eight years in my last job. And the thing that Scott did was he really valued those who worked underneath him. And it was like, you know, we had big projects and big things that we would do. We had a big event that we would do every year and it would be like really long hours. And I always had this notebook that I keep all my notes. And so I didn’t forget anything. And I come into work after working a really, really long day, the day before, and I opened my notebook and he had flipped to the very next page.
That would be the page for today. And he would have written a note in there just saying, Hey, you rocked it today, keep up the good work or something like that. That just meant so much to me. Another thing he did was he really valued that leadership and to bring up the people who were below him and bring us up into different positions. And at the time I was like an admin assistant. I was like, you know, pretty much the entry level bottom of the, of the totem pole, kind of a thing, but he made me feel like I could do anything. And so he would take me to conferences or sometimes he would assign books or podcasts for us to listen to. And then as a team, we would talk about those. And I just loved that way that he poured into me as a leader.
And so when we took over and you know, stepped into the field of owning a home care agency, I felt more prepared to actually do that. And I started realizing, you know, I, I actually had a conversation with somebody years ago. I had, I had this marketer who came into the industry with all kinds of right information and had this great portfolio. And I’m like, this is the person who’s going to take us. And about two years in I’m like, we’re just not seeing the numbers. You know? I mean, like she was doing okay, but it wasn’t great. And I was talking to a friend of mine who was in the industry and I’m like, I just don’t get it. And he looked at me and he goes, well, what kind of training are you providing her? And I’m like, well, she’s a marketer.
She knows how it’s kind of in breadwinner. And he’s like, no home care is totally different than what she did before. And it was like this moment, it was like, you just blew my brain. Like, oh my gosh, you’re absolutely right. And so I started searching for ways that we can start training our, our staff, our schedulers, our case managers, or field managers, whatever you call them, our marketers and how do we train them and build them up to be leaders. And, you know, I’ve had schedulers or, you know, staff members who have come and gone. And like, I have one who started out as a scheduler. She’s now an executive director at one of the largest communities out here in Arizona. And I’m so proud of her because I can think that maybe I was a small piece of what she’s become.
And I’m just, I’m looking at her as an executive director, she’s running this whole credibly, you know, building and doing such an amazing job. And, you know, I hope that I was one who kind of encouraged her long because coming into the job, she really didn’t even know how to schedule. And so it’s like, it’s so much fun to celebrate them as they’re able to move up and move on. And in a sense, we’re providing that way that, you know, our seniors in our community gets better care for the people that we help bring into leadership roles.
I can feel the passion in your voice. I love it. You’ve given an example of, of this one specific individual when you’re hiring, how can you find someone that is teachable someone that can be molded into a leader? You know, what are, what are you looking for? What are some of the qualifications? How can you, if you can even identify who could be the right person for the right job that can grow into a leader.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think that what you just said is such an important piece, because I think that it actually starts with your caregivers, those brand new caregivers, that might be somebody who maybe cared like I did for a family member and a stepping into the professional world for the very first time. And they need some, some assistance with training to how to do it right. But they’ve done it, you know, they’ve taken care of mom or grandma or a spouse, or, you know, what have you. And you know, being able to, to even provide them with some kind of some leadership training and even some, some direction on how can you progress through a leadership, excuse me, a career ladder. And so I think keeping that open mind and then my staff did a really, really great exercise. A couple of years ago where we started looking at, we were, we’re kind of looking at you know, do we have all the right people in the right seats?
And, you know, we realized that some of our people were the right people, but they were in the wrong seat. And so we were willing to kind of move some people around, but then we also realized either on their own accord where they decided that they just weren’t a good fit for a company, or we, you know, realized that it wasn’t necessarily a great fit for our company. We stopped and we were like, you know, as we’re looking to, to find the next great team member that’s always scary because it changes your culture every time you bring somebody else new in. And you’re like, Ooh, what if you know? And so a couple of things that we did was we stopped as a whole team. We met and we had a lot of fun. We had our whiteboards all up in our training room and we kind of shut down that works other than the phones were ringing.
And we had a receptionist answering phones for the rest of the team sat down and we talked about, okay, everybody just list out. Who’s the one employee that you absolutely just think is like the best employee. We talked about caregivers, we talked about our own staff. We even like opened it up to, is there anybody that we know that maybe works in another industry or something, but, you know, and so we actually had one specific person that worked for a case management company that we’re like, we all could use a Petra or whatever. And we started, then we started writing out the attributes, what is the thing that makes that person, such an incredible employee? What does it, whatever it’s the best year, your number one, caregiver, whatever, if we could like multiply this person a hundred times, and that’s kind of how we kind of started narrowing down what we’re looking for when we’re actually looking for that next hire.
And then we also stopped, and we really looked at the job description because you might have the right person, but they’re in the wrong seat. And so if we can stop and kind of pull it together where we’re like, okay, here is really what the job duties are detailing. And then, you know, be specific on that. And then when you’re actually looking at them, the other thing you really need to do is know your, your, your company’s core values. And if you haven’t done an exercise where you sit down and really as a team decide what those core values are, that’s such an important piece because we live, breathe them and bleed by that. So, you know, we have three core values and we will take every single new hire. Our questions are centered around those core values. As well as you know, when we do check-ins, we typically do a check on, on 30, 90 and 30, 60, and 90 days, excuse me.
And so we’ll write out, like, here is the, the the, you know, the tasks or the duties that we believe is, you know, like the piece of, of the, of the actual position. And here’s the check points where, you know, they need to be at, you know, this place at these different spaces. And then we’re also asking how do they fit with those core values? And so those are some really important questions. And then there’s always the three questions of does this specific person, do they get it, do they understand the ins and outs of the job? Do they want it? Is this a job that lights them up and they are passionate about it? Or is it just, oh, it’s food on the table. Yay. and do they have the capacity for it? It might be the mental physical capacity, but it also might mean do they have a time? So even looking at our caregivers, sometimes we have those caregivers that they’re available on Tuesdays from two to 4:00 PM, math it, do they really have the capacity to give that consistency and that clarity for your clients care and that continuity. So those are just some things that we look at when we’re looking at bringing on a new hire into our, our company.
Oh, so well said I’m taking some notes. I, I love that idea of that exercise of let’s talk about attributes that we’re either missing as an organization or that we admire in people within the organization or outside of the organization. I love that idea. And I think, I hope everyone listening is taking notes because that’s something that you could do, you know, this week and reassess, you know, find your holes or gaps, or also let people vocalize if they’re thriving in a seat or if they need to transition into another seat, because you know, our job satisfaction is so dependent on our day to day. And if someone’s not happy doing that, then not only is their job satisfaction going to go down, but they’re more likely to leave or, you know, to drum up more conflict than necessary. So I love, I love this idea. You had mentioned, I’ve kind of wanted to follow up on timeline. You know, you said when you bring on a new hire, things can kind of get shaken up. So that might be a good time to reassess, but how often are you conducting leadership type trainings or checking in with your staff to make sure they feel like they’re developing?
Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve historically always done at least a quarterly. So we do our quarterly, like state of the company where we kind of just update our entire staff about how the company is doing this last quarter. We typically do it, you know, just shortly as the quarter ends. We just had one, a couple of weeks ago for the end of third quarter. So you know, we kind of update them and then we always, we’ve always tacked on just about another 30 to 45 minutes. And in preparation for that, we always give some kind of a leadership assignment for the next quarterly meeting. So it might be a book. And so we have, I have a whole list of great books that, you know, I can offer. I, I love that was one of my oh, permission to screw up.
That’s one of my favorites. And and it, it kind of talks about how, you know, you, you can make mistakes, but it’s how you learn through those mistakes and bring it. And that was a really good, great discussion for my team. But there’s so many of them, you know, the five dysfunctions of a team by Patrick Lencioni is another great one that my, my staff went through, or it might be a podcast. I have a lot of podcasts. I love to listen to Craig Rochelle’s leadership podcast is a, is a great one for some, you know, great leadership content. And that comes out like, I think once a month or something. So I might assign a couple of podcasts and then we’ll have a discussion around that. Or it might be even a conference. Like I know you, the home care pulse has done you know, the leadership summits.
I think there was one last October. I think I went like in the 20th of 21st. That was awesome. We we’ve used that. We’ve used the home care association of America there, you know, annual conference. I think this year, they actually did it more online type of a thing. We’ve used the global leadership summit. And so we utilize those things for our leadership team and make those available. And then we’ll pick one speaker or one topic that we’ll make sure everybody got a chance to listen to, or what have you. And we’ll have a discussion around that. And so that’s some of the things we’ve done, but we do it every quarter that we actually spend time with that leadership training. But we also try to provide things like for our caregivers and stuff, we do a monthly training and it might be on, you know, skills that they need in the field.
But it also, sometimes we throw something out there that might be valuable to them as we’re trying to bring up those leaders. So we want those caregivers to the next, you know, you started as a caregiver, but you can become a lead caregiver who’s helping to, to develop and, you know, and onboard the new caregivers are coming into our company and bring them into our culture. And then from there, they can move into like a case aid type of a position up there. They can move into like, even a leadership position into the office and all the way up and kind of move through the company. And so we want to start out at that very base level as a first starting out, and how can we bring them in and provide some of that leadership content for them as well. That’s great.
I want to ask who, who owns the different portions of this? I think some people listening may feel overwhelmed by, wow, we have to do something quarterly for the office staff and keep up with all these assignments that we’re delegating and then monthly caregiver trainings just break down briefly, you know, who owns which portion of this and who is making sure that the follow-up happens.
Right. And I think that kind of plays into making sure that your accountability chart is really clear and concise. So everybody knows what their roles you know, that’s something that we had to learn a couple of years ago where it was like, we all kind of just, you know, dabbled in wherever we needed. It was great because everybody was cross chain in like, you know, my schedule, it could do marketing and my marketer could do scheduling. And it’s great because if somebody was out, you always had somebody who could kind of flow in there. But we also were stepping on each other’s toes and it got messy. And sometimes there was a lot of friction and frustration over that because nobody really knew exactly where they landed and that type of thing. And we have three offices and so it kind of was getting all over the place.
So, you know, having that accountability chart that really like lays out those tasks and duties and, you know, there’s, there’s an old saying that, you know, if everybody’s responsible for it, nobody’s responsible for it. And there’s so true. So just having that, that, you know, this person is ultimately responsible. It doesn’t mean you can’t utilize your team members to help you, but at the end of the day, this is the person I’m going to go back to and say, okay, this didn’t get done. You know, what’s going on with it. And then they can, they need to follow up or what have you. So for a lot of it, so for my leadership team I actually choose the podcast or the conference or things like that because it’s kind of something I love to do. And so I’ve, I’ve held onto a piece of that, but like for the caregivers and things like that, my case management my director of case management actually does that because she’s overseeing all client and care case management.
And so she’s, she’s overseeing the caregivers as well as the clients. And so that’s her piece. And we do try to coordinate that with, you know with each other and, and just, you know, connecting and communicating. But sometimes even like in my position, I’ll assign it to somebody else to kind of say, okay, it’s, it’s, it’s my responsibility to make sure that we have something for the next time, but I might ask one of my team members, okay, I need you to go ahead and choose the next leadership. And that’s again, delegating and actually elevating them to the next level. And then once you, once you like, you know, delegate something off to somebody that doesn’t mean you tell them how to actually do it. You don’t just go there and go, I need you to, you know, set up this room with six chairs and each table, and I need it in this pattern or whatever you need to be able to let go and trust your team and not hang on to things super tight.
You can say, you know, here’s the, the task I need done and then let them do it. And then don’t hang on too tight, let them do it and step back and let them be creative and figure out how to do it on their own. And it’s amazing how some of the great leadership stuff that they brought to the table that I wouldn’t have found on my own has been really helpful. So, you know, part of it is just being able to delegate and elevate and allowing your team to actually step up into those leadership positions as well.
That’s amazing. I could listen to you all day. I love this topic at hand. I want to pause here and see if anyone has any questions on what we’ve covered so far or other questions that are coming to mind today.
You know, as far as getting together and talking about the mission statement and the company’s viewpoint, how often do you get together to kind of review that? As far as, you know, as things change, we, we try to get together like every two years is the core management to try to redefine those, to see if they’re still applicable or if they need to change and, you know, try to get a feel for how often you actually do that.
Right. That’s a great question, Dave. So actually we do it annually. And then, but we talk about it quarterly. So every quarter we have that state of the company, pardon me. And in that state of the company, part of it is we also go back and, you know, my old boss used to say, it takes 50 cups of tea, you know? So in other words, you, you have to continue to be part of your language. And part of your dialogue throughout your company is going to be what your core values are. And what your mission statement is and things like that. You need to be like regurgitating it. We actually say it in our interviews, we talk to our caregivers as we’re interviewing them. Anybody who goes through an interview with us, we talk about our core values during the orientation.
They talk about our core values, every training we have, we talk about our core values and then annually, we sit down and as a team, we look at our core values. We look at our, our niche. We look at, you know, we look at it as a whole and kind of go, does this still resonate? Does this still feel like it’s true to us? And if it’s not, this is the time for us to, to reevaluate it. And so, for example a couple of years ago, when we first really stopped and really looked back at our core values and we had like seven of them, nobody should have that many. Okay. First of all, none of us could remember them all. And then we started like a year later we’d stopped and we’re kind of looking at it. We’re kind of going, yeah, but these three actually mean is the same thing as this one is just, it’s describing this one.
So we started like consolidating. We now only have three and we can all remember them be a part of it, but it is still like, it’s not like we lost a core value. We just kind of like realized that we honed in a little bit more. So I think it is very important to look at that as an annual time and just really as a whole team, because you might have new members on your team as well. And you want to make sure that everybody has a really clear vision as to where you’re going and who you are. That’s so important in your company. Great. Thanks. I appreciate that. Absolutely. Thanks for the question
Question, Dave, I think, you know, here at home care polls, we hire fire and review based off of our core values. So it’s something that we talk about on a daily basis and it’s at the forefront of our minds. So I love the question. I love what you said crystal about, you know, re-evaluating things do go out of date. Our staff changes in turns over and we bring, you know, fresh eyes into the picture and it’s good to reassess, you know, the core of our company and the core values, because it’s okay. If they change, you know, they, they can be universal and they can, you know, be evergreen or lasts forever. But at the same time, it’s always important to make sure they resonate with your, your current staff. So, so I love that. Thanks, Dave. I want to kind of shift gears. We’re talking about a lot of happy things. I don’t want to take this down kind of a positive or a negative note. But there comes a time in business when you need to let someone go, you know, someone’s not in the right seat and is no longer satisfied or wants to make their way to a different career path. How do you know, or what do you do in that case? When do you know if it’s the right time to let someone go?
You know, that nobody likes to have that conversation. And it’s, it’s, it’s one of those things where, you know, we all, we all hate it when nobody wants to do it. And I was talking to a, a friend who was talking about, you know, home care, a nonprofit, we both kind of walk this fine line of, you know a lot of us come from a background of social work. And so we, we lead with feelings. And so a lot of times we’ll end up hiring friends, or maybe it’s like, maybe they’re not a friend at the time we hired them, but we kind of feel sorry for them. And we just want to help them out and things, and then you like get them and then like, it’s just not working, but now you’re kind of stuck with them. And the longer we wait, the harder it is to pull off the band-aid.
And so, you know, I think that one of the things is it’s really important to just, you know, be swift about it. We have kind of a saying around our office that if we start hearing the word it’s going to be okay, or you know, they just need a little more time, you know, it’s probably, if you’re questioning that like 30 days or 60 days in is probably not gonna fit. I mean, if there’s still, you know, a lot of times you’ll see them start out really, really solid, and then, you know, you’re like, okay. And then we kind of stalled. And then, so I think that again, you need to make sure you’re asking your questions, you know, are, you know, are their objectives clear? Did I provide them, you know, clear objectives? Did I provide them with all the resources and that’s including like, you know, tools and training, but it also is time, you know, am I spending time enough with them or somebody on my team assigned to give them that time to really give them everything that they need.
And if we’ve done those things and they’re still not getting it, you know I think you also need to have a really clear if you will discipline or, you know, like how does, how does it work? I mean, like how many times do you give them, how many chances do you give them? I’ve been known to give way too many chances because I just didn’t want to have to pull the bandaid off, you know, but if you think about it, 30 minutes of a really uncomfortable conversation and probably willing to take that long, but you’ll feel bad for about 30 minutes afterwards, it gives you such a great sense of release when you know, that they just aren’t the right fit. So you know, we go back to it, you know, those core values, the way that we know is, you know, first of all, are they meeting those, those objectives that, that was, you know, designed every employee in our company, all of our managers have a a number that they’re responsible for.
Everybody knows what their responsibility is. So your KPIs, you know, for example, you know our sales team, you know, has, you know, how many inquiries to conversions to new clients do they have, and what is their number? You know, how many are they responsible for? Are they hitting those numbers? So that’s one way of knowing it. And so maybe for your schedulers, how many hours of overtime are we in and how many caregivers are under, you know, 20 hours a week of, of, you know work, you know, so is that balance correct? Or, or whatever. You know, maybe a recruiter is how many applicants actually get through, you know, the, the hiring process and into the field, or what have you. So everybody has a number and you need to, to gauge them on deciding what their number is. So that’s one thing.
And then I think you go back to those three core values. And so, you know, at the 90 day anniversary for our caregivers and and for a new hire in the office, we typically for a management position, we’re looking at the 30 day, we have a 30 day review, a 60 day review and a 90 day review to make sure they’re hitting those objectives. But each time we go back to our core values and they say, is this person, you know are they, you know, showing our core values all the time, some of the time or not really very often. And so that’s a big indicator. And then you ask those three questions we talked about earlier, do they get it, you know, does the job makes sense? We hired a gal. Pre-Scheduling she was with us 60 days at first, she was just rocking it between the 30 and 60 day mark.
She wasn’t getting. And so we stopped and we had, we kind of stopped in the middle and kind of said, okay, you know, we really need to see this come up. And we gave her another chance and kind of, you know, put it in writing, gave her some tools, asked you, what else do you need? Because they also need to advocate for themselves a little bit too. And, you know, we gave her a timeline and it really wasn’t hitting it. So we had to make that decision at the 60 day mark, we loved her. She was great, but she just didn’t get it. She didn’t get the job. She couldn’t understand what she needed to do next and scheduling it was beyond her. So sometimes I found that a lot of times, by the time you get to that point, they’re already seeing the writing on the wall.
They make the exit on their own. And if not, you just have to have that honest conversation and just say, you know, here’s where, you know, this is what we looked at. And if you have those clear objectives, you’re really looking and holding tight to those core values. And those core values truly mean who you are, but you also ask those three questions and it makes it easier when you have to make that decision and you just make the decision and you also have to kind of weigh out if I keep this person around, what am I, you know, what am I sacrificing? Because a lot of times, if you keep that person, who’s not really a good fit in the company, sometimes you’re sacrificing those, those employees that you really want to hang on to those ones that are high achievers. And when you start seeing them disappear on you and that’s, that’s really dangerous too. So sometimes we have to be the, you know, put the big girl pants on and get out there and just do it. And it’s hard. Nobody likes to do that. But you know, you have to also realize this is a business. It’s not, you know, we, it feels like our family and it’s not that can, I have remained friends with many of the people that I’ve had to, to you know, say this just isn’t working. I’m normally, they’re like I get it. And I agree. So
For answering the tough question, you did it really eloquently. It’s a hard conversation to have, and nobody wants to go through it, but it’s inevitable as a business owner. And so it’s great for us to be able to talk about it and learn from each other one area that I do want to drill down on is this concept of everyone owns a number that is such a great concept and can be replicated in any business. And especially here in our home care agencies, how you kind of mentioned a few different roles in the KPI attached to them, how has that accountability? What does it look like? You know, are you measuring that on a weekly basis and how are you holding people accountable? And what has that resulted in, you know, over the years as you’ve implemented, something like that, what have you seen and how has your organization grown? Yeah,
It’s been, it’s been really great. I mean, part of it was like, again, getting that accountability chart really, really built out and having each person, I mean, like, you don’t have to give up every single detail of every job, you know, that they do, but giving a basic job description of three to five things that like, what are the really important things that this job entails. And and so that’s kind of where it comes from. And then, you know, I kind of assigned it to the team because, you know, I can come up with, okay, here are your numbers. And it’s kinda like, you know, when your kids are little and you’re like, you know, this is going to be great. You have these chores and you know how you all know how that goes, right. It’s like, oh yeah. But if you like, oh, you know, you get them involved in, okay.
You know, here are the list of things that we need to do. How do you think we’re going to get this done? Or how do you think that, you know, is the best way that we can get this done in a quick manner? So we can get out and play, you know, with our friends or whatever, and you enlist their help and, you know, the bad task or whatever, suddenly they’re more invested in getting it done. Same type of idea. So I actually kind of, you know, we kind of build out and I even, I actually wrote out what I thought all of their important job description was. And then I kind of assigned each one of my managers and kind of said, okay, you’re my scheduler. Give me three to five things are your most important duties or tasks or objectives that you do on a regular basis.
And then from that, let’s talk about what is it that is going to be something that we can look at to say, I I’m getting, you know, that my job is being done. So what does done look like? What is the thing that’s going to say? I can see that Amanda is doing her job really, really well. And she’s, you know, staying on task and everything else by looking at this one number Aaron Markham, he had this really beautiful way of saying it, your KPIs, your numbers is the, the, you know, if you’re going to hand me something on a card and he’d be like, you know, crystal pretend like you’re sitting on a desert island and you’ve got only you and your cabana boy, and he’s going to come out here and he’s going to give you a list of numbers to tell you how your business is doing, what numbers do they need to be on that card.
So, you know, you only have just a small card with just a few things. What do you need to know? And I was like, well, first of all, he needs to bring a drink with that card. I need it. Right. But so, and I kind of enlisted my staff to kind of help decide. So for example, my case management team, they really love looking at our home care pulse numbers, both for the clients, you know, net promoter scores, as well as the caregivers. And they’ve actually decided on their own where we need to be sitting in those net promoter scores to know that they’re doing a really good job, making sure that both the clients and the caregivers are feeling supported and, and things like that. So those are just some things that we’ve done to kind of help it, but everybody kind of needs to decide what their own numbers are. I mean, there’s it believe me. I tried, I was like, show me what KPIs I need to have on my little list. And there’s nobody who can tell you that because each business is so different and each person’s role is so different. Like my case management team is going to look completely different than your case management or your field visits, or, you know, we’ll call them different things. And the roles look a little bit different cause we just, our businesses are unique. And so should those KPIs,
I’ll stand behind that. We have a lot of people that come to us. You know, we, we’ve got a lot of data. We work with a lot of providers and ask us, you know, what is the recipe for a perfect KPI Xi? And how do we implement that? But I appreciate what you’re saying. It, even though our agencies are structured, similarly, there’s nuances that distinguish, you know, our org chart and our structure and our KPIs. And you really, it’s a great exercise to do that as a business, sit down with each department and discuss, you know, what are those three to five most important things that you’re doing and what outcome or what metric or KPI should be attached to that it’s a really good conversation and exercise to have within your organization. And I appreciate you saying that it looks different and you’ve got to establish that on your own. You really do. What, what results have they driven? You know, I know we talk a lot about turnover and retention. Whether that’s office staff retention, client retention, employee, caregiver retention, have you noticed your numbers going up? You know, what are some of the successes that you’ve had by doing all of this?
Sure. Yeah, probably the biggest thing that I noticed like throughout, you know, bringing on more leadership into the business and, and really just really elevating and, and delegating that, that information and just kind of like bringing those people up and allowing them to step into leadership roles. You know, so many of us have fallen into our own leadership roles by accident. Like, you know, when my husband got sick, I never thought I would be running the company. I was the shy sister who never spoke. Like I have people who are like, I didn’t know you had a voice. I, my sister was very outgoing and she’s a doctor. I mean, like, so, you know, I always kind of was in her shadow and I never really saw myself in a leadership position, but you kind of tend to, most of us have kind of fallen into it.
And then we just kind of figured out as we go along. And then what we tend to do is kind of sit back and go with all of the people who are working with us going, you’ll figure it out too. And you’re going to become a leader, but some people need just a little bit more encouragement or somebody to tell them you’ve got this. And I guess I kind of had that with Scott, my old boss where he’d be like, you’re rocking this, you’ve got this. And he encouraged me along and saw me and more than just an admin assistant, but kind of basically really told me how much my contribution to helping him in his assistant really, you know, got him to be successful in his job. And because of that, I, I, you know, thought I can do this. And so here I am, it’s like, wow, okay, here I am.
And every day I’m like, you know, pinch myself or, you know, okay. Does is they may going to like really see, you know, am I just pretending? I don’t know, but, you know as we’re walking through, you know, each of that, I think that probably the biggest thing that I’ve seen as we’ve brought things on, like we actually did EOS we Aaron mark, I’m actually, at one point I, I ran into him at a meeting and we were talking and he gave me a copy of attraction book by Gino Wickman. I read the book and I kind of realized that just through our own leadership, like training and things like that, we were already doing a lot of what Gina, what men had put into that book, but we were doing it in the wrong order. And we hadn’t like put the structure out first.
And so we actually did go through EOS to kind of build the structure, give us that ground, you know, support underneath before we, and then, and kind of redid it again. And the biggest thing that we saw was probably, you know, the hard part was like realizing that some of the people we had weren’t the right people and they were, or they were the right people and they were in the wrong seat. So we did a lot of structural change, which was a little bit painful, to be honest. And they, in the beginning where I took my schedule and she became HR manager, I mean, like these were big changes, but just like I knew I had the right person, she just wasn’t in the right seat. And so we, we, we took a chance and we shuffled some things and we all learn new, new business, you know, new pieces of the business and things like that.
And our company culture just changed and it became so much more. And what I’ve found is that I have so much more buy-in from my leaders on my team. And I started hearing praises instead of being like, yeah, well, you know, at our company, you know, at, you know, the company or your company, it started becoming well, my company, you know, at my company, we do this, my company may do that. And, and they started making decisions that they didn’t need to, you know, if you’re waiting for me to, to make the decision on the smallest things, you know, like, you know, is it okay to spend $10 for mileage to help us get this caregiver to go beyond her territory to help out the other city? You know, is it okay if I do that? It’s like, you know what, 10 bucks, isn’t going to break the company, make the decision on your own.
I’m behind you a hundred percent, you know, and they’ve been able to make those decisions and things. And so the culture feels like better. I’ve had a lot of retention with our managers. We just had one of our managers retired, but the majority of our managers, I think, has been here between three and five years. We’re in the process of we’re growing right now. Like, you know, hopefully we all are. And so COVID you know, kind of stalled us, but we didn’t really lose traction. We just kind of, we kind of stalemated a little bit, but you know, a lot of our, of our competitors, we kind of saw them kind of like spinning their wheels a little bit and we kind of kept steady, but we weren’t like making the leaps and bounds we were hoping for, but this year has been a lot better for us.
And so it’s been kind of fun watching this team and really come together when we all hit the pandemic and had to have, you know, everybody suddenly went remote and how they really supported each other and really continued that culture has just been amazing. And again, you know, turning it back on, it’s the caregiver who gets our attention and it’s the caregiver we need to worry about. And they all were helping to check in with the caregivers because we used to see them in the office. And so they were all like volunteering to make phone calls, to check in on the caregivers and see how they’re doing and, you know, and things like that. So it’s just been really fun watching the culture shift and how much more productive. And the other thing I was going to say on that though, is that it became a very high achieving culture. The amount of work that this team can get done is just incredible. And so as we’ve hired new people on a few of them, haven’t lasted to the 90 day mark. And it hasn’t been anything more than it’s been on our end for like, you just don’t fit and it’s not because we don’t like them, but it’s because they don’t have that. It’s funny when you have a high achieving culture, it’s really obvious when you have somebody who’s not really quite there. So many
You’ve shared. I see a couple of fun chats and I appreciate you guys saying thank you. I I, you know, I’m sure that everybody on this, on this call probably has something else that you are doing that I can totally learn from. So maybe to flip the question a little bit, I would love to hear if you are doing something that I haven’t thought about that maybe I can implement. Maybe if anybody have anything they want to share that maybe you’ve done that has, you know elevated, you know, one of your, you know, your staff or that you’re doing to help create leaders in your own businesses.
We always like to promote from within and keep an eye on our caregivers to see who might be a good fit, join our office. So our care coordinator or scheduler office admin have all been caregiving with us prior to coming into the office. And the caregivers do that too. And I think that, you know, kind of helps inspire some of them as well.
Yeah, Susan, I absolutely agree. I think that that’s so important to have some kind of a career ladder for those caregivers. It’s, again, it’s, it’s showing their value and how much they mean to you when, you know, it’s an entry-level position, your position coming on as a caregiver. But if there is opportunity, if there’s ever an opportunity in your office, maybe it’s for a receptionist or for a CA you know, scheduling position or you know, like, you know, case management aid or something like that, where they can learn a new skill and, and have opportunity to lead like the caregiver lead program that we have, those are all really great opportunities. And I love that you actually promote from within, we’ve been able to do that as well. And it’s, it’s been fun to actually watch people who have started, you know, as a caregiver.
And now they’re in this management and positions and, and sometimes then they move on. I actually have one who kind of worked their way through. They didn’t make it too far up. They ended up being a case aid, and now she’s a physician. She just finished her residency and she keeps in touch and it’s like, we get to celebrate who they become. And she started out as a caregiver when she was in college and kind of helping pay for med school and things. And we were able to work around his schedule and now she’s a physician, but she made all the way into case eight. And I think that’s such a great idea.
And recruitment is a challenge across the board. So include some of that, those bits and pieces of your career ladder in your recruitment efforts, so that they’re aware of those opportunities from day one. I see you shaving in.
Yeah, no, I just wanted to add just like season two, that’s one of our policies. We do have, we do recruit from within and if we do have an outside role, we do ask that they at least work in the field, you know, for a couple of months just to have that experience. Or we recently promoted one of our caregivers to recruitment retention coordinator and just the excitement she speaks, you know, when applicants come in about the career opportunities, I just see that, you know, huge difference in the applicants, their eyes light up because she’s been in the field, she’s had that experience. She can talk their talk and they do see that we do practice what we preach. So I do agree as well, promoting from within is really powerful and it’s really encouraging for our caregivers as well.
Absolutely. Thanks Amma, for chiming in, we’ve got a question here. We could wrap up with this from Yolanda about showing recognition and appreciation for your caregivers, crystal, what have you guys done that you’ve found that your caregivers really appreciate and recognize?
Yeah, we could make a whole nother podcast on this one. It’s another area I’m really super passionate about. You know, so a couple of things that we’ve done is, you know we’ve all tried to become very competitive in our pay. And I think sometimes we’re, we’re kind of right now toting the line, at least here in Arizona, we’re toting the line of, are we getting it to the point where, you know, our caregivers and, you know, you have to have a, a buffer where, you know, you can pay your employees, but you can also, you know you know, make enough to pay your electricity. And so are we getting to the point where our clients are no longer going to be able to afford us? So we have to kind of watch that. So what are some other ways that we can show that appreciation things?
And so we do try to do little fun gifts here and there. And the one thing I can say, if you do decide to do some kind of appreciation gift or something, keep in mind that something personalized really, really means the world. So it might be something as simple as getting to know them and getting to know their favorite drink from Starbucks. All of my management team has a budget that they have to spend every quarter to appreciate a caregiver. So we have some who come, you know, done become nationalized. And so we brought in American flags and, you know, kind of did a little party in the client’s home or whatever birthdays are big ones for us to celebrate things like that. So find out their birthdays or holidays you know, things like that find out their favorite candy bar, just pop in with that or their favorite Starbucks or Dutch bros, or I don’t know.
Well, it depends on where you’re at as far as their favorite coffee drink or something, and maybe surprise them if you’re out and about. We just actually got fun. Mass, our caregivers are all still wearing masks in the field. And so we got fun holiday mass for them to wear, to kind of jazz it up for the holidays. And so just fun things like that. But like I said, if you make it more personalized it, it just means the world to them. Another thing is, you know, just taking the time to write them a thank you note when you hear something really good about your caregiver from a client, never hesitate to turn around and make sure that the caregiver hears that it’s so important, you know, pick up the phone. And it, it means the world when it comes from the owner.
It’s so funny to me because I’m like, I don’t see myself as being that big of a deal, but I have had caregivers just cry because I called them to tell them that I, that their manager we actually have on Fridays, we have a week, excuse me, a daily meeting. We have we started a day 30 minute zoom meeting for all offices. Just it’s a standup and we have different topics every day that we just are updating each other it’s company needs. It might be scheduling needs. What have you, but on Fridays it’s caregivers updates. So it’s updates about the caregivers, but we also do a caregiver spotlight and every one of our managers need to spotlight a caregiver who has been outstanding in the last week. So we hear about it often. I will take that phone call and take that and make a phone call to that caregiver and say, you know what?
Your manager was bragging on you today. And I just want to let you know, it made it all the way to me. And you are just doing an exceptional job and here’s why, and then give them that specific story. And that just goes a million miles with them and I’ve had them cry and be like, oh my gosh. You know, but it means the world to know that they’re working hard and somebody noticed, and it doesn’t have to be monetary every time. Sometimes it’s a card or just a phone call that makes such a world of difference. Yes.
And the things that we’ve done, we use ClearCare as our management software. And what we’ve done is we’ve collected our care providers. Favorite color, favorite candy bar, favorite movie, favorite family activity. And we’ve actually put that on the notes in clear care. So it comes up on each care providers profile, as soon as you click on them in the profile so that anybody in the office talking to a care provider brings their profile up. It has that information right there, and that gives us another avenue to connect with them. Or if we wanna, you know, if a care provider says they’re stopping by the office, we can do a quick look and say, oh my gosh, she loves Reese’s peanut butter cups. And we’ll have some here when they come in, you know, but it’s, it’s right in front of all the office staff, every time they bring up a profile. So just another way that we founded we can connect with the care providers. And like you said, crystal, it goes a long, long way.
I love that. That’s a great idea, Dave, and it’s so important to have that information and put it where everybody can see it because so many times our scheduler knows it, but then the rest of the staff doesn’t really have any idea, but it’s nice when it’s not just one person who’s blessing them. It’s, it’s, wouldn’t be entire team is behind it. That’s amazing. That’s a great idea. I love that. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing Dave. And it’s scalable, you know, some of you on this call or listening to this may have 50, a hundred, a hundred plus caregivers care providers, and we need to find things that scale and we need to have that personal touch, but things that can be implemented as we, as we continue to grow. So I love that. I am so grateful for this conversation. I want to be respectful of everyone’s time. I know we all have busy schedules, but I just want to end here and say, thanks crystal for joining us. Thanks for your expertise and everything that you’ve shared. I hope we all have taken some notes and can leave this conversation ready to implement something in our businesses.
No, this has been such a pleasure and I really appreciate the questions and the feedback you guys are amazing. So thanks for sharing and continue to help build those leaders. And if anybody has any additional questions, I’d love to have more dialogue. I can learn from you as much as hopefully I was able to share tidbits nuggets for you. So thank you all for joining us and thank you for the opportunity. I really appreciate the time to be able to get out and share something I’m passionate about. So hopefully it helps somebody.