Handling difficult conversations with staff is something which many managers struggle with, and while it is important to get this right in every business, in some organisations like those in the care sector, the stakes can be even higher. With staff looking after elderly and often vulnerable people in their care, it is crucial that managers feel empowered to tackle issues like discipline and performance management.
One organisation that takes this issue seriously is Cornwall Care, the largest care provider in Cornwall. Cornwall Care operates 16 care homes, as well as providing home care, day and respite care, supported living, dementia care, and their own internal staffing agency. The safety, health and happiness of the people it looks after is of paramount importance.
Angie Cavanagh, Cornwall Care’s Head of Human Resources explains: “The people we care for, and their families, put their trust in us and we need to live up to that by providing the best possible care.”
“To achieve this we have exceptionally high standards for our staff and it is really important that our managers support their teams to achieve this. This means that sometimes managers need to have difficult conversations with their staff. We know that some people find this hard, so we asked for help from the employment team at Stephens Scown.”
Mark Roby, a HR Advisor in Stephens Scown’s employment team provided training for some of Cornwall Care’s managers. The training took place over four half day sessions covering investigations, discipline, performance management and managing sickness absence.
Mark added: “Our aim was to support Cornwall Care’s managers by equipping them with the information, skills and confidence to deal with difficult issues in the right way. We built the training around Cornwall Care’s existing policies and used role play to help the managers practice the best way to deal with these issues.”
Angie Cavanagh added: “Everyone who attended the training said they felt much more confident now, which is exactly what we wanted Stephens Scown to help us achieve. Mark was great and took time to really understand what we do, so that the training he delivered was spot on.”