A group of cheerful seniors enjoying breakfast in nursing home care center.

Have you noticed that seeds will only grow if they are in the right environment and provided the right nutrients as well as hydration based on their individual needs? ‘What are you talking about Lucy?’ I hear you say. I know you now think you’ve stumbled across an edition of Gardeners Weekly and I promise you that you haven’t, yet there are many parallels.

Nurturing your care business

So, just go with me here for a minute. You have an idea to open a care business. You choose the right model or business, you finance it, you make sure it’s in the correct area, has the correct funding, and the right people to work in it. It’s just a seed that turns into a plant that you need to continually nurture within the ever-changing environment it sits in. Now what happens if you don’t nurture that seed?

Recently I reviewed a care business. Agency usage was high, occupancy was painfully low, staff turnover was high, and compliance/quality levels were very poor. Leadership was on its knees. After a short conversation I was able to understand why the business had ended up in its current position. The owner was not ready to take responsibility for the situation they found themselves and their business in, in order to then solve the problems.

While I was away from home yesterday and didn’t water my little seedlings in my polytunnel, I found them this morning rather weak and needing a good drink. I took responsibility for the situation and got the watering can out.

What can you do?

If you find yourself descending into a difficult situation then it’s time to hit pause and work out what needs to change, here are my five top tips:

  1. Take responsibility: Although it’s challenging, accepting responsibility for difficult situations is essential for leaders. It demonstrates accountability and fosters trust within the organization.
  2. Model value-based behaviour: As a leader, your actions serve as a role model for your employees. Behaving with integrity, empathy, and ethical standards sets the right example and cultivates a positive work culture.
  3. Set the tone for the culture: Leaders have the power to shape the organisational culture. How you handle challenges directly impacts the work environment and employee attitudes. Embrace responsibility to foster a culture of accountability and problem-solving.
  4. Engage in self-development: Continuous self-reflection and personal growth are crucial for effective leadership. Reflecting on your actions, learning from experiences, and seeking improvement allows you to adapt, innovate, and achieve desired results.
  5. Stretch your thinking and grow your business: By taking responsibility and embracing self-development, leaders can expand their capabilities and develop a growth mindset. This mindset enables leaders to navigate challenges, drive innovation, and ultimately propel the growth and success of their businesses.

In a busy world like social care, it’s so easy to point the finger of blame without realising that three fingers point back when things go wrong. Change comes from being honest with ourselves. Just accept the feedback and take steps to change it and it all starts with you as the leader.

If you find your plant is wilting, you need to ask why and how it has become a problem. The responsibility for change starts with you. Let change start internally and embrace it, you may find the love you once had for a business you were so passionate about starts to grow again.


Lucy Buxton supports, guides, and assists care and health-based services as well as the individuals working in them to achieve high levels of quality, compliance, and profitability as well as the building and retention of great teams.

LjB Coach Consultancy Ltd. is an independent Consultancy established to provide support and guidance to individuals and businesses so that they can achieve and celebrate their goals. They specialise in coaching health and care related services both in the public and private sector with the purpose of improving care quality outcomes.