How Kare Plus Manages Stress across the UK
Monday, May 13th, 2019 | Uncategorized
Defined in the Oxford Dictionary as ‘a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances’, stress affects all of us. There are numerous external factors that can lead to stress, but the NHS lists the most common overarching causes as work, family, house and personal issues.
As one of the biggest providers of both nursing, healthcare and homecare in the United Kingdom, we employ a large number of nurses, healthcare assistants and homecarers. Positive mental health is a big factor in reducing workplace stress, which is why Kare Plus is committed to supporting staff in and out of the working environment
On a national scale, we implement a number of employee benefits that aid staff in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. All Kare Plus nurses, healthcare assistant and homecare workers benefit from flexible shift patterns, enabling more control over the hours they work as well as weekly pay, ensuring the next payday is never too far away.
All of our nurses are supported by an in-house clinical lead with years of experience in the nursing industry. Using her expertise and knowledge, the clinical lead supports nurses through the revalidation process, guiding them through every step to ensure a much smoother process.
As a franchise network, Kare Plus has a dynamic collection of business owners all working with healthcare professionals across the country. Each franchise supports its staff in different and unique ways, but all with the same goal of reducing stress.
Gordon Anderson - Kare Plus Norwich
Gordon has been with the Kare Plus network for over three years and in that time he has actively worked with the local community and his workforce. He recognises that stress can negatively impact individuals and as a result of that he actively campaigns to reduce stress amongst his staff.
“I encourage all of my staff to take regular breaks; we have a carers room in the office (see pic) with two settees, a laptop and a supply of cold / hot drinks (non alcoholic) so should a carer have an hour or two spare, we encourage them to use this area to unwind and destress. Known as Penny’s room, as you will see in the picture on the door, she has put it to the best use often closing the blinds and having a nap."
What makes this room so special is that it was designed by the staff and built how they wanted it.
“We also have a swap table, where there are books on dealing with stress, fatigue etc that staff can borrow, as well as games, social boards for use with service users.”
This focus on battling stress isn’t limited to healthcare staff as Gordon also encourages his office staff to focus on minimising stress as much as possible.
“We have a really open office in which communication is a key focus; there are weekly meetings to discuss workloads and we’ll always try to move work around to allow staff to leave early or come in late, at least once a week. I also book a masseuse and reflexologist specialist in who provides massages (head and neck typically) in the workplace. Above all else though, we look out for each other.
“Stress is the biggest consideration for any employer in my view, which is why I am working on my current project ‘holidays for carers. If we look after their well being, we inspire loyalty and employ better quality staff which results in happier service users - this is very important in a sector known for its problems with staff shortages. Our staff are our ambassadors and our brand is best portrayed by them.”
All of this effort is in jest if Gordon isn’t able to show his own commitment to minimizing stress. Inspiration often begins at the top and trickles down, which is why Gordon, as busy as he is, still makes the effort to plan time outside of work for relaxation.
“I work long hours, so I plan my time carefully to ensure my family get my time, I walk a lot with my dogs, and we follow our local football team together."
Anita Khaira - Kare Plus Leeds
Anita Khaira and her husband Shinda opened their Kare Plus Leeds franchise over a year-and-a-half ago and in that time they have established their business as a reliable supplier of staff in the Leeds area. Anita is aware of how important stress management is in the workplace and the effects it can have on staff and customers alike.
Since opening Kare Plus Leeds, Anita has incorporated a number of policies and schemes in a bid to reduce employee stress:
“Communication is a big part of reducing stress which is why I have implemented an open door policy in my office, ensuring staff can openly communicate with me about any problems they may have. I like to ensure that staff can be flexible with their working hours and that each individual has enough time to have breaks. Above all else, I try to make sure that each employee is happy.”
Anita also recognises the importance of supporting the staff that work with her in the office:
“I try to provide my office staff with a flexible and open work environment, where communication and honesty is encouraged. I set clear goals with each member of the team and try to manage their stress levels as best as I can.”
“I believe supporting the mental health of our healthcare professionals is vital because they support us when we need it.”
Managing stress is important for all of us though, which is why we asked Anita how she copes with her stress levels:
“I try to take regular breaks and spend time with family and friends whenever I can. I also make a real conscious effort to stay healthy with regular exercise, healthy eating and making sure I get lots of sleep.”