So, coming up to Christmas can be a nightmare for any Children’s Home or residential service.
Not only do you have to keep the floor running you have to contend with the festive add-ons. For example, the seasonal headache of staff who seem less than willing to commit even though they said they would, or have somehow snuck off the rota and a creeping feeling of stress before the first bauble is on the tree.
Let’s face it, many people have time off over Christmas but for residential care it just isn’t so and who doesn’t want to be at home? But, what is important here is that this is a heightened time for your residents. Without careful planning, the festive season can turn in to a full moon scenario arising.
The key to success is to ensure you implement careful planning and a sensitive appreciation for your already frazzled workforce as they enter into a period that can be fraught with tension.
So, here are a three pointers to include in your pre-festive season build up.
1. Spread some cheer
Let your staff team know that you appreciate how hard they already work and how much it means to you and the young people, that they are committed to making the Christmas period as good as it can be.
I once worked for a boss who said ‘why should we thank people for what they are getting paid for’.
Would this attitude inspire you to turn up?
Christmas is a weird time. Our TV’s are filled with it as soon as the last firework is lit. Remember, your team have families, relatives and all the loves, longings and pressures that come with the season as well as having to turn up for work.
Give a bit to get a bit!
2. Plan like a boss
Planning is essential
Who knows what this season throws up for your young people or residents? It is easy to think just chilling around will be good for them. This may be more harmful than helpful.
Too much time to ponder on what they think they are missing is not good. This season is a time for all the usual suspects to become heightened.
Instead, give them a something to remember. Plan ahead, talk about it before you get there, get them involved in what they want to do.
Pepper your time with the unusual. Don’t just sit around get out and about but build it into your planning and as it is Christmas add a few surprises. Do things you don’t always do.
Remember, if you don’t get in there with them and make sure those plans are ones for the greater good, you may end up with a disaster on your hands!
You have to be in charge, engage, lead, distract and avoid disaster.
If you don’t communicate what your expectations are for your team and your young people then you are like the blind leading the blind.
In step 2 you will have created your plan, you have to communicate this to everyone in your team.
Make sure everyone knows ahead what the team are supposed to be doing and what to the team should do if it doesn’t go as expected and everything will run smoother.
Getting your client group onboard is essential. If you have involved them in the process, got them actively engaged in organising everything then this can only make for a happier all round experience.
Using the above three steps will help you, your team and young people be prepared and hopefully get the most out of their festive season.
All the very best for Christmas and if you are interested in making 2018 your best year ever, please sign up for our webinar on 8th January 2018, details below.
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