Weekly Update from Lynn Longland, our Head of HR
We have always advocated that support work is ‘not just a job’ and that there is a wealth of opportunities plus a rewarding career in social care. When we were hit with the Covid-19 pandemic and the country went into lock-down, we had to review our process as a matter of urgency. As you can imagine, the recruitment of each and every staff member is thorough and vigorous, ensuring we take on the right staff who share Autism at Kingwood’s values and ethos.
As we could no longer conduct face-to-face interviews, the ‘Speedy Recruitment Process’ was introduced which, in line with guidance from CQC, ensured we continued to deliver excellent support and cover any increased staff absences. With a strong recruitment drive, the recruitment team worked hard alongside Support Managers and I am pleased to say the response was fantastic. In the face of adversity we have managed to recruit a wealth of diverse staff, some who may not have thought of a career in care and we hope each and every one stays for the longevity.
We moved to Zoom for our induction training and this has proven very successful, with no delay in the on-boarding of staff and no compromise on the level of training delivered. It has given new staff the confidence to go into a service and deliver excellent person centred support – even if they are new to care.
We recognised that this was an extremely stressful time for our front line staff and at times impacting on staff and their families. Staff health & well-being is very important to us – even in ‘normal times’. We therefore introduced the Employee Assistance Programme. This provides our staff team 24/7 personal and highly confidential advice and support where and if necessary, some of the benefits include Access to a GP 24/7 online or by phone, debt information and support, legal assistance and a dedicated Case Manager. We have also provided additional employee allowances and sick pay and, of course, ensured that no member of staff has been without the correct PPE. I am pleased to report that this week, we have had no cases of Covid-19 amongst people we support or staff.
Finally, a note to our staff about or Employee Incentive Scheme. If you have friends or family who are interested in joining Autism at Kingwood, your recommendation means that you will receive a voucher worth £50, once they start working for us and an additional cash reward of £100 when they have been employed by us for three months.
‘Caring people know caring people’
With best wishes,