We all know that having a caring, hard-working, accommodating caregiver makes life bliss. But what do you do when your caregiver, while generally a good performer, needs to kick it up a notch in a certain area?
Here are a few effective tactics you can use to help boost performance:
- Communicate. This is the most obvious and most effective way to initiate an improvement in performance. Sometimes we’re reluctant to communicate concerns with our caregivers because we don’t want to upset them and want to make sure they’re as happy and satisfied as possible since they’re caring for our loved ones and/or home. However, to prevent the situation from worsening and to make sure you’re getting what you need, it’s important to be as direct as possible that you need to see improvement in the desired area. For example, you can let your caregiver know that “while we’re extremely pleased with your care overall, unfortunately, for this position we HAVE to have someone who can be proactive and identify things that need to be done around the house without being told.” This lets them know that the improvement is a condition of employment.
- Make it Measurable. Try to be as specific as possible when discussing any issues. When the area needing improvement is broad (like in the example above), give the caregiver examples to better illustrate the need. Identifying measurables will allow both you and the caregiver to track progress better and is the best way to help your caregiver be more successful.
- Follow-up. When you request improvement in an area, let the caregiver know how you’ll work together to follow-up and measure progress. For example, “Let’s touch base each Friday afternoon when I get home to see how we are both feeling about progress.” Then be sure to make note of any examples of improvement or areas needing improvement so you can give both positive and constructive feedback during your follow-ups. Offer several examples to continue to make the objective more and more MEASURABLE during each follow-up.
- Instant feedback. In addition to follow-ups to measure progress, be sure to give your caregiver instant feedback (or even tokens of appreciation) when they’ve shown improvement in an area. Praise is a great motivator and can go a long way toward consistent, real improvement (and is a critical part of fostering a satisfied caregiver, in general).
- Know when to say when. Identify when the issues you’re facing reflect areas which can be improved upon and when they are ones that are indicators of a bad fit. If the latter, you may be faced with the harsh reality that it’s time to move on. Living with a poor performer or a bad fit can sometimes be WORSE than having no care at all. Realize if that’s the case and begin taking steps toward finding a better match for your family. We know moving on is a lot easier said than done, so feel free to let us know if there’s any way we can help!