Care UK’s Residential Care Service has been shortlisted for a prestigious award, acknowledging its position as one of the top care sector employers in the country for developing the skills of its teams.
The fifth largest care home operator in the country, Care UK has been shortlisted by Skills for Care in the Best Employer of Over 250 Staff category in its 2017 awards, which celebrate excellence in the adult social care community.
Care UK employs more than 9,000 people to provide care to more than 7,200 residents in its 114 care homes. A further 20 homes are due to open by the end of 2018.
The human resources team reached the final four in the highly competitive category through its commitment to excellence in recruitment, training and employee engagement.
HR director Leah Queripel said: “I was delighted when I received the news we had been shortlisted for this important award. Recruiting and retaining the right talent is absolutely fundamental to our business, which is why we invest in finding, supporting and growing our people. For example, we recently launched our first deputy manager development programme to help give them the skills to become home managers. The thinking behind this wasn’t just about developing our leaders but will also bring a knock on effect on retention as we know people are more likely to stay if they have a good leader.”
Once vetted and employed by Care UK, recruits are supported with a rigorous training and induction process. Leah said: “We place enormous value on induction and we see it as the employee’s first part of their journey with us. We aim to ensure it is a positive experience which builds their confidence, makes them feel supported and helps them feel like they ‘belong’ to Care UK. Our mission of ensuring our residents live fulfilled lives can only happen if every colleague commits to living our values in everything they do. As a result this forms an integral part of induction for all colleagues, not just those that directly care for others.”
Care UK has created a network of regional trainers who work with each home to organise training tailored to their specific requirements. A comprehensive learning management system also assists with identifying training needs by tracking training compliance in the homes and reminding managers if team members are due for refresher courses. By combining these approaches Care UK has been able to ensure that colleagues have the skills and knowledge required to provide the highest level of care to residents, many of them frail and living with dementia.
Leah said: “I am very pleased the judges could see our commitment to a culture where every colleague feels appreciated, challenged and supported to do their best work – fulfilling the lives of others. In our 2016 employee engagement survey, 95 per cent of colleagues said they felt proud of the work they do and 92 per cent said they know what Care UK’s purpose and objectives are, which is a great illustration of our positive culture. I see this shortlisting as a tribute to the hard work put in by colleagues everywhere.”
The winners will be announced at the Accolades awards ceremony on 9 March 2017 in Liverpool.