It is believed that if you have happy satisfied group home staff that the disabled residents that the staff care for will be happier also. Not only should a group home manager make sure their staff is happy, group home support staff should advocate for themselves to make sure they are able to give the best care possible to the disabled people that they are trusted to care for. In the latest issue of “The Mentor”, Workforce Performance Group‘s newsletter, is an article on that subject. Here is the article:
There are a lot of unhappy social workers out there. Just open up a discussion about workplace satisfaction on any one of the social media outlets, especially those oriented toward social work, and you will see a plethora of posted complaints. One wonders about these unhappy helpers; what emotional gyrations do they have to go through in order to help a distressed client?
I spent most of my professional life assuming that the bulk of the organization ‘s resources should be directed to the clients. After all, that’s who we were in business to serve. My assumption was that if you wanted to work in social services that kind of priority-setting is what you should expect; staff needs are met after client needs are satisfied.
But now we have a generation of workers who grew up in the affluent 90′s who are convinced that they have a right to have their needs met as well. So what are the implications for how a social service organization operates? Are we going to change the mind-set of a whole generation or are we going to adapt?
Twenty years ago, thanks to a few innovative corporations, notably Southwest Airlines, a different approach has crept into the discussions around workplace management. Specifically , the change flip-flops what we had come to expect…at Southwest, satisfaction of employees is the number one priority; they believe that the best customer service flows from satisfied employees. This has led to all the buzz about employee engagement and worker happiness that we have seen in the last 5 years.
The experts are telling us about the costs of unhappy workers; 15% hate their jobs and work as little as possible; another 55% are putting in time, waiting for the next pay check. Social workers tell me that those numbers are not only true for American businesses but true for their agencies as well. What’s that costing in lost productivity? Suppose 90% of your workers loved their job; could you actually lower your personnel costs?
I’m looking for a social agency that follows the Southwest Airlines philosophy: that satisfied employees provide the best service for customers, clients or however we refer to those we are trying to help. But what is your opinion? How would your agency be different if employee satisfaction received more attention?