Webinar Recap: Focus on Culture – Easy, Meaningful Ways to Retain Nursing Staff

Building a positive workplace culture can do wonders for a long-term care facility’s reputation and ability to attract new hires. It also influences staff retention and census management, which in turn drives better patient outcomes and more revenue. On the flip side, a poor culture will make it harder to retain nursing staff and hinder the ability to fill beds.   

In this webinar, “Focus on Culture – Easy, Meaningful Ways to Retain Nursing Staff,” former LTC owner/operator, Sean Carney, and seasoned nursing educator, Rachel West, delve into the importance of nurturing a positive culture to improve job satisfaction and patient outcomes. Check out the recording below to learn practical strategies for building trust, fostering open communication, and creating a supportive environment within your facility.

You can access the recording here: 

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Don’t have time to watch the full webinar? This blog covers the main questions posed to Sean by Rachel and summarizes the responses. Read on to learn more. 

Why is it so important for long-term care facility owners and operators to focus on building and maintaining a healthy workplace culture? 

The ability to recruit and retain nursing staff in long-term care facilities hinges on the established culture. Developing a positive culture requires trust-building, open communication, and taking action to address cultural issues. Transparency and confidentiality are essential to maintaining trust within the organization. Ultimately, a positive culture leads to happier and more engaged staff, improved quality of care, and increased revenue, while a negative culture can drive staff away and negatively affect a facility’s CMS Star Rating.

What should a facility focus on to improve culture? 

To improve the culture within a facility, there are three key areas that should be prioritized:

  • First, building trust among departments, both vertically and horizontally, is crucial. This involves establishing open and honest communication channels and promoting collaboration.
  • Second, an open-door policy with a clear structure and boundaries is essential. This policy should encourage staff to feel comfortable expressing their concerns and ideas while ensuring that management is approachable and responsive.
  • Lastly, creating value statements for individual people and departments can help instill a sense of self-worth and highlight the unique contributions that everyone brings to the facility. Understanding the value and potential of each staff member is vital for determining the facility’s direction and goals. 

Can you expand on the importance of the open-door policy, and building structure around it?

Establishing an open-door policy with structured feedback channels is vital. It allows staff to feel comfortable sharing concerns and ideas and empowers them to contribute to the facility’s improvement. However, confidentiality and responsible information handling must be maintained. Acting on solutions and recommendations demonstrates the value placed on staff input, enhancing trust and engagement. Creating this environment requires concerted effort, as trust can be easily damaged. Being responsive and accountable, whether implementing changes or explaining limitations, is crucial for maintaining trust and fostering a positive culture within the facility. 

What are some decisions or patterns of behavior that can destroy a culture?

There are several decisions and patterns of behavior that can destroy a culture within a facility. Dishonesty and a lack of transparency, particularly when it comes to following through on commitments, can erode trust and undermine the culture. One crucial aspect that impacts culture is compensation. It is essential to keep compensation information private. Additionally, the absence of a fair and consistently enforced disciplinary process, shared across all levels of the workplace hierarchy, can be very detrimental. Trust and work ethic are affected when individuals do not feel confident that everyone is held to the same standards. 

Can you talk a little bit about the successful use of external/temporary staff in the context of building a healthy culture?  

It is important to emphasize the integration of temporary staff into the facility’s team. Upon their arrival, they should be guided to adhere to procedures and policies. By fostering a welcoming environment, even if it is only for a single shift or day, the external staff can feel like valued members of the internal team. Creating a cohesive unit where residents perceive a united front will help address concerns related to ancillary staff and the use of agency staff. 

Ready to Find a Trusted Partner?  

You can count on IntelyCare to be a partner to you, to treat our nurses and aides well, and to help you provide outstanding patient care. Talk to us today to learn how we can help you safely supplement your workforce


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