By Sid Madge, Meee (www.meee.global)
Culture refers to the social behaviour and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals in these groups.
Culture is where you meet others and the environment you individually and collectively create together. In this context is it easy to see why culture has such a massive impact on a care home.
By developing an inclusive culture, that works for all – your staff, your residents, and your visitors – you will create a healthy place to work, live and visit.
Here’s how to create a nurturing, supportive and inclusive culture so everyone can shine:
1. ASK MORE
What is your culture? Is it what you want it to be? From there build something that accepts, honours and nurtures everyone involved for who they are. Everyone is interesting, has value, and brings something unique to the world.
As adults we stop asking. We don’t want to look ignorant. We stop asking for what we want. But we all have the right to be in a place that is nurturing and supportive and to speak up when it’s not. Culture isn’t changed overnight. It comes about when lots of people start to speak up.
60” Action: Think about the culture of your workplace. What stands out? Is there something specific that bothers you? If so, speak up. Decide to stop accepting it and lead by example.
2. BE MORE BILBO
I recently lost my best friend Bilbo, a 12 year-old Springer Spaniel. He never complained, growled or moaned, he just lived life to the full. He was always happy to meet new people and saw the best in everyone.
I think we should all Be More Bilbo. Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Bilbo always made me feel better.
60” Action: How does the culture of your care home make you feel? How do you make others feel? Are you uplifting and supportive or grumpy and demanding? How are you contributing to a positive or negative culture? Be More Bilbo.
3. EMBRACE CHANGE
The greater we are at adapting to change, the richer our lives became.
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck refers to the growth and fixed mindsets. Children naturally have a growth mindset, they try, fail, try again and ask a million questions about everything. Adults try, fail and cover up any attempt they even tried and refuse to ask anything in case they look foolish. The kids have it right.
60” Action: When was the last time you resisted change? How did it turn out? Do you have a growth or a fixed mindset? Change is inevitable so we may as well embrace it and enjoy the journey.
4. BE THE BEST YOU
Be the best you, you can be. Hold yourself to a higher standard and the results will follow. We can’t always control the outcome. Everything is always changing around us, but we always have control over what we do in that change and who we are.
60” Action: In the last week can you point to at least one example where you were your best self? The more we demand that of ourselves the quicker cultures will change around us.
5. CELEBRATE DIFFERENCE
Everyone matters, regardless of who we are or where we come from or where we are heading.
In his book Wisdom of Crowds author James Surowiecki states that at the heart of collective intelligence is a “mathematical truism”. If we ask a large enough group of diverse, independent people to make a prediction, then average those estimates, the errors each makes will cancel themselves out. If we celebrate difference and seek input from a diverse set of people, we will always get a better result than simply consulting the same type of people or a small set of ‘experts’.
We should celebrate our own difference too. And make space for difference and diversity in all our cultures.
60” Action: When was last time you met someone from a different country or background – how did you react? We can all learn from each other.
By taking just a few minutes a day to check in and monitor how we are impacting the other people in our environment we can develop better, stronger and more inclusive and supportive cultures in every care home.
Sid Madge is a transformation and change specialist and founder of Meee. Meee draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people embrace change and achieve extraordinary lives.