An Often Tough but Necessary Balance for Employers to Strike…

We were visiting recently with a client who is a wonderful care provider. You can see the empathy in the hands of their therapists as they work with people who have very serious cognitive and physical limitations. Two, (2) of their employees had to be recently terminated and while both exhibited similar behaviors and attitudes, one, (1) was particularly negative.

First, she began to text the employer about her upcoming limited schedule availability. They assumed she had located other employment and would be working both jobs. So they began to make adjustments in the scheduling app used in order to accommodate shifts for which she would no longer be available. At the same time, they asked her to please call or speak with them when she is on duty, as text messages are not the best way to handle professional, lengthy and multi-subject communications.

Next came a text on a Saturday advising that soon she would no longer be available on Sundays. They specifically asked her “what about tomorrow?” since the text came on a Saturday morning.  She replied “no worries, I will work tomorrow but after that Sundays must be eliminated”. Later that evening she texted to say she would not be in Sunday and after that started ignoring responses from the employer.

In a final exchange she began to lament how this employer only cared about themselves, did not care about her, her child and her obligations, etc. and basically called down evil upon them. She even asked them to write a “Letter of Termination”.  As a mater of professional courtesy, one of our staff even took her final paycheck to the Post Office and sent overnight mail for her.  The relationship was obviously over.  It was sad to hear that another recently terminated employee had called her and the rest of the staff to claim the employer was insensitive, would fire you for no reason and more.  The goal?  Hurt the workplace while creating insecurity among staff.  None of us should ever buy into that!  Be your own person and examine facts for yourself.  Be an independent thinker.

All of us should take pride in being empathetic, considerate and yes loving. The question is, at what point are our expectations out of line when we expect an employer to re-align their entire operation to accommodate our personal circumstances? Is it not our obligation to make adjustments in order to accommodate the employment we seek?

Of course, tons of employers make special accommodations for staff from on-site day care to transportation assistance to extended periods of time-off to accommodate tragedy. After all, we want people to work for us who are happy, fulfilled and managing minimal stress. However, the employer has to strike a serious and necessary balance. What is that? The employer must also give consideration to their obligations as a business entity. They have customers to serve and need people on the payroll who accept that and work hard to keep customers happy. Of course, in long-term care those customers may be assisted living residents, skilled nursing center residents, home care clients, etc.

Employers let’s remember there is nothing wrong with caring.  Love is special and makes life worth living.  In our company we have even taken employees away for the weekend; Toronto, Chicago, New York and more.  And this can be accomplished while still maintaining a degree of professional distance so as not to blur the lines of job classification and without sending the signal that teamwork does not matter.

In your job you have to please those you pay and those who pay you.  This must be worked into the overall atmosphere of the work environment and in policies that govern the operation.

So let’s try and strike a balance with reasonable limitations. The workplace deserves a discerning and unifying approach.

and share your thoughts.


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Note: Direct Care Training & Resource Center, Inc. is a private organization that provides training and assistance to community care providers and prospective providers in matters of continuing education, business development assistance and general information workshops. We are not regulators.  We do not seek to replace regulators. We are not competitors of regulators.  Neither do we recommend a provider of care or prospective provider of care ignore the advice and direction of regulators.  This is not our role.  Additionally for those we assist with accreditation please remember this is a collaborative process that takes times.  Step-by-step we will lead and require your input and cooperation.  Many of our training workshops are approved as continuing education units for adult foster care group home licensees and administrators, personal care homes, adult family care homes and other assisted living models. As such, many of our training products do incorporate the review of regulatory statutes, administrative rules and laws that pertain to the provision of care, all of which is readily available to the general public. We are not a governmental entity and our programs must never be viewed as a replacement or substitute for State or federally sponsored orientations, licensing preparatory meetings or any other government sponsored or governmentally mandated educational event or training. Additionally, approval for continuing education courses does not in any way constitute a governmental endorsement of other services provided by our company or any of its affiliates.  Furthermore, attendance at any of our live sessions, use of our self-study materials or online/virtual school and any technical assistance we may offer must never be viewed as a guarantee of potential business success, elimination of liability or specific financial gain. It is the responsibility of the individual business owner to work toward and create a pattern of success for his/her business entity.  While we make a concerted effort to offer quality advice and teach providers the highest levels of quality customer service, clients must not look to our company to ensure they are successful as community-based care providers.  We cannot guarantee how long it will take to attract clients or residents and we will not assure a particular lifestyle from your business efforts. Please note that licensed adult foster care group homes in Michigan who have contracts with community mental health agencies may be obligated to receive all direct care worker and medications training through that agency or the training organization they specify.  Check with them before calling our company to enroll in training programs. 6% sales tax charged on all self-study products in the State of Michigan.  Information provided in our workshops is up-to-date and accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief.  Sample forms used in live training sessions and the online/virtual school may bear the name of certain waiver agents but must in no way be interpreted as an implied endorsement by any agency or governmental department.  If a live class paid for is missed, no cash refunds will be made, however a credit will be issued allowing you to attend a comparable event within one year of payment.


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