Teamwork is the collaboration of a group of people toward a common goal. Our common goal is to see the LTC homes we work with, staffed.
Working in the LTC field requires a enormous amount of teamwork. Every person that is working for a facility, whether it’s on the floor working with residents, janitorial services, food services or in the office, they are a participant in team work on a larger scale. While we may not be conscious of it at the time, without everyone doing their part, it would be a mess – sometimes it’s only when things fall apart that we recognise how valuable team work is. Every one of us needs to recognise what we contribute to the place we work, what our role is, and how that can affect others doing their job.
At Plan A, we “run into the fire”, and any issues that come up are dealt with immediately – we handle situations as they come. All of our staff are accountable for their actions and take responsibility for the work they do. We have a no blame culture in our office. We find out what went wrong and how things can be done differently in the future, and move on. This is how our team works.
Every person contributes to the smooth running of the office, while we may have different duties, if one of us is not in the office, the other members of staff need to be able to step in and help out. This is something that we do naturally. This is how we know that our team works well together, we trust that our co-workers will step in and help out when needed.
In our office we are a small group, and with that comes the benefit of being attuned to how your coworkers are doing. We can tell when someone is having a good day and celebrate in their successes and we can see when someone may be a little overwhelmed, and jump in to help lighten their load. Being a member of a team means supporting each other, figuring out how to best get the job done together, and which jobs need to be taken on by specific people.
Communication is a huge part in the success of any team, and at Plan A it is something we live and breathe. Good communication is essential for getting our staff into the field, ensuring that they know what is expected of them from the minute they step in the door of the LTC home and begin providing care for our vulnerable community members.
In a field where stress and burnout are common, we make sure that we have fun. In the office we have lunch together, we laugh, we joke and we debrief as necessary. We reach out to our field staff with contests and giveaways to show our appreciation for their hard work, as well as a way to stay connected to them. We may not see them often, but they are very much an integral part of our team and we couldn’t provide the awesome service we do without them.
No one person has all the answers. It is extremely valuable to have people around you who you can bounce ideas off of, talk things through and have someone to play “devil’s advocate”. We rely on those around us to inspire us, and help us to set and maintain boundaries. This is how we learn and grow from each other and how our team is strengthened.
~ Melissa Sawyerr, Student Liaison and Recruitment Officer, Plan A Sudbury.