Top Tips for Care Home Christmas Staffing

The countdown to Christmas in on!

Whilst most of us are thinking about getting those final stocking fillers for Great Auntie Pat, buying the grub and wrapping gifts, care homes have the unenviable task of working out the festive rotas.   Most will have plans in place well in advance but there are always those last few shifts that prove hard to sort.  We spoke to our customers to find out their top tips on making this part of care home management as easy as possible.

Here are the top three last minute ideas for filling your festive care home rota:

Tip 1. Be Flexible with Shift Swapping

Usually you want to keep your rota as routine as possible but over the Christmas period it can be tricky.  It might seem fairer for you to dictate who does what shift giving a “luck of the draw” element but it’s worth noting that everyone’s holiday traditions differ.

Some may be less fussed about Christmas Day but want to be free to party on New Year’s Eve.  Others may be content to work on Christmas afternoon so long as they see their family open presents in the morning.  For some, the Boxing Day footie is their sacred time.

If you enable staff to work it out between themselves and swap days, you are more likely to get cover.

It would be a headache to operate like this all year round but as a one-off it’s a quick solution that keeps your team content and your care home running smoothly.

Tip 2. Big-up the Festive Vibes

Your care home is one big extended family so make sure you build on that for the festive period by getting your staff, residents and their relatives in the festive mood.

Decorate the home, take in festive treats like those supersize boxes of Celebrations and Roses – something that is recognised as a Christmas comfort – and share with residents and staff alike; if staff feel like this is part of their Christmas celebrations it will make for a happier team.

All sit down together for Christmas dinner, open presents together in the morning and gather round the TV for the Christmas speech or a festive film.  It will mean as much to your staff as your residents to make this a true family day.

Tip 3. Get Ready for Next Year

What? Now?!  Building that family feel should be a year-round mission so that by Christmas Day, your care home already feels like a well-knitted family.

Your residents share a bit of your staff’s heart and we all want to spend time with those we love at Christmas.  If you build on that and encourage strong bonds, working on Christmas day will feel more natural – staff will want to share part of the day with those they care deeply about and will be happy to share the workload to help team members who may have more ties at home.

We give a big high-five to all those who work over Christmas and put the care of others first – you’re incredible!

Happy Christmas and all the very best for 2019.