Changing the culture in the dining room

Staff compliments

On a recent project at a facility, I experienced a dining room of residents hostile towards the staff.  Residents were described as impatient, demanding and rude.  Management knew but hadn’t resolved the situation.

I introduced some love notes for residents to fill in, complementing staff.  At first, there was resistance, and “why should we be nice to them” comments.  With nudging and encouragement, the residents one by one thought of something nice a staff member had done, or why they were appreciated.  Their thoughts of appreciation were written on a note.  A photo was taken of the resident with their note, and the notes were placed in the staffroom.

Within 2 days the mood had lightened in the dining room.  The residents were looking at the staff with fresh eyes – that the staff were hard working and there to care for them.  The staff softened – they read the expressions of appreciation. Conversations began.  Residents caught staff doing good and thanked them.

No culture change memos, no management demands, no cost.   Just weary dejected humans seeing the joy in life again. Magic!

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