Having visited hundreds of care settings over the years, I have recently been thinking more about why clear visions and values matter. So often I see managers, providers, and staff trying their best and working hard every day but they are not sure what they are all working towards. Every day decisions are made without reference to an overall strategy. When I ask the care staff, what is the aim of the service they are providing? The care staff are often unsure and will make comments such as ‘Trying to give people a good life’ or ‘Treating people like family’. Laudable aims in themselves but often staff in one setting give differing answers.
If there is a mission statement, vision and values available, this is often limited to a small poster in an office or within the statement of purpose, but the staff are not aware of this.
Why do mission statements, vision, and values matter? It matters because these statements provide an organisation with a clear vision and a guide for all decision making. It gives employees direction and a sense of cohesiveness and being part of a team, all working towards a standard set of goals.
A clear vision and set of values are your promises to people looking to move into your home, people already living in the home, their families and loved ones. You are setting out that you and all the staff are all on the same page and working every day to achieve the same goals in unity.
So, if you already have these in place, what are you doing to advertise them, to make all staff aware and then live them every day? Do you assess whether the mission, vision and values are useful in ensuring you deliver a quality service? Do you seek people’s and staff views on this and then take action?
If you are yet to develop a mission statement, vision and values for your care home, then involve as many people, families, staff, and stakeholders in the process from the start. Ask, what do we stand for? What are we working towards? What values do we hold? Why are we doing what we do every day? Once you have developed your mission statement, vision and values, then please don’t put them in the office and forget about them!
Also remember that having a mission statement, vision, and values document in place and making sure all staff know them and live them will improve the quality of the service you deliver to people. It is also essential to evidence this to CQC as part of meeting Regulation 17 Good governance.
It is also described in the Key Lines Of Enquiry (KLOE) W1.6 below,
“Does the service have, and keep under review, a clear vision, and a set of values that includes a person-centred culture, involvement, compassion, dignity, independence, respect, equality, wellbeing, and safety? How do leaders make sure these are effectively embedded into practice? Do all staff understand and promote them?”
See page 26 in the CQC KLOE prompts and characteristics:
Your vision and values should be followed by all staff. This includes not only care staff but also your admin staff, housekeepers, kitchen staff, maintenance team, managers, and even the “head office” team (if there is one) These should be lived, not just when caring for people using the home, but also when managing staff at the home. Keep records and examples of how your vision and values have been used to improve quality and keep them under review in consultation with all.