During the COVID-19 crisis, we realised that our care workers felt anxious and isolated. They weren’t able to run all their weekly team meetings or carry out supportive 1-2-1’s in person during this period. They also couldn’t invite care workers into the office for a cup of tea and a chat if they’d had a bad shift and needed someone to talk to.
To combat this we have launched “Abbots Care Wellbeing”; a mobile app designed to help, support, and understand the health and mental wellbeing of their care workers.
Abbots Care is a family business and throughout my childhood, mu mum, Stephanie (co-Founder of Abbots Care), worked at a local NHS hospital for people with learning disabilities. She would often visit the hospital as a child, taking part in fetes and Christmas parties, and I learnt from a very young age that caring for, supporting and helping people with disabilities was a normal part of our lives.
We started Abbots Care back in 1995, working as care workers ourselves, so we really understand what it is like to work supporting vulnerable people and just how lonely and isolating it can be at times.
When COVID-19 pandemic hit, the feelings of anxiety and isolation were intensified. Care Workers were faced with challenging environments that they hadn’t experienced before, particularly with new Infection Control procedures, having to adapt to changing PPE on Service Users doorsteps and with the constant threat of being infected with COVID-19.
We wanted to develop something for the care workers which would give them an opportunity to tell us every day how they were feeling, whether they needed a bit of support or if they were having a good day and everything was ok. We also wanted a way of giving our appreciation and thanks to our care workers by rewarding good performance, and sometimes just something to cheer them up if they’d had a particularly challenging shift.
Retaining and appreciating our workforce is something really close to my heart and we hope that the App will help us to support the wellbeing of our care workers.
The way ‘Abbots Care Wellbeing’ app works:
After a shift, or even on their day off, the care worker will open the app be presented with 3 smiley faces to determine how they’re feeling today. They will then tap on one of the faces which will help Abbots Care gauge the wellbeing of their care workers, in turn helping them to establish what more they can do for their care workers and how they can continue in providing them with an exceptional service.
Not only this, tapping on ‘Share’ enables the care workers to share any good news, best practices, refer a friend, give kudos to another care worker, any client feedback and other news in general. They will be able to share images too, all available to read and engage with on the home feed.
The app will also award employees with a bronze, silver and/or gold ‘tokens’, based on their activity on the app, nominating other care workers for their hard work, sharing news, uploading images, etc. With these tokens, the care workers will be entitled to a gift card which they can spend in various high street shops.
We want to support our employees as much as possible and feel that this is an excellent way to help improve their wellbeing, working relationships and communication.