Celebrate Chat Opinion

A national voice in social care … Dr Pete Calveley, CEO, Barchester Healthcare

Dr Pete Calveley, CEO, Barchester Healthcare

Our staff are the backbone of our care homes and my job is to support them in every way I can so that they are able to care for our residents with respect and dignity, whilst having fun along the way.  Outstanding care is delivered through a great General Manager who sets the tone, culture and atmosphere of collaboration and teamwork in each home.

At Barchester we have a whole team approach where everyone knows their role, what is expected of them and comes together through a culture of collaboration, challenging and supporting each other every day.

As the CEO I take my role in leading by example very seriously.  I recognise the challenges that some staff have in the current climate and I’m proud that we are an above National Living Wage employer with regular pay rises and loyalty bonuses and we offer sector-leading benefits and rewards such as employee of the month, long service awards and discounts through our Hapi app.

I believe that everyone wants to do the best they can and my job is to help them fulfil their potential.  Therefore we ensure that everyone has the training they need so they are equipped for the role they are fulfilling, and we have clear career paths underpinned by training and support for those that have the desire to progress through the organisation and be our leaders of the future.  For those that are happy in their current role, we make sure they feel valued through celebrating their successes, supporting them to keep improving and financially rewarding them.

As a leader I believe that communication is key and therefore we invest to ensure we have channels to enable regular communication from our Hapi app which is available on everyone’s phone, I ensure key messages are regularly communicated through this channel. We communicate weekly with our senior management teams to ensure they are clear on what we need from them, what is available to support them and ensure that daily communication happens in every home to all staff.  Twice a year I meet with all General Managers in small groups and communicate our strategy and where we are against it, celebrate the success of both individuals and groups of people, and share the challenges we face to enable everyone to play their part.   As a business of 17,000 staff I believe I have a responsibility to be open and transparent, at these meetings with our General Managers and Deputies I ensure I spend time answering any questions anyone has, nothing is off limits.  This is an incredibly powerful way for me to learn what our staff need, and to ensure they know and feel the commitment I have to them, and their role in caring for our residents.  Spending time in homes and seeing what is happening on the ground is vital, and I always ensure that I spend as much time as possible visiting our homes and hospitals, listening to staff and understanding where their challenges are, so I can do all I can to support them.

The current climate is challenging with the cost of living increasing and the employment market being difficult for employers, I am constantly listening to our staff to understand their priorities and how we can support them. We ensure that staff can work flexibly in order to fit their personal schedules, I ensure I am always listening and talking to them.  I feel humbled that many of our staff contact me directly to offer their thoughts on what is good and what can be even better, I love that.



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