Guardian Angels program honouring outstanding staff


Initiative aimed at keeping morale high

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — Deron Hamel

The Guardian Angels initiative is one example of a successful program the Springdale Country Manor family council is sharing with other long-term care homes.

The program sees families at the Peterborough County long-term care home vote on staff members who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to enhance residents’ quality of life. All staff members are eligible for a nomination as are contract workers, such as physiotherapists and hairdressers.

Families and staff members vote for people working at the home who catch their eye, and the names of those staff members are written on a piece of paper and placed in the “guardian angel box” at the front desk.

The names are then taken out at family council meetings and counted. The staff members who receive the most nominations will become the monthly “guardian angel.”

“And we try to recognize staff from (different departments) so that each month it’s not just one area that’s being covered,” explains family council chair Carol Delahey.

After staff members have been selected by the home’s family council, Delahey interviews them and then does a write-up about the person.

“I try to find out lots of things about them — why they work at the home, what they like best, etc., and then I do an interview and take a photo of them,” Delahey says.

Staff members who are named a guardian angel will receive a recognition pin that has been designed by the family council, which features angel wings on each side. The staff members’ photos are attached to the biography Delahey writes for them and this is displayed in common areas of the home. At the end of the month the photo is placed on the home’s “wall of honour.”

The Springdale Country Manor family council members share the idea for the Guardian Angels initiative with other long-term care homes they visit as part of their mission to help create strong councils at area homes.

The Guardian Angels program is one of the things homes can do to build staff morale and draw attention to the good work they do, Delahey says.

“If we want the residents to be happy, we have to have happy staff members,” she says.

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