When it comes to supporting newly hired CNAs there are several things that are essential to success; however, none is more important than making sure CNAs have the proper support and guidance from their direct supervisors. It is the foundation on which all other strategies must exist. I’ve spoken with more CNAs over the past year than I can count, and I consistently hear two stories: 1) my supervisor doesn’t support me and isn’t there for me when I need, leading me to consider seeking a job elsewhere, and 2) my supervisor is fantastic and always there for me – they are one of the main reasons I love my job and want to continue on in this field. You’ll be hard pressed to find a CNA whose work life is not supremely impacted by their relationship with their supervisor, either in a positive or negative way.
What is Job Embeddedness?
This key factor in supporting CNAs is why we at Straightaway have developed our Leadership Program. At its core the program is designed to give supervisors knowledge about the mindset of newly hired CNAs and what they need from supervisors, as well as strategies supervisors can use to make sure they are supporting their CNAs in the best way possible. While there are many effective approaches to making CNAs feel supported by their supervisors, from all our research and time spent learning directly from CNAs themselves, we realized the most effective approach is what we call “Job Embeddedness.” Job Embeddedness focuses on the factors that keep an employee on the job, rather than reasons why they might leave, and by focusing our Leadership program on this we can arm supervisors with tools and guidance on how positively impact CNAs in areas that keep them engaged and excited to work at their organization.
We enlisted the help of Jan Wilson, an expert in Job Embeddedness within the post-acute care space who travels around the country giving workshops on the topic, to write and design our Leadership Program. According to Jan, “Job embeddedness in a nutshell is the ability to think and act differently when it comes to staff retention. Building strong, supportive cultures that make employees feel they made the right decision to become part of your team is the most powerful way to retain your staff, plain and simple.” As you can see, Jan’s approach focuses on making employees feel like they are a part of something special when they’re at work. Instead of focusing on what you’re doing wrong, take the time to focus on what your best employees do right and make that a part of your organizational culture. Jan continues, “Nurse leaders at all positions are the life-blood and ‘secret sauce’ of such a successful culture shift. The Straightaway nurse leader curriculum provides your nurse leaders with a new perspective to understand their pivotal role and a proven set of tools to help them provide retention strategies that retain staff, meet operational challenges and deliver on patient expectations.”
Micro-lessons in learning strategy
With her expertise and guidance, we developed the program to consist of short 2-10-minute micro-lessons with the entire program totaling 90 minutes in length. We all know staff in post-acute care are crunched for time with no free time to spare, so our program allows learners to take small chunks of learning at a time, giving them time to digest the information they are presented. We understand your challenges and our product is designed to fit seamlessly into your staff’s everyday workflow. The program also delivers the content through many different modalities: graphic animation, real CNA interviews, short quizzes and interaction, sample activities, informative articles, and a guide checking in with learners along the way. Utilizing these different modalities keeps learners engaged and from getting bored with the content, something all too common in the eLearning world.
A final unique aspect of the Leadership Training is that it doesn’t follow the mold of being didactic, information intense professional development training. Rather, it follows in the footsteps of our CNA Edge: TRAINING product and utilizes the power of story to teach and tell its message. Learners will follow a group of skilled nursing professionals on a journey of discovery, learning, and team building as they’re taught about Job Embeddedness and best practices in implementing it into their culture. By focusing on presenting information through story we believe we can better prepare those going through the program for the challenges implementing the strategies presented will be.
We’re excited to be on this journey with you, and look forward to sharing more about what we’ve done in the next few weeks.