8.00am We set off for school and nursery. I drop my 6-year-old and 4-year-old at school for around 8.20am and then my 18-month-old daughter at nursery for 8.45am.
9.00am My office is just around the corner from the nursery so I arrive in time for our 9am morning meeting when we gather to discuss any matters that have developed in the last 24 hours. With a rapidly ageing population ours is a fast-moving business. Because we offer a quality, person-centred service, our new clients often have urgent and complex needs requiring large care packages and it is essential that I manage our staffing levels and scheduling of care so that we keep pace with demand.
9.45am Once I have checked for any urgent emails I will usually leave the office and go out to meet clients and potential referrers of clients. Our business is driven by relationships and the nature of our service means that it is vital to take a personal interest in clients and employees alike. In fact, that is one of the primary reasons I left the banking and finance sector to set up a Home Instead franchise.
11.00am We are part of an international franchise family and, as such, have access to many resources that really differentiate our service offering. Home Instead is currently launching a new dementia training programme which is being rolled out nationally. In York we are taking part in the initiative that sees our caregivers receive specialist training which is City & Guilds accredited and allows them to manage our many clients with dementia. This morning I am meeting with our care manager to discuss how the training is going and discuss which of our caregivers will be taking part in phase two.
12.30pm On the way back to the office I will grab some lunch. If we are running an in-house training session I’ll grab some doughnuts for the new recruits and then spend half an hour chatting to them. I aim to establish an open communication with employees from the outset. Caregivers can sometimes find the work quite lonely. Knowing they can talk to any of my team about uncertainties or just to share is an important part of the organisational culture here.
1.30pm I meet up with my care manager at least once a week and we talk in more detail about any of the issues raised in the morning meeting. We run a very comprehensive programme of quality assurance and I review client feedback from the last week.
2.30pm I make an effort for around 90 minutes each day to commit some time to planning and developing the business. I will schedule a call with my Business Planning Manager from national office, Nathan Sherwood, once a week, to discuss KPIs and review the forward plan. We also discuss revenue levels and how we will attract and retain the best people. It’s the old adage of working “on” the business rather than always “in” the business.
4.00pm I spend the latter part of the day responding to emails and messages that have arrived over the course of the day. We operate a “sundown policy” in our office (a Walmart invention) which means that all calls and emails need to be returned before the end of the day – even if it is just to acknowledge the communication. Whenever I am making decisions about how we treat staff and customers I apply the principle of “would I want it this way”. Unanswered emails or replies that arrive 10 days later are one of my pet hates, so I do my best to stick to the sundown policy.
5.00pm If we don’t have a team meeting or a social event for our caregivers I’ll aim to be home by 6pm to spend some time with the children before bath and bedtime. By this time I’m ready for bed, but my wife and I like to cook dinner together and share a bottle of wine while watching a movie.