How a Positive, Kind Culture Can Deliver Staff Happiness & High Quality Client Care in ‘New” Aged Care, Disability & Health Services


A recent Parliament of Australia website commenting on the ‘crisis in the caring workforce’ said

‘In 2010, the then Department of Health and Ageing estimated that the aged care workforce would need to increase between two and three times before 2050 in order to provide care to the growing number of aged care residents. Other challenges include that the aged care workforce itself is ageing, the overall labour market will be more competitive as a result of the ageing of the population and the sector already faces difficulties in attracting and retaining workers.’


We have an employee engagement or happiness crisis in our work places today and it is global but especially acute in sectors such as community, health and aged care.


Many Aged Care and other care enterprises are struggling to attract and hold good people, let alone engage their Contribution and this is a key word – Contribution – because this is the level of engagement by staff at work needed to provide the level of care to meet future expectations from society, government, regulators and shareholders.




A key issue for Aged Care enterprise leaders is not just about having a sufficient number of staff to provide basic care; it is about having these staff highly engaged at work. We know that the best aged care enterprises, those that provide the best care and have the happiest clients, have happy engaged staff members who flourish in work cultures designed for Contribution.



Most aged care workers come home from work each day without experiencing what it is to find meaning in their work. These people are not engaged. According to Gallup’s 2013 world-wide survey of employee engagement; 87% of the global workforce is not engaged with their jobs.


On the other hand, engaged workers are in love with their jobs; they come knowing that they have made a meaningful contribution at work, a contribution which is making a real difference to a client, their colleagues, their manager and the Facility or community that they care so passionately about. Only 13% of the workforce is engaged globally. We call these engaged people The Contributors


The Contributors or Happy Ones are passionate, committed, creative, giving to colleagues and customers, open to new ideas, collaborative, co-creative, innovative, self-managed, responsible, kind and supportive. They are highly adaptive to change and innovation; in fact they engage with it. They voluntarily give their whole being to their work and the Enterprises; all of their hands or talents, their head and their heart. Gallup’s research shows that the Contributors are worth six times more to an Enterprise than those workers who are not engaged or what we call The Compliant.


The Contributors engage with their colleagues and clients to build and deliver outstanding care; where compliance is achieved with ease and without the risks; releasing leaders to look outside their facilities to network and grow, confident that the house is not only in order but thriving.


Those aged care organisations which have high numbers of Contributors in their workforces, are set up to succeed at a time of white knuckle adaptive change in the aged care sector; a time which requires aged care leaders to acquire new skills in engaging the next generation of young workers to a meaningful aged care professional career; not just a job.


The issue is not about what Gen G demand from their employees; it is a question what company culture and leadership practices will be in place to engage our young workforce’s passion to give within a kind, generous aged care social business experience

The future aged care enterprises which have who have high numbers of Contributors in their workforces are set up to take advantage of new opportunities in social networking technologies because Gen G is wired for Collaboration and Contribution. The G means Generous or Kind and Global: Gen G the 20 year olds or less entering our workforce who have been self and peer schooled on social and digital.

Gen G want to work in a culture which is designed to be positive, kind, open and abundant in behaviour; not negative, closed and scarcity in mindset. They will not be attracted to or stay in cultures which are compliance focused. Conversely, they will work for cultures which are positive, sharing and giving, even above such considerations as money.

What culture is at the heart of a business determines the degree to which the employees will engage with the new age of work in the sector.


The challenges facing Aged Care Enterprises and the sector require a future workforce that is engaged, contributing, adaptive to change, agile, creative, collaborative, mobile and self-regulating but this will require a workforce that is contributing, not just compliant.


Such a workforce requires Aged Care Leaders to be equipped with the skills and tools to lead Adaptive Change in the sector which will see, not only a consistency of service quality and compliance measures, but goes ‘ beyond compliance’; to provide a whole new level of individualised, personal and excellent care to aged care clients in kind and loving communities.


The most powerful insight in the Gallup Group’s Global Report, is that Contributing staff work for positive organisations and leaders who focus on elevating and extending strengths to innovate, learn and grow, not just survive. The core to this leadership work is to build a Positive Kind Culture to elevate and align strengths, making weaknesses irrelevant.


The new generation of people coming into the Aged Care Workforce want to be engaged as individuals; they want to connect emotionally from the heart, not just the head. They want authentic leadership, positive feedback and caring and supportive work environments. They want an opportunity to learn and grow; to collaborative in order to innovate and create new ways of working and caring. In short they want to experience a positive and kind culture.


Building a Sustainable Positive, Kind Culture in Your Unique Aged Care Business / Facility – Culture of Kindness Leadership Series


At the Emotional Economy at Work, we are excited to be working with progressive Aged Care, Community Services & Disability Enterprises nationally to coach their leadership teams in how to engage their staff to contribute, collaborate and innovate in times of ‘white knuckle’ change within these sectors.


This builds on our years of experience in pioneering and customising the approach and tools to coaching leaders how to build and sustain a Positive Aged Care Work Culture. In particular, we draw on our ground breaking work for the SA Government Aged Care Better Practices Project where we developed and ran ‘Building Positive Contribution Culture Workshops.’  Over 300 aged care managers and co-ordinators attended the training; including community and health leaders.  Here is some of the feedback.


Amy Fitzgerald RN-Coordinator at Resthaven Incorporated

Jeremy has enlightened my vision for change, reflecting and responding to issues I have never dealt before. He made me see the big picture which proved to be useful when dealing with oneself and other people around me. Appreciative Inquiry made me look at things on a positive way, making change an easier process to discover and bring out the best in people and organisations.

Sharon Tentye  – Manager – Carers SA

I attended a Leadership Development Workshop that Jeremy delivered in Adelaide on Appreciative Enquiry and Positive Change. It was great. I took away the concepts, some great resources and put them to use with my team at our planning day. The day was approached with enthusiasm, great energy and fantastic ideas. I would recommend this training to others.

Joyleen Thomas – Manager at Aged Care Better Practice Project-SA

The Better Practice Project under the auspice of Aged and Community Services SA & NT is delighted to commend Jeremy Scrivens for an engaging and polished facilitation. Jeremy challenged both Coordinators and Managers of state wide aged care services to seek positive change by discovering and building on creative ideas leading to powerful, positive and practical outcomes in the way we engage with older people with whom we work. The workshops have the potency to transform day to day practice using the Appreciative Inquiry model as a framework for the design, implementation and reflective tools of person centred and community focussed services. Jeremy is an engaging and energetic presenter who exudes a rare and compelling mixture of personality, emotionality with philosophical and theoretical based high end training skills. The Better Practice Project looks forward to further valued engagements with the Emotional Economy at Work in the future.

At the Emotional Economy at Work we can coach your Executive and management teams on how to build and sustain a Culture of Kindness to underpin your unique aged care enterprise business, in your setting.

We say quietly and humbly but with conviction that our Signature Culture of Kindness Workshops are at the cutting edge of ‘Next Gen’ Age Care Positive Leadership Coaching. In our workshops, participants will explore and gain an understanding of

  •  The growing  interest in positive enterprise cultures leveraged by kindness,
  •  The link between kindness and a happy, contributing workforce, including Gen G,
  •  How a Positive Culture is at the heart of a high care, innovating aged care social enterprise,
  •  How to deploy Appreciative Inquiry to build a Culture of Kindness in your enterprise,
  •  How Kind Leaders engage their people to flow from their natural strengths,
  •  How kind Leaders map and extend kindness in their core  processes to engage customers,
  •  How to capitalise on a Culture of Kindness to grow your enterprise through social media.