Case Study: Village in the Park
Village in the Park
Results that ‘exceed expectations’
When Village at the Park’s General Manager talks about the many improvements that working with Aspire2 Business has made to the business and its staff, she has the stats to back it up.
Village at the Park, a retirement village and care centre for older citizens, has worked with the training company for three years and General Manager Mary Leighton says results have “exceeded expectations.”
The state-of-the-art care centre in central Wellington offers independent living options as well as a high-level care facility and dementia unit for its residents. Eighty percent of staff come from overseas (encompassing 19 different ethnic groups) so many have English as a second language.
To help address the literacy, numeracy and communication challenges they were experiencing, Mary turned to Aspire2 Business.
When Aspire2 Business first came on board, says Mary, they assessed both the needs of the company, and those of the staff in each area – nursing, house-keeping and laundry.
Mary says Aspire2 Business training started by focussing on staff who didn't fully understand policies, vision and values.
“Aspire2 Business addressed these issues through their training programme, writing policies that helped embed understanding of key practices, like health and safety requirements, into the behaviour of our people.”
In the second year of working with Village at the Park, Aspire2 Business provided a more tailored education package for staff, and assigned a key account manager to ensure the changing needs of the business were met.
The outcomes have been impressive, with Mary citing a greater confidence among staff across the board.
“Before the training, many of our staff were an invisible presence at meetings and in the workplace as a whole. Now they talk more confidentially with each other and their leaders, and they’ve become more reflective in how they react to situations,” she says.
“Plus, perhaps most importantly, they’ve learnt the language skills that allow them to build a stronger connection with residents.”
Mary says along with verbal communication skills, staff have learnt how to be conscious listeners and to read non-verbal clues when interacting with residents.
“Many of our staff come from the more technology-focused generations, so the training’s helped teach them how to really engage with someone face-to-face, which is so important.”
Mary lists a number of positive changes from their three years working with Aspire2 Business, including:
In fact, Mary says this year there’s been no performance management issues.
“We’ve also had high resident satisfaction noted and increasingly positive feedback from both the residents themselves and their families. Overall, it is a much safer and tidier environment, with a very high standard of presentation.”
Mary says it’s also been pleasing to see staff take ownership of their respective areas and embrace the business’ cultural diversity, by organising special activities and celebrating days of cultural significance among themselves and with the residents.
This increased staff confidence and their ability and desire to lead and plan to a greater degree within their areas, has allowed Mary to step back from the day-to-day management that was previously taking up a lot of her time, to focus on growing the centre.
“In the last three years, thanks to initiatives like Aspire2 Business training programmes, we’ve seen many significant and positive changes take place across the business, from our productivity, to education, right through to marketing.”
“They’ve really helped to take us to the next level.”
Thanks to the success of the training programmes and resulting staff development, Village at the Park’s implemented a career-development pathway for staff, which includes a graduation ceremony.
“Implementing the training was a big commitment from our business, but the results have exceeded my expectations this year and our directors are very pleased.”