In October, SwanCare held a week of letter-sharing to celebrate our fantastic people. SwanCare staff, residents, and family members put pen to paper, writing staff members letters of thanks and appreciation. Each morning of Letters Week, our managers hand-delivered these special cards to our team members.
In a workforce of less than 400 people, more than 800 postcards had been sent by Wednesday and a total of 1300 postcards had been exchanged by the end of the week. We’re so incredibly proud of our people and what they do everyday to improve the lives of our residents and one another.
Reflecting on the week, SwanCare Manager of People and Culture Fiona Miller said, “We kicked off the week by sharing a special breakfast with the Night Shift staff on Monday. There was a festive atmosphere around SwanCare the entire week. In addition to the post-cards, family members sent in letters to staff. When people received a letter, you could see they were thinking ‘Oh! I got one!’. It was wonderful to see.”
Why recognition is so important
We all know that working in aged care isn’t easy and aged care workers rarely get the public recognition they deserve. We also know that our industry is under public scrutiny, and the 350,000 people in Australia working in aged care are under more pressure than ever before.
SwanCare supports and applauds any initiative that helps remove bad practice in aged care. However, we also want to remind everyone that there is so much good in our industry - we see it every day at SwanCare and we’re sure you do too. Letters Week was designed to help remind our staff how important they are and how much we value them
Below is just one example of the beautiful letters that made their way around SwanCare last week, from hands to hearts.
Letters Week was inspired by a video recently created by SwanCare* where staff were surprised with letters from their colleagues on camera. The response to the video was so overwhelming, we decided to dedicate an entire week to letter-sharing.
Enrolled nurse Marissa Ballard received a letter during the filming of the video and said it was a moment she would never forget. “In forty years, I haven’t received anything like this. And to think I was planning on retiring before working for SwanCare - I would never have received this acknowledgement and I would never have realised just how much of an impact I’ve made. That’s worth all the money in the world, isn’t it?” Marissa said.
SwanCare CEO Graham Francis said if aged care organisations want to create positive experiences, it’s essential to engage and inspire their team members. “Aged Care Letters Week is about celebrating hard-working people and it is my hope that the campaign spreads across Australia in the coming years. Recognising staff helps them feel valued and inspired while working in an industry that can be, at times, challenging. Thank you to all our incredible people,” Graham said.
*Made in partnership with Employer Branding Australia