Quiet Time Opportunities
The last in our podcast series on holiday planning isn’t really about getting prepared for the season but what to do over that time. Using those quiet time opportunities effectively can give you a head start for the new year.
Holidays can be a perfect time to catch up all those important things that you meant to do but never quite got the time. If you only operate minimal services from mid-December through to the first couple of weeks in January this can be an ideal time to catch up.
- Declutter – science has proven that clutter can raise the stress hormones in your body so do yourself a favour and sort through those piles of paper on your desk and file, shred or bin.
- Sort out your desk – you know that drawer where you throw everything,
- if it’s broken – throw it out,
- if you’re just not sure what that thing was so it’s stayed in the drawer just in case it was important – chuck it (if you haven’t worked it out by now or needed it, you probably never will)
- Dead, dried out pens (that’s probably the only ones you’re going to find in your desk anyway from my experience out bush)
- Clean the air-conditioning filters if you have split systems or hole in the wall varieties, vacuum or wash as required, they’ll work better and you’ll be cooler.
- In fact, Spring clean everything – even if it is the middle of Summer. Crank up the air-con and get to it. Loud music also helps.
- Remove that dead mouse from the trap and lay down new baits – this is the perfect time to do your annual checks on pest control. Don’t forget to write this in your pest control or WHS register.
Carry out an audit
- While you’re at it check all your other registers and see if they are up to date
- Equipment test and tagging and fire safety equipment, when was it inspected? Add a reminder to yourself in your new diary a month out from when these need to be checked again.
- Feedback or Complaint register – was everything followed up? Are there any in there?
- Hazards and Incident registers – is it up to date, was there anything that needed to be followed up?
- CQI – is there anything in it? Come on now surely you’ve done something in the past year to improve your service or the way things are done.
- What about your Assets and Equipment register, anything need to be removed or added? If you have an equipment loans register – is it up to date, is there anything that you need to go and chase up?
- Is your SDS up to date – are you using any different chemicals – and check all chemicals that have been transferred into smaller containers have the correct labels.
- Employee register – Ochre cards or Police checks that are due this coming year – note in the diary.
- Training register – what was achieved in the past year, do you need to follow up with the training provider on behalf of your staff for statements of attainment or copies of certificates.
- It really is a good time for doing internal organisational audits, also makes it less stressful if you have a QR scheduled for some time that year.
- One of the important audits you should be doing (four times a year) is reviewing client files. We recommend reviewing a minimum of 5 different client files each quarter to check whether all your documentation is up to date, care plans, agreements, Centrepay deductions, progress notes.
- Review all your internal documents such as brochures, client handbooks and forms, are they still up to date?
- Review your daily operations guides – do they reflect current processes, are phone numbers up to date etc.
Conduct Staff Appraisals
- If you have any energy left after all that and time on your hands, conduct your staff appraisals. If you’re too exhausted, then make a note in the calendar or your diary to do these and set the date.
January is a time of new years’ resolutions, so once you have everything neat, tidy and up to date, it’s the perfect time to make a commitment to keep things that way, no matter what the day / week throws at you. A big ask I know but just try it.
Want more information on getting your service ready for the end of year period?
Check out the rest of the Care Directions Podcast episodes in this series:
Episode 017: Client Care Considerations
Episode 018: How Do Your Staffing Levels Look?
Episode 019: Is Your Service Ready?