Christian Living Communities mentor program, which matches experienced caregivers with new hires, continues to yield positive results.We recently recognized the latest mentor program graduates, which included nurse and certified nursing assistant (CNA) mentors from all three communities. The mentors were nominated by their peers and supervisors because of their outstanding skills, positive relationships with the residents and co-workers and their representation of CLC’s mission and values. Each mentor went through eight hours of specialized training on topics such as adult learning principles, teamwork, change theories, organizational skills, stress management, leadership styles and communication.
The mentor program has been very successful in CLC’s initiative in retention of new associates.There have also been some unforeseen benefits associated with the mentor program such as breaking down silos between communities, great survey results, more comfort in recruiting new graduates, resident involvement in training and the ease in introducing new skills and concepts through the mentors and competencies.
The mentors’ role is to be assigned a new nurse or CNA to help them with all aspects of onboarding into a new job, including, skill competencies, getting to know the residents and their preferences and pleasures, assimilating with their team and learning all the formal and informal “rules” of a new job. The mentors and new associates work together for an entire year, with frequent check-ins and monthly evaluations.
The mentor program was developed on the premise of meeting two very important needs of any new associate: teach me how CLC wants things to be done and creating a scenario of creating a “best friend at work” to whom you can go to for any questions or concerns.
The mentors meet once a month and discuss opportunities to improve their communities and resident care. Together they have developed peer training in conflict resolution, empathy training and customer service training. The mentors also serve as a focus group for challenges we may be facing or new ideas or equipment or processes that we are considering. All in all, the mentor program has been instrumental in maintaining our high quality of care for our residents. In fact, the nursing and CNA mentor program has been so successful that our dining associates have now adopted the mentor program for all of their new associates!