Whose Responsibility Is It When An Employee Fails?


All too often employees are hired in assisted living and long-term care and placed in positions without any preparation, orientation, or expectations for performance. They are blamed when they do not make the “right decision,” or perform “properly.” Who is really at fault?

Most employees who work in long term care do so because they want to. They love the work they do and gain satisfaction from making a difference in the life of another. Employees do not mean to make mistakes, upset anyone, or irritate their colleagues. Like you and me, they go to work intending to do the best job that they can do.

However, they need to know what that job entails. When an employee fails it is often because they are ill-prepared or ill-equipped for the task or the job. And they want to be trained and prepared as indicated in many staff satisfaction survey responses. Yet many new employees are not afforded such an opportunity. Orientation is often not thorough, or is limited. Unfortunately, in some cases an orientation does not happen at all.

Organizational performance expectations are welcomed by employees who truly want to please employers, but all too often training is not offered and expectations are not communicated. When staff members are left to fend for themselves without orientations, training and expectations for their performance, they simply do what they think they should or conduct their work in a manner that was acceptable in prior positions.

In essence when a new employee fails, you have failed. You have failed to either instruct, educate, or communicate. So, without assigning blame, examine your own systems, programs, processes, and procedures to determine if an effective system is in place for preparing employees to succeed, and if it is sufficient. If changes are made to your orientation or a system is altered as a result of your examination, make the adjustments, implement the changes and be sure to monitor the changes to determine your success.


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