Home' Australian Ageing Agenda : AAA Jan-Feb 2012 Contents SPONSORED FEATURE
In the recruitment space, it's about advertising for jobs in
targeted positions and mediums hiring staff from international
markets; employing experts from non-traditional markets such
as hospitality; and offering quick turnaround between interviews
and commencement days. These strategies are all used by TLC
Aged Care to help live out its motto: Great Care & Great Careers.
That focus has recently been "sanity checked" with staff through
internal polling, Humphries says, with the provision of top-level
care coming through as the leading priority for the organisation's
1200 staff, followed by the desire for a strong career path.
"Recently we've promoted a number of people internally into
general manager roles," he says.
"We look within the organisation as soon a vacancy arises and
nine times out of 10 there's been someone who's acted in the role
and that can range from a registered nurse to an enrolled nurse."
At Sunlight, the Whittlesea facility, a highly experienced
administrative officer was recently appointed to general manager.
"It is [all about] pushing the boundaries within the industry,"
"The role was a broader general management role rather than
a clinical position, so you don't necessarily have to be a nurse to
do it. [This strategy] would probably scare the hell out of a lot of
[other providers], but it seems to be working really well for us."
The shining example of the potential of the TLC career path
is Ingrid Williams, CEO of TLC Aged Care. She began with TLC
in 2004 as the facility manager of Marina in Altona North, before
being promoted to regional manager and then to her current
role in 2007.
"I was fortunate enough to experience significant career
progression within the company, which has been fantastic,"
Today she heads an organisation that boasts nine homes,
with a tenth under construction at Donvale. TLC Aged Care has
just celebrated its 20th birthday, growing from the purchase of
two aged care facilities in Geelong in 1991 by Dr John Leaper to
caring for more than 1,000 residents today.
"John started the business thinking that it was going to be an
investment and very quickly realised that it was an industry that
he needed to get really involved in and he developed a passion
very quickly," Williams says.
"It's very much been a rapid growth
strategy given that each of our facilities
have been greenfield sites. It runs well
as a business, but we haven't lost sight
of the family values through its growth.
The great thing is that both John and
Jenny [Leaper] visit the homes regularly,
and the staff know who they are and
The seatbelts are now being tightened
for the next action-packed five years at
TLC Aged Care -- and the organisation's
experience in growth management
should serve it well.
Implementation of a new 2012-15
strategic plan has just started, and the
TLC goal is to double in size over the
next five years. Williams says this will
occur in tandem with maintaining the
organisational vision to be a leader in
quality aged living, creating vibrant
environments and providing great care
and great careers by being safe; the best;
honest and accountable; and respectful
An important focus is the new Centre
for Innovation and Quality (see panel), led
by Dr Jocelyn Small.
"The centre came about because we
identified that having a quality service and
being innovative in the way we think is
really important," Williams says.
"These are the resources we need
to make sure that we have a strong
foundation of continuous improvement
and quality services, and we are also
looking for opportunities to do things
better as an ongoing journey."
Another priority is the creation of a
new model of aged care, exemplified by
the Donvale build -- a three-storey facility
due for completion in 2013. Donvale will
offer a broad range of services, bridging
the gap between residential aged care and
community care. For example, when a
wife needs care and her husband does not,
they can live together in apartment-style
accommodation at Donvale. If the husband
eventually requires care, it can then be
provided without the couple having to move.
Ingrid Williams, CEO
"It runs well as a business,
but we haven't lost sight of
the family values through
its growth. The great thing
is that both John and Jenny
[Leaper] visit the homes
regularly, and the staff do
know who they are and
value that." Ingrid Williams
TLC Aged Care's
innovative new home
in Donvale, Victoria,
due for completion
in early 2013
AAA | JANUARY -- FEBRUARY 2012 | 37
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