Aged Care Featured Leader

Transforming aged care culture: A dual focus on workforce psychology and digitisation


In the aged care industry, where highly regulated environments can breed a phenomenon known as “learned helplessness,” organisations must actively work to cultivate a culture of empowerment and resilience within their workforce.

Apollo Care CEO Stephen Becsi sheds light on this critical issue and the strategies his organisation employs to overcome it. 

The concept of “learned helplessness” and its impact

“Learned helplessness is when staff stop engaging and instead wait to be told what to do and expect to be told that no matter what they do it is not good enough,” Becsi explains. This phenomenon can arise in industries like aged care, where a focus on compliance, regulation and negative media coverage can foster a sense of disengagement and hopelessness among workers. 

Becsi emphasises the need to mitigate the effects of learned helplessness and move staff toward a state of “learned hopefulness.” This involves actively involving the workforce in decision-making processes and designing conditions based on achievement and connection, which are the two biggest factors impacting job satisfaction and well-being.

Measuring and influencing behavioural outputs

To address these challenges, Apollo Care implements the Appellon Program, which measures well-being, focuses on performance outcomes and applies behavioural strategies. “We measure wellbeing and performance outcomes through the consumption of the learning content, which includes asking questions to enable us to measure wellbeing, performance and behavioural outcomes,” Becsi says.

The program is designed to mitigate the effects of learned helplessness and keep staff focused on what truly matters, showcasing achievements and creating conditions for success.

Leveraging data and digital tools

Appellon’s digital platform plays a crucial role in gaining deeper insights into workforce culture and identifying areas for improvement. “We can provide learning content to all staff without having to take them off the floor,” Becsi notes. “The learning content is appropriate from the Top Floor to the Shop Floor – applies to everyone.”

The data collected through the platform is uploaded to a dashboard, allowing leaders to monitor and identify insights as they occur. “We can keep everyone focused on what is working and showcase achievements and identify any area that is struggling and address it before it begins to spiral into something more negative or harmful,” Becsi explains.

Managing disruptive behaviour and fostering a positive environment

Addressing disruptive behaviour while maintaining a positive work environment is a delicate balance. Becsi emphasises the importance of engaging staff with the Appellon program’s Lead and Work-Rite content, which addresses dysfunctional behaviour in a simple and easy-to-apply manner.

“Through the dashboard, we can see those who are engaging and contributing towards workforce conditions based on achievement and connection,” he says. “Those people who are not interested in taking part in building workforce conditions that are in the best interests of everyone probably would not suit working with Apollo Care.”

Looking ahead, Becsi foresees the continued importance of mitigating the impact of learned helplessness and moving toward learned hopefulness in the aged care industry. “Digital technology and programs such as Appellon are going to help us do this,” he says. “It is certainly supporting Apollo Care.”

Stephen Becsi will be speaking at the upcoming 5th Annual Aged Care Week. Register now to join the conversation on shaping the future of aged care with a consumer-centred and sustainable operating model.

To learn more about Apollo Care’s staff well-being initiatives in great detail, download a copy of Increasing profitability in aged care below:

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Ritchelle is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel, Australia’s premier resource of information for healthcare.

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