Hallmark Carehomes
Innovation Challenge: How the third winning idea is progressing

14 April 2022

Innovation Challenge: How the third winning idea is progressing

Lifestyles Lead and third prize winner of the Innovation Challenge, Lily Davies, met with Head of Innovation, Claire Johnsen recently to update her on the project milestones and share with her the plans for her winning idea ‘Service with a Smile.’

The Innovation Challenge, which was open to all team members at Hallmark Care Homes and our sister company Savista Developments, was introduced to give employees the opportunity to put forward their innovative ideas and solutions with the aim of improving our care provision across our current and future businesses.

The challenge, which ran from June to July 2020, received 269 entries with three winning ideas being selected ranging from a unique dementia bedroom design, a new way to enhance customer service and safeguarding.

How did you come up with the idea for Service with a smile?

I visited a luxury hotel in London which stood out for its service and the way they made me feel at ease. At Hallmark, we try to combine the feel of a hotel and a home. I think when anyone goes to a hotel, they want to feel special and want what they pay for almost instantly, and it should be no different for residents who have worked all their life and are now in our care. How can we make their final years special? By making them feel like the VIP’s they are!

In a few words can you explain your winning idea:

Service with a smile is a holistic approach to take our service experience to the next level. The programme will introduce new ways to train our team to become super customer centric and to manage feedback in a positive, constructive and beneficial way. With raised expectations comes a need for clear explanation, which will be achieved via experiential learning (trialling for yourself) and making the training part of our induction.

What is your career journey and why are you interested in Care?

I worked for a housing association directly after university and then I moved to an outdoor activity centre. The role at the activity centre was an operational post assessing high risk, making sure our clients enjoyed themselves safely. Both jobs were great experience for working in the Care Sector.

My decision to work in the care sector was influenced by my Family and especially my mother.  As a family we have strong links with the NHS and a deep community spirit and a deep-rooted wish to help others. I joined Hallmark seven-and-a-half years ago and I am based at Ty Enfys but regularly visit the other homes in Wales in my role as Regional Lifestyle Mentor.

How did you feel when you heard you had won third prize for the Innovation Challenge?

I was shocked. I never expected to win but I am very pleased as it is an idea that can be taken on board and has more relevance since Covid, and over time we will see the results. It is fun watching the idea gain momentum. From the germ of an idea, the project has grown and has tied in with other elements of the business including our five values: openness, individuality, togetherness, growth, and quality.

Who have you worked with to help this idea get off the ground?

I have worked closely with Claire Collen Head of Learning Development and AnnMarie Duggan.

With Claire, we have created a working group which includes Group Hospitality Services Manager, Rob Byrom, General Manager of Ty Enfys, Sujjata Singh, Housekeeper at Shire Hall, Geraint Meredith, Head of Compliance, Nick Banister Dudley, Regional Director, Cheryl Wanklyn, General Manager of Henley Manor, Elham Faramarzian, Business Administrator at Hutton View, Mandy Thomas and Group Learning Development Advisor, Arek Widel. It is fun working with a team who genuinely want to make a difference.

The training programme is taking shape and is estimated to go live in May

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