In order to make the support of the elderly more humane, ALENVI has decided to create a fulfilling working environment for professionals who work from home.
It also offers human-centred training to other structures. These are training courses focused on life skills as a complement to their training focused on know-how.
Toulouse Business School
ALENVI is a SSE (Social and Solidarity Economy) company, certified ESUS (Social Utility Solidarity Company), i.e. an economic structure with a social mission. It was created in 2016 by Clément Saint Olive, Guillaume Desnoës and Thibault de Saint Blancard.
This social enterprise created to humanize and to reinvent home support for the elderly, has decided to bet on training professionals. In fact, it is by improving the training of health care workers that can improve the care of the elderly. Thus, it seeks to make the health auxiliary master of his profession once again, by providing him with a fulfilling work environment. Indeed, the well-being of professionals who intervene at their patient’s home makes at the same time the well-being of the elderly people they support. The objective is to rethink the human dimension of the support professions, beyond the simple production of services.
The three co-founders started from the following observation: for several years now, life auxiliaries, careers, have been submitted to economic logic which has put them in a dehumanizing spiral. The home help sector has opened up to other structures that had an obligation of profitability and efficiency. Then, it leads to precarious, part-time employment contracts. Professionals have very little room for manoeuvre and initiative. Most of the time, they cannot stay during a long time with the elderly person: toilets and meals are often timed. In fact, we were witnessing a dehumanization of this sector, when it is quite the opposite that it needs. This is why, the founders took inspiration from a model in the Netherlands (Buurtzorg model) in order to revolutionize the home care system for the elderly
The impact of this innovation is at different scales:
First, by offering a full-time employment contract and upgrading the remuneration of life support workers in relation to their collective agreement, they can enjoy more stable working conditions. ALENVI has also improved work organization: they hired life support workers which were integrated into communities of 5 to 10 support workers. It is an autonomous community that is self-sufficient, recruits other people, manages its planning, each person has a role. The aim is to really give back to the auxiliaries the means to exercise their profession, thanks to technological tools that allow them to collaborate. ALENVI also provide them human-oriented training, so that they can better care for the elderly. As a result, absenteeism rates are lower, they are happier to go to work, their well-being is increased. And this is reflected in the various speeches and interviews with some of ALENVI’S auxiliaries.
Secondly, not only does the well-being of the elderly increases, but the well-being of family members increases too. Indeed, the auxiliaries are in contact with both the family and the elderly, what facilitates exchanges: the support is much more flexible. The number of auxiliaries is reduced because they work in pairs or trinomial systems. The help is much more personalized and humane. In fact, the auxiliaries spend more time with them, help them on a daily basis and exchange more with them. It is also necessary to support the family career who is under a lot of pressure in order to prevent any "wear and tear" phenomenon. When the elderly person is well supported, the family's well-being also increases. It's finally a virtuous circle!
Not only do health care workers regain control of their profession and can better support the elderly, but they are also more fulfilled and have a higher salary. In addition, since December 2018, ALENVI has been offering human-centred training to other structures. Thus, they are offered training focused on life skills in addition to their training focused on know-how. They will therefore be able to create a bond of trust with the elderly person more easily! They also support any structure that wishes to transform itself into an organizational model similar to ours.
In order to measure the social impact of ALENVI’S activity, a study was carried out. Here are some figures from this study:
Social changes measured for auxiliaries:
- 100% of auxiliaries are offered a full permanent contract (70% of part-time work in the sector)
- 12% is the pay gap between ALENVI’S salary and that of the collective agreement
- 90% of them say that ALENVI allows them to have a more stable job
- 89% of auxiliaries consider the organization of work in the community to be satisfactory and state that they feel valued in their work
- 100% of auxiliaries consider the training received to be satisfactory
- 90% of auxiliaries report developing new professional skills in their work
Social changes measured for beneficiaries:
- 100% of family careers recognize that the presence of an auxiliary with their dependent relative has a positive impact on morale
- 75% of family careers report that the presence of an auxiliary with their dependent relative has a positive impact on their health
- 55% say this has a positive impact on their diet
- 64% of family careers say that this has a positive impact on their relationships (family, friends, relatives, etc.)
- 90% of family careers report that the presence of an auxiliary with their dependent relative allows the latter to have a better sense of self-esteem
Social changes measured for family careers:
- 100% of family careers acknowledge that the presence of an auxiliary has allowed them to gain in serenity and to have confidence in the care of their loved one
- 88% of family careers acknowledge that the presence of an auxiliary allowed them to be reassured about their loved one's well-being, 83% to be reassured about their loved one's health.
- 100% acknowledging that this has provided them with moral support
- 91% also say that this has allowed them to have more respite
Thus, ALENVI, which currently employs 55 people, wants its home help business, to generate the same margin as the average margin in the sector. In order to be able to enhance the work of auxiliaries, they reduce their administrative costs using technological tools.
In addition, as the number of older people increases, the home support sector will be the largest net job creator by 2022.
Finally, ALENVI, is a company which aspires to create a real change in this sector and directs it towards a more human support. By rethinking the profession of supporting older people beyond the organizational model, it shows that it is possible to set up concrete action. This innovation has a positive impact not only for careers (remuneration, well-being, professional development), but also for the elderly and family.
Léa Veiga-Planells, Alenvi, the innovation for the elderly
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Business Website: alenvi.io
Year Founded: 2016
Number of Employees: 51 to 200
Noting that the development of the auxiliary life profession has a positive impact on the quality of support provided to the elderly, Clément Saint Olive, Guillaume Desnoës and Thibault de Saint Blancard co-found the Alenvi start-up in 2016. Alenvi is a compagny totally innovative in France. The well-being of the elderly people are at the centre of the project but also the health auxiliaries who take care of these elderly people. In the end, the innovations proposed by Alenvi make it possible to increase the well-being of different individuals at different levels. In short, ALENVI's goal is to humanize the support of elderly people at home by improving the working environment of health care workers. Thus, the company is directly related to two of the seventeen sustainable development goals which include good health and well-being and decent work and economic growth.