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Increasing Caregiver Retention – Start with engaging your employees

Published on October 15, 2019 by Scott Zielski

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Caregiver Retention in the US

One of the biggest threats to the home care industry today is the skyrocketing caregiver turnover rates.

Across the US home care agencies are seeing their caregiver turnover increase to over 80%.

Combine this with the trends of our senior population preferring to age in place and the cost of nursing homes and assisted living on the rise; It will become even more critical to have a solid staff that stays with your business for many years. 

Now is the time to start being prepared and properly staffed.

Things to Work on

Paying your employees more is one way to help with this problem, but it is not the only and in some cases the perfect solution.

Employees want more than just money, for example offering competitive benefits provides a great incentive for people to stay. Many people think of benefits as time off and healthcare support. 

These benefits cost money and depending on the size of your business they may be out of reach for you at the moment. 

But benefits can and should be more than just providing vacation and health insurance.  If you think beyond traditional benefits there are many other options that can help you attract and retain caregivers and staff. For example providing more choices on how they work, engaging them in your business and creating a great work environment will help increase your caregiver retention.

Another issue that comes up when looking at why caregivers leave jobs is misrepresented job expectations.

If you tell your caregivers that they will be working a set number of hours a week but in reality, they end up working way more or much less than then the expectation that was set when they took the job this leaves them with a negative feeling (for more suggestions see our Top 28 Creative Ways to Reward Your Caregivers and Staff).

The benefits of providing benefits

Taking a more broad view on benefits and compensation will provide more rewards to you, your caregivers and your business. This will also benefit your clients when you have a high caregiver retention rate you end up exposing your clients to a revolving door of caregivers.

Humans are attracted to relationships we seek them everywhere, with friends, at the store, in the park through everyday interactions.

If we look to our caregivers and clients in the same way they can build strong relationships. High turnover prevents your caregivers and clients from fostering that strong personal connection and enhancing the care they provide.

To give the best opportunity for these relationships to happen we need to help make that caregiver to client connection. Giving them tools to help build these relationships and friendships will support this process. Using a system that provides strong matching will enhance the relationship potential and build both client and caregiver retention.

Another way this can benefit everyone one is by better matching caregivers to clients need, if you provide continuing education opportunities to your caregivers they can and will get certifications for things like Alzheimer’s patient care and special needs patient care.

These certifications will increase the value of your care team and enhance matching the perfect caregivers to the right clients.

Engage your employees

Other great ways to increase your employee’s engagement level is to change the way you are communicating with them.

There are a few things that should be relatively obvious that can improve your relationship with your caregivers such as saying “thank you” and “nicely done” when it is deserved and apologizing when you are wrong.

To really make an impact make sure you are specific with the complement, for example, saying something like “One of the things I appreciate most about you is…” Changing the way you respond can make a big difference when someone does something or says something that you do not understand don’t just say “really? Seriously? What are you thinking?”

Rather say things like “Why is that important to you? Help me understand.” These phrases are softer and much more inviting that saying seriously, what are you thinking?

Having conversations like this that are more inviting and less confrontational will foster a happier working environment.

Make it Meaningful

The job should be more than a paycheck, promoting a personal interest in the outcomes of your clients and the growth of your business will encourage employees to be committed to your organization.

This can be done by clearly communicating the company’s mission, vision, and values. When employees can clearly see how what they are doing is benefiting the company and the clients and why they are doing it they are more likely to develop a personal interest in the growth of the business.

When they have a personal interest they will be more engaged and stay with you longer.