Emma Dickison, CEO of Home Helpers Home Care, recently told Home Health Care News, “I saw another statistic about a month or two ago that said we are officially at a place where there are more jobs open than individuals are looking to be employed. That’s a scary place to be if you’re a busy owner or a corporation that relies heavily on any type of employment, particularly caregivers.” She also said that the labor-starved providers must ‘Hunt,’ Not ‘Fish’ for caregivers. That is indeed a terrifying place to be for the home care industry, which has consistently seen rising employee turnover rates that have now climbed the 80th percentile, according to the Home Care Benchmarking Study.
Here are three ways we recommend increasing caregiver retention at your home care agency:
1. Improve Communication at Your Agency
‘Poor Communication’ has been consistently listed as the first reason caregivers leave their agencies. Communication is more than just talking; it’s listening and understanding what the person on the other side of the conversation has to say. Being attentive to the feedback provided by employees at your agency will help you avoid issues that might arise in the future and create strategies to tackle them. Effective Communication with your caregivers will create a positive work environment and will help you build stronger teams at your agency. When caregivers see how sensitive you are to their concerns, they will feel cared for. They will also feel invested in the agency’s bigger picture irrespective of where they currently stand on the organizational chart. Being honest with caregivers by providing constructive feedback on the tasks they need to improve on will let them know that you want them to be successful.
Right from day one of the caregiver’s journey at your agency, if they know the tasks they need to perform, the checkpoints they need to meet along the way, and how to excel at them, it will keep them motivated to climb the ladder of success at your agency. Make them a part of the bigger picture. If everyone is connected and communicating with each other in the organization, it will undoubtedly lead to higher retention rates, and the positivity will also spiral into happier clients.
2. Build an Effective Mentorship Program for Caregivers
The first few days on the job are challenging for any new caregiver. Getting used to new surroundings, colleagues, supervisors, and clients can be a very stressful situation to navigate. There is always undue pressure on the new caregiver to perform well in order to show their colleagues and supervisors that they are the right hire. In this process, new caregivers might hesitate to discuss their struggles with their supervisors. This is precisely the moment when they will need an experienced mentor other than their supervisor, who they can openly talk to about their challenges and ask questions about their duties. They can also get advice on tackling specific situations, however trivial they might be.
Creating an effective mentorship program will need buy-in from all the employees at your agency for it to be successful. Incentivizing this mentorship program will also assist the mentors to frequently take newer employees under their wings, nurturing their growth in your agency while also taking on more responsibilities. After new caregivers have graduated from the mentorship program, they’ll also have the confidence they need to step into the mentor role. They’ll remember their initial struggles and can help someone new cross that bridge with ease. Providing this mentorship program is beneficial for both mentors and mentees, and will give them access to leadership opportunities that will help them achieve bigger dreams in the future.
3. Train Your Employees for Future Success
‘Receiving little or no training’ is 4th on list of reasons why caregivers leave an agency, according to research by Home Care Pulse. According to a study published by the Paraprofessional Health Care Institute, half of the home care workforce has not completed any formal education beyond high school. So, they must receive proper formal training before going on to perform their duties as a caregiver successfully. The 2018 workforce learning report by LinkedIn suggests that 93% of employees would stay longer if the company invested in their careers.
CareAcademy has made it easy for agencies to provide online state-approved training and development for your caregivers. Our 60 state-approved online classes have helped train over 70,000 caregivers! We understand bringing a new software platform to train your caregivers can be a challenging ordeal. You can take this self-guided tour to discover how you can seamlessly manage training and compliance using CareAcademy’s training dashboard for agency administrators.
CareAcademy also offers free informational webinars to keep you at the top of your game. Check out this webinar on “How to Double your Caregivers” by Stephanie Volk, who has over six years of experience in sales and business growth within the senior care industry. She elaborates on a two-step technique that can not only be used to recruit the best caregivers in your area, but also to motivate these recruits to apply and interview quickly.
It’s Always Easy to Say It’s Not My Problem
Many home care agencies are doing a great job at filling in the gaps in their processes to retain more caregivers to service the dire need in the industry. The aging population is increasing at an unprecedented rate, and they need care from well-trained professionals. Everyone should do their part and take steps towards finding a permanent solution to this challenge of training caregivers.
CareAcademy is contributing to this solution by offering a Free Trial for 5 caregivers at your agency. You can contact CareAcademy anytime to speak to our support team, request a demo, or upgrade your plan. We would love to talk with you about how we can assist your agency in empowering caregivers to deliver the best care to older adults with the support, guidance, and compassion needed to improve their quality of life.