Caregiver churn is a critical issue for homecare agencies, given booming demand for in-home care. From 2018 to 2028, PHI estimates that the direct care workforce will add an estimated 1.3 million new jobs specifically in home care and residential care. Accounting for turnover, there will be a total of 7.4 million job openings in direct care by 2029.
This existing shortage of caregivers has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic as more people started seeking home care, and safety concerns and other considerations caused some workers to leave the profession. All of these factors mean that caregiver churn has become a bottom-line disruptor for home care agencies.
Understanding caregiver churn in 2021
Caregiver churn is a significant pain point for providers in 2021 according to the report. The research shows that while the ongoing caregiver shortage and the business impact of COVID-19 were the most often cited pain points, caregiver churn was the third leading issue for providers this year.
For most providers, the pandemic made churn even worse. In fact, 60% of respondents reported that employee churn increased in their organizations as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Combatting Caregiver Churn with TrainingNew research from Home Health News and Alayacare also unearthed how home care agencies are responding to the bottom-line threat of increasing caregiver churn. They found that overwhelmingly, training and development is the top method for driving employee retention. More than 40% of respondents report they are driving employee retention through training and development, followed by scheduling (26%) and communication (22%) as areas of focus.
Employer benefitsWith 40% of agencies already recognizing training and development as a necessary antidote to caregiver churn, agencies who fail to build programs risk being flattened by an ongoing scarcity of caregivers with more appealing employment opportunities with the competition. Aside from attracting and retaining caregivers, effective training and development programs can be leveraged as an effective marketing tool.
Caregiver benefitsCaregivers offered additional training and development are able to provide patients with higher quality care, and typically enjoy higher job satisfaction. Caregivers are clear: training, development, and career advancement opportunities are attractive benefits when considering employment options.
Start your training and development programReady to start expanding (or building) your caregiver training program? Effective training programs take many shapes and sizes, so prepare to think creatively to construct the program that works for your agency. If you’re developing your training offerings from scratch, consider starting by exploring your state’s requirements for foundational and annual trainings for direct care workers. Providing certification to new caregivers can also be a powerful referral source to combat caregiver scarcity. Remember: the most effective training programs and powerful selling points for caregivers. Consider exploring unique programs with enduring value for caregivers’ careers. For example, the CareAcademy CAREer Path Initiative even allow caregivers to earn college credit for their training certifications. Now is a good time to review your training strategy and ensure that your program meets the needs of your direct care worker staff. It is clear that training and development can be a powerful recruitment and retention tool as the Pandemic eases.
Experience how CareAcademy’s award-winning platform can jumpstart your program, and improve your caregiver retention.