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Engage Your Team to Build Caregiver Retention

Finding and keeping great Caregivers is your most important job as the leader of your Homecare organization.  The changing needs of the new workforce are making this harder than ever to accomplish. 

CAREGIVER ENGAGEMENT IS KEY

One of the most important things you need to retain your Caregivers is to help get them engaged in their work and with your Homecare organization’s mission. This shouldn’t be too hard, right? Well, this may be a surprise, but a Gallup poll indicates that less than one in three millennials are engaged in their work these days.  This is really troublesome because millennials are now the largest segment of the workforce and crucial to your success. So, what is it that millennials (and others) want? 

QUALITY OF LIFE MATTERS

Millennials are more concerned about Quality of Life than their predecessors.  They want more life balance, recognition, and a good working environment.  Who wouldn’t?  However, if you can meet these needs, you can go a long way toward reducing your Caregiver turnover and that has a lot of benefits in terms of care quality, time, and money.

STEPS TO INCREASE CAREGIVER ENGAGEMENT

There are several steps you can take to increase Caregiver engagement among millennials and the rest of your team.

  1. It is important for you to foster the building of connections among your Homecare team.  Let’s face it, Caregivers are your frontline employees and they often feel isolated.  Creating a positive, fun environment can really help. Creating opportunities for your team to connect and build connections with one another is a great way to start. Simple things like an office party, encouraging team members to wear local team jerseys on Friday before a big game, a group outing/meal or even an office pool with a small prize and acknowledgment of the winner can help develop bonds between your team members and stronger commitments.

Note: It’s important that you reach everyone on your team, so focus on activities that include everyone. In addition, small frequent opportunities to connect are more important than larger, but infrequent activities.      

  • You need to support work/life balance as much as possible while meeting your clients’ needs.  Sometimes there are exigencies that require people to sacrifice their needs to the needs of your clients and your business.  When this occurs, acknowledge this to your team and don’t just expect them to “deal with it”.  A short conversation explaining the need, acknowledging their sacrifice and thanking them for it will go a long way to making something positive out of the situation.  On the other hand, when you have a request for some flexibility to meet the needs of one of your team’s needs, e.g. attend an event at their child’s school, try to find a way to let them.  It will be appreciated and noticed by your team. 
  • Recognition is a big thing for nearly all people.  Plan on how to acknowledge your teams’ contributions and celebrate key moments.  Recognition for really significant achievements is important, but don’t forget to frequently acknowledge small everyday achievements too. Your Caregivers make a big difference in the lives of your clients and their families.  Hearing positive things from you helps build a bond with your organization.  Have a formal acknowledgment plan as well as an ad hoc recognition of individuals and groups program. 
  • A great way to get your team to engage is to show them that you care by investing in their development.  Look for opportunities to help your Caregivers develop both professionally and personally.  This can include bringing in speakers, sharing learnings and experiences across the group, attending trade shows/conventions, sharing “inside” information/explaining decisions, and assigning projects that will bring new experience and personal growth.  These types of activities indicate that you not only care about your team members but value their contributions and are investing in them so they can contribute even more to the success of the team in the future. 
  • Working in a good environment is important – both the physical and emotional space – for your team, especially for millennials.  An important part of this process is to establish a culture that is consistent with your mission and that appeals to your Caregivers.  Your Caregivers want to provide quality care to improve the lives of your clients and their families.  Your culture needs to reflect this and reinforce this by demonstrating in word and deed that your values are consistent with theirs.  In addition, creating a comfortable workspace is important.  It’s hard to be engaged if your workspace is unattractive, distracting and unfriendly.  Take a look around and see what you can do to improve the workspace of your organization and listen to what your team is telling you, which brings us to the final point. 
  • Solicit input from your team frequently and regularly.  Your people like to be heard.  They have a wealth of experience on the front lines that could benefit the team.  If you listen to them and respond to their input, they will feel valued and this, in turn, will help make them more engaged.  Make them part of the solution. 

To find out how SmartCare™ software and support can help you engage your team, please contact us at 1+ (800) 450-9104, email: hello@smartcaresoftware.com or visit us at our headquarters:312 S Barstow St Ste. 2, Eau Claire, WI 54701

Resources

2016 Workplace Trends Report, http://www.sodexosites.com/media/WorkplaceTrends2016Final.pdf

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