Working in the field of home care can be challenging for a caregiver as it bears the responsibility of ensuring the safety, health, and well-being of the client. As the role of a home care owner, this makes the critical tasks of increasing caregiver satisfaction, engagement, and caregiver retention a main priority. This process starts in the preparation and the planning of onboarding.
Creating a clear, organized, and interactive onboarding checklist process will prove the agency’s commitment to the caregivers. Without the caregivers, a home care agency cannot function; this makes the task of supporting and catering to their needs even more crucial.
The caregivers’ first interaction with the agency managers and clients will determine the retention rate at the home care agency. Therefore, it is imperative to create a specific caregiver onboarding process.
This includes welcoming them into the agency, offering a detailed explanation of what to expect throughout their experience, and fostering the values of the agency to leave an impactful, lasting impression. These steps form a relationship, which leads to increased caregiver retention and higher client satisfaction.
Here are 6 benefits of strengthening a home care agency onboarding process
1. Creates an Efficient Home Care Agency
When caregivers arrive at onboarding, they expect to leave that day knowing all the information necessary to make them feel comfortable in performing their job.
The caregiver should have possession of all the tangible resources required, including but not limited to the home care agencies’ car supply kit, uniform, badge, mobile-point-of-care software access and training, and the agency contact list.
By making the caregiver feel prepared, they will not only be confident in themselves, but in assisting their clients starting from their first day on the job. When the caregiver is prepared and confident, it minimizes potential work accidents, miscommunication, and lost time, making for a more efficient home care agency.
As a manager or home care agency owner, the task of making an onboarding program and checklist can be challenging.
A complete home care software platforms like SMARTcare can greatly help with this task, especially when the platform comes with a full HR Suite as part of the all-in-one home care platform. This can assist home care agencies with their HR tasks, including creating your onboarding checklist and creating custom forms.
2. Increases Caregiver Work Satisfaction
Are you struggling to keep your caregivers engaged and fulfilled? This process starts on the first day of onboarding as it is the first exposure the caregiver will have to the company culture. It is crucial to give the caregiver a snapshot into what their time at the agency will look like, in how they are part of a bigger group and mission. And, their contribution to the success of the home care agency which starts with the owners.
The first topics that should be addressed with high importance when introducing the agency is the company’s values, vision, and mission statement. Home care managers who reflect their company culture during onboarding, have higher rates of retention as they exemplify how the caregiver should be treated, and treat their clientele.
There must be allotted time for the caregivers to ask questions and receive answers. Making the caregiver feel valued and heard in their first interactions will induce excitement in their position and clarity in their decision to work for the agency.
If the home care agency managers are intentional in instilling these core values in all their caregivers, work satisfaction will grow exponentially as the staff works together to reach a common goal, all while practicing their principal shared values.
3. Builds Connection to the Home Care Agency
Teamwork is the foundation of a strong agency, although, in the industry of home care, caregivers can lack a sense of unity. As the caregiver’s position is located off-site, it does not require daily interaction with co-workers or supervisors. The main exchange between caregivers within the agency is during the onboarding process, which presents the perfect opportunity to have group training.
At the same time, it is important to ensure the safety of the caregivers and managers at the agency during these times of COVID-19. In these circumstances, group training would be remote through video conference calls. The home care agency managers would conduct the same onboarding procedure virtually, and hands-on in-person training would follow solely between one manager and the caregiver at a scheduled time.
After the agency introduction and informative sessions, the caregivers should be able to apply and share what they have learned with one another. They can do so through small virtual group interactive partner training and practicing mock scenarios.
By familiarizing the caregivers with the home care agency owners and one another, through in-person or remote training, relationships are formed, connections are made, and a strong workforce is cultivated.
There is a multitude of communications from the caregiver to and from the home care agencies every day due to the moving profession. After the interactive onboarding, the caregivers and managers will be able to match a name to a face and feel comfortable in their exchanges with their points of contact.
4. Enhances Caregiver Experience
The onboarding process in the field of home care is extensive and detailed due to the many individual state home care rules and regulations. The main goal of the manager should be to make this process as simple as possible. The structure of the day should be clear, concise, and engaging to ensure an informative and productive session.
In a paper-based system, extensive documents, background checks, fingerprints, vaccination confirmations, and power points can lead to a tedious onboarding process. As time goes on, new updated paperwork and forms are required from the caregiver, and staying up to date can be a daunting task. It is common for the caregiver to feel overwhelmed.
A solution to improve their experience in creating a complete home care platform such as SMARTcares’. Using a platform greatly improves the speed and productivity of the onboarding process and is always current. A system like this has a full applicant intake process that streamlines all HR tasks before the first day of onboarding.
It would also offer agency updates, notifications on new required forms, and a personalized caregiver checklist of tasks that need to be accomplished. The caregivers can be quickly trained on the functions of the home care platform and how it works during the onboarding process.
This home care platform is accessible on the caregiver’s smartphone when they are on the go. Caregivers balance enough tasks during their day; the last thing they should worry about is forgetting a deadline or missing a form.
This platform offers the caregiver organization, clarity, and relief, which makes for a fulfilling experience and builds a caregiver connection to the agency through messaging and chat interactions.
How to Increase Retention after the Onboarding Process
5. Remain in Contact with Caregivers
The position of a caregiver entails minimal contact with their managers as they spend most of their time supporting and assisting their clients at home. It is the responsibility of a supervisor to keep in contact with their caregivers once they start their position. The process of onboarding is not finished after the onboarding session is completed; it has only begun.
The agency managers should not only act as a resource to answer caregiver questions but should be there to support the caregiver in any way they may need.
The caregivers should feel valued by the agency owners, especially as the job is at an off-site location, and they do not interact in the same work environment every day.
A simple way to show gratitude for your caregiver is to reach out once a week to check in on their well-being, offer assistance, and leave them with words of encouragement. There should also be a formal 30-60-90 check-in with the caregiver to get an update on how they are doing; also, it creates a space to offer feedback on improvements the agency can make.
A supervisor who is a leader will continuously make sure their caregivers are heard, fulfilled, and prepared.
6. Inspire High Level-Performance
In-home care is becoming a popular alternative to long term care facilities and assisted living.
When a person decides to become an in-home caregiver, unknowingly, they are participating in a new era of healthcare that is changing our future as we know it.
As an owner of a home care agency, it is important to inform your caregivers about this dramatic change from facilities to in-home care. Through this change, it presents the perfect opportunity to motivate your caregivers to make a lasting impact on their clients.
Reassure your caregivers that what they are doing for their clients will change their lives and positively affect the families of the clients they are serving; through relieving burden, stress, and mending relationships. In doing this, you will not only spark an intrinsic desire of the caregiver to perform their best every day but will make the caregiver want to stay at your agency as you work collectively to create a brighter future.
SMARTcare is a Complete Home Care Platform with Just the Right Amount of Everything Designed by Caregivers for Caregivers. With SMARTcare, you can manage, schedule, and operate everything you need for your home care business. Achieve better outcomes, higher satisfaction, and increase caregiver retention with a system that supports your business and its goals.
To find out how SmartCare™ software and support can help you differentiate your service and strategy, please contact us at 1+ (800) 450-9104 or via email: email@example.com