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Caregiver Retention Through Gamification: Why It Works

Published on February 3, 2022 by Sharon Morrisette

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Games are already a big part of our lives. And with the introduction of new technologies in the workplace, they are quickly becoming a part of our work lives too.

Employers are using gamification to improve the way employees complete tasks, train on new skills, and collaborate.

Home care agencies struggling to retain their talented caregivers can benefit from gamification too. Using software that rewards caregivers and provides opportunities for training is essential to keep caregivers engaged and motivated.

Smartcare is already showing impressive results when it comes to caregiver retention via gamification and other technological solutions.

What is gamification?

gamification and home care

We all play games on our devices. Our brains have gotten used to how online, mobile, and video games reward our efforts. Most games are designed to keep us engaged by using points, levels, and rewards. The more we win, the more we want to play. 

When the same game-like reward systems are implemented in the workplace, employees can be more productive and motivated to repeat desired behaviors that win them recognition or rewards. This stimulating process has been proven effective in motivating employees to complete tasks and training and in hiring new talent.

How can gamification help caregiver retention?

High caregiver turnover poses a serious threat in the home care industry. Home care patients need consistent and trustworthy care; with Covid-19 still presenting a danger, they can’t be exposed to different people each time.

The most recent surveys show that caregivers rank lack of communication, recognition and rewards, training, and opportunities to develop high on the list of reasons they leave. Gamification can significantly improve each of these elements and increase both caregivers’ job satisfaction and, consequently, client/patient satisfaction.

Here are six ways gamification can address caregivers’ needs and why your home care agency needs to implement it. 

Boost motivation and productivity

Introducing game-like reward systems can help home care agencies boost caregivers’ motivation and productivity.

Caregivers can record their performance and gather points after completing daily tasks, like clocking in on time and assisting patients with their medication. In addition, gamification can make them feel more productive since they are validated in real-time when they complete each task. 

On the agency side, gamification gives a more transparent view of the caregiver’s performance. Based on recorded data, home care agency management can be aware of their top-performing caregivers. This helps prevent favoritism and opens up more opportunities for the caregiver. 

The agency can choose which actions deserve rewards and encourage caregivers to repeat desired actions like clocking in on time and completing care reports.

Improve onboarding and training

The first 90 days of a caregiver’s experience within an agency are the most crucial – this is where the highest turnover rates are seen. 

Onboarding can be a difficult process for home care agencies as well as caregivers that are just starting out. Every caregiver’s needs and adjustment period will be different. Setting goals, outlining their tasks, and making information accessible to them is crucial to help them feel more secure and supported in their role.

During a time of learning, caregivers need a lot of support. Gamification simplifies and outlines daily tasks and engages the caregiver. Just like starting a new game and being shown the ropes, the controls, and the goals, gamification in home care helps caregivers understand the workflow – making their adjustment period much more straightforward and enjoyable.

Introduce fun into routine tasks

Gamifying work-related activities in the home care industry can make routine tasks more fun and tracking simpler. 

Caregivers can easily access their workflow and complete tasks as they go. As they gather points, they can level up and get better rewards. Consequently, routine tasks such as clocking in, filling out forms, or requesting shifts become tasks caregivers want to do.

Incentivize professional development

Setting up training goals for caregivers and rewarding achievements can help to improve caregiver retention.

Caregivers who complete certain training will have more opportunities to care for patients with specific needs. Seeing the immediate results of their efforts can also motivate caregivers to advance more in their field and do more training.

Training and upskilling caregivers is an effective method in retaining caregivers too. Research suggests that upskilled caregivers are more motivated, and tend to have lower turnover rates and higher performance levels.

By using gamification tools, home care agencies can encourage and support caregivers in completing certification training or partaking in mentoring and coaching programs. Agencies that recognize and reward the professional achievements of their caregivers have higher chances of retaining their top talent.

Help caregivers learn faster

Gamification tools have been shown to help people retain knowledge better and learn faster. Many popular educational apps use this technique to teach. When caregivers are provided with the same tools, they not only feel in control of their own learning, but can learn faster and retain information better.

As caregivers enjoy the process of learning in a new way and start seeing immediate results, they can feel more satisfied with their career progression. Subsequently, home care agencies can experience lower turnover rates, and their patients/clients can receive better care.

Encourage setting and achieving goals

Gamification helps caregivers clearly see the steps they need to take towards achieving certain goals. It also allows them to see their progression as they move through these steps, and outlines their achievements as they go. On top of this, when they immediately get rewarded for their performance, it boosts confidence and encourages them to move on to the next steps. 

This ‘action – validation – reward’ loop can also motivate caregivers to set up their own goals, so they can be more independent and self-motivated – both important aspects in job satisfaction and retention.

Smartcare’s caregiver retention solutions

back to work action plan

Smartcare customers have improved their caregiver retention rates +2x more than their industry counterparts. Alongside retention tools, such as flexible scheduling and successful client-caregiver matching, Smartcare’s Caregiver Rewards system engages and motivates caregivers by rewarding them for meeting performance goals.

Smartcare directly addresses a wide range of challenges that home care agencies are experiencing and solves them with technology, such as gamification.

For more information about Caregiver Rewards, contact Smartcare or request a demo.