Home care providers of all shapes and sizes have continued to struggle with staff and skills shortages throughout 2022 – partly due to the job market failing to match the rapid rise in demand for home care services.
As we move into 2023, many home care businesses still have a shortfall in caregivers and high turnover rates. Most are struggling to attract enough candidates with the right training to meet their growth needs. There simply aren’t enough people with the right skills to fill all the available roles.
Some home care providers have looked within themselves and made large-scale internal changes in an attempt to beat the competition to attract and retain top-talented caregivers. Strategies include updating their company culture, investing in software to automate many processes, and promoting career and personal growth opportunities amongst staff.
The latter strategy is proving very successful, particularly for those providers making the necessary adjustments to reskill and upskill their caregivers. Skill building is one of the best ways to close the skill gap currently prevalent in the home care labor market – regardless of your staff size or budget.
By taking action now, your home care business will have access to the staff and skills you need to meet your medium- and long-term goals and stay ahead of the competition in 2023.
It requires effort on your part but don’t worry; we are here to help.
What are upskilling and reskilling?
There are significant differences between the terms ‘upskilling’ and ‘reskilling’ in the business world, and it’s essential to set them apart when developing a training program. The key difference lies in the end goal.
Upskilling is the process of teaching employees new or advanced skills and competencies to close talent gaps and optimize their performance in their current roles.
It helps caregivers to advance along their current career path, strengthen skills, gain new abilities and contribute more productively. It can also be used to create highly specialized caregivers.
Examples of upskilling include:
Upskilling is all about keeping your caregiver team involved in continuous education and helping them advance in their current role, which will help boost engagement and retention – as well as benefit your business in many other ways.
Reskilling is about training caregivers to adapt to an entirely different role or responsibility within your home care business. This type of training may not be directly related to their current position but can still be valuable to your company’s overall business plan and the caregiver’s personal/career ambitions.
Examples of reskilling include when a caregiver:
Reskilling means teaching new skills to existing caregivers so they can do a different job within your business. It means you get to retain a valued team member who understands your business and has already proven their loyalty and worth – rather than starting from scratch by hiring someone new.
What are the benefits of upskilling and reskilling caregivers?
Upskilling and reskilling are both effective strategies for home care providers to combat what are expected to become persistent staffing and skills shortages.
They can also enable your business to develop skills within your existing workforce to help you remain competitive, adapt quickly to meet future industry demands, and rise to emerging challenges.
Other benefits include:
How to begin a skill-building program
While many home care providers believe that upskilling and reskilling programs would help them address their staffing and skills shortages, they can be slow to take action. This may be due to financial constraints and/or a lack of suitable technology to support the initiatives.
However, the long-term benefits show that it is worth putting in the initial time and investment – and it is a pretty straightforward process to get up and running.
Better caregiver upskilling and reskilling programs start with the foundational knowledge of where your home care business’s staffing and skills currently stand, where you are heading, and which people within your company are willing and able to make the jump.
Though external hiring will always be a necessary part of your business, finding ways to bring your existing caregiver team forward with the changing needs of the industry is one of the strongest ways to create engagement and retention within your workforce.
Allowing employees to learn and grow – personally and professionally – is key to optimizing and retaining top talent. Take the time to invest in upskilling and reskilling so that your caregivers stay with you and help your business grow and thrive in 2023 and beyond.
Smartcare software can help you simplify your home care business’s operational functions so that you can focus on caregiver training, upskilling, and reskilling. Call us today to find out more.