Yet, many caregivers report leaving a provider due to inadequate support.
Caregiving is emotionally and physically challenging, but it doesn’t mean your caregivers don’t enjoy their job. Caregivers are often self-motivated individuals who work independently. However, they can feel isolated and stressed at times and need to be recognized and feel like they are part of a team.
As a home care agency owner, your leadership plays a crucial role in addressing caregiver retention, and you can see results faster by putting your entire staff up to the task.
In a previous blog, we’ve discussed how a positive company culture helps with caregiver retention and engagement.
This blog will explain how each staff member in your home care business can contribute to retaining caregivers.
1. Recruitment and hiring team
Hiring new caregivers is a costly process and can take up time and resources that directly impact your business.
Who you hire and how you hire reflects on your caregiver turnover rates. Therefore, your recruitment and hiring team must follow an effective hiring process.
Your recruitment and hiring team can optimize the hiring process, and ensure a positive candidate experience, by writing great job postings, targeting the right channels and candidates, pre-screening, shortlisting, and interviewing well.
Using a mobile-friendly Application Tracking System (ATS) ensures your team has the solutions they need to optimize their hiring process. An Application Tracking System helps your recruitment team speed up the application process for the candidate, engage them throughout, and successfully onboard them once hiring is complete.
2. Orientation and onboarding team
Studies about caregiver retention show that the first 30 days after hiring a caregiver is crucial to reducing caregiver turnover significantly. Your onboarding team must be well equipped to leave a strong impact.
SHRM reported that 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding. So your onboarding team has a high chance of improving caregiver retention.
During the orientation process, your new hires need to meet your team and understand their role and responsibilities, company procedures, schedule, pay, benefits, training opportunities, and more.
When you onboard a new hire, it’s crucial for them to have a direct point of contact, feel comfortable asking questions, and know how to use the tools you provide them after their onboarding.
The training you provide during the onboarding will give your new caregivers a good idea of the quality of training you provide.
At the end of onboarding, your caregivers must have built the confidence to carry out their assigned duties with a good understanding of your agency’s guidelines and expectations.
One of the common reasons caregivers quit is lack of training. As a home care agency owner, investing in the right training providers for your caregivers improves their job satisfaction and provides career progression.
On top of investing in training programs, using your existing team members to conduct training internally is important. For example, establishing a mentorship program that highlights your existing caregivers’ talents is another effective solution.
A mentorship program matches your experienced caregivers with new hires, which provides much-needed support to new hires and builds solid relationships among your caregiver team.
It’s not only your caregivers who need the training to improve caregiver retention. Training your office staff in communication skills, organization, and scheduling impacts caregiver retention too.
Such soft skills are necessary for your team to understand each other better and work well together.
You can improve your caregivers’ job satisfaction and reduce turnover rates by optimizing training according to your caregivers’ and staff’s feedback.
4. Schedulers and coordinators
Scheduling conflicts and poor communication between your home care agency and caregivers negatively impact caregivers who have busy schedules.
Schedulers and coordinators in your team must be very well organized and have the ability to match a caregiver with the right client.
Matching caregivers with clients based on location and other criteria such as frequency of service, qualifications, communication style, lifestyle, and more increases caregiver satisfaction and retention.
Smartcare’s scheduling feature and user-friendly mobile app make it easier for schedulers and caregivers to plan and access caregiver schedules by viewing and allocating or taking on open shifts.
5. Admin and payroll managers
Pay and benefits are among the top reasons caregivers leave agencies, but it’s only a short-term solution if the pay is their only reason to stay.
Compensating your caregivers fairly is necessary, but your payroll managers must make sure payment is made accurately and on time.
Home care agencies that provide flexible payment options such as hourly or flat daily rates and payment for expenses such as travel need to be able to track all of the agency’s staffing costs.
Smartcare’s payroll and processing tools help you cut admin time so you can track overtime, travel time, expenses, vacation, holidays, in-servicing, and more in one platform.
6. Office staff and managers
Poor communication with caregivers is a significant contributor to high turnover rates.
As much as they care for your clients, your office staff and managers must care for your caregivers and listen to their feedback.
They can do this by regularly checking in with the caregivers and being attentive to their needs.
For example, if a caregiver is taking on too many or too few shifts, your agency manager must understand the reason.
Supporting caregivers when they need it, is important to make them feel valued and taken care of.
They can use gamification tools to automate this process, but adding a personal touch and providing feedback are also necessary.
Smartcare Caregiver Rewards are designed to reward achieving goals in real-time, gamifying the caregiver’s experience to keep them motivated and engaged.
7. Leadership and managers
Your business leadership is responsible for creating a work environment where employees align with company values, believe in their work, and are fairly compensated in pay and recognition. Therefore, home care business managers must promote a culture of care.
Caregivers need to feel taken care of too, so listening to their needs and meeting their expectations before they get to the point of leaving is important.
Your employees will be your biggest advocates if you provide a great work environment that attracts and rewards talent.
This can prompt your caregivers to notify their network when you are hiring and help you retain your existing workforce.
Your home care agency leadership is at the forefront of managing the agency’s reputation, and it is crucial to understand what it’s like to work for your agency.
8. Supervisors in the field
Not all caregivers have the same skills and attitudes toward caregiving. Especially when it’s their first client.
Some things are simply not taught, they are learned on the job or from an experienced peer.
Feedback is necessary for anyone to get better at their job. Assigning a mentor to newer caregivers who will observe and provide support and feedback to them improves their performance and skills.
Upskilling caregivers contributes to better caregiver retention and caregiver job satisfaction.
The client’s feedback is also very important. Caregivers who get consistent feedback that reinforces the good work they do stay motivated and are more open to learning about the areas they can improve on.
9. Other caregivers
Perhaps the best support a caregiver can get is from other caregivers. So it’s important to build a team of caregivers who understand each other’s struggles, offer guidance when needed, and work well together.
To nurture strong working relationships, home care providers should hold team-building activities, whether in-person or virtually. Most caregivers work alone and with vulnerable people, which is sometimes isolating and emotionally challenging.
How can Smartcare help?
Caregiver retention remains a challenge in the home care industry with average turnover rates still exceeding 65%. It’s now more pressing than ever for your entire team to get involved with the efforts that decrease turnover rates. No matter how senior or junior an employee is, they can all contribute in some way to making your agency a workplace where people want to stay.
As a home care agency leader, you can empower your staff to improve your company culture.
If you’d like to learn more about Smartcare Software tools that will support your team’s efforts in maintaining caregiver engagement, motivation, and retention, please get in touch with us for more details or request a free demo.
We are here to support you every step of the way.