Keep your Home Care Team Engaged by Setting SMART Goals

Last year the home care industry experienced record turnover levels of 80%. This is having far-reaching effects on the ability of home care providers to manage and retain staff. Better engaging your care teams can help reduce turnover. Creating “SMART” goals for them will help better align your team to your business. SMART goals position you and your team for success. Not only can they be applied to your care team but also to help your patients and clients achieve their desired objectives. Let’s take a look at what SMART goals are in more detail.

SMART is an acronym that spells out Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Trackable. Let’s look deep art this using an example with improving health because that is easy for everyone to understand. They can then be applied to the activities and goals of your home care business using the SMART goal process.

Specific – Be specific when setting any goal. For example, if we looked at a common one for people like “Eating healthier.”  It sounds like a good idea. But what does it really mean? Aim for specific goals instead, such as eliminating soda, eating five servings of vegetables a day or limiting your daily sugar intake to 30 grams of added sugar. In-home care, an example instead of saying you need to document everything it may be better to start with a specific request like documenting client activity after every visit.

Measurable – Making the goal one you can measure. For example, if we look at one for exercise just saying “walking more” isn’t really trackable or specific.  Walking three days a week is a goal you can track. Creating a measurable goal for a caregiver could be something as simple as having a caregiver clock in/out on-time over a week’s time.

Attainable – If the goal isn’t attainable it is human nature to give up quickly. Avoid aiming too high or too low. Think like Goldilocks and find the goal that feels just right. If someone is constantly clocking out late, having a goal like no late clock outs might be your final goal but starting with no late clock outs this week may be more attainable.

Realistic – Choosing a realistic goal that a person can meet will reinforce their efforts and keep them moving forward toward the goal. For example, losing 10 pounds a week sounds great, but it’s an impossible goal that will likely leave you discouraged – and more likely to give up on their efforts. Just like the weight goal above a goal for your home care team needs to be realistic.  Simply saying no missed shifts isn’t truly realistic because things happen but saying no missed shifts without communicating with the scheduling team in advance is a realist expectation. For the business as a whole, it could be something like reducing missed shifts by 20% is realistic and achievable.

Trackable – Choosing specific, measurable goals means you can track their progress over time. Write your efforts down on a goal sheet so progress can be tracked. Ensuring you have a home care automation system in place for your agency will help support SMART goals.  A system that helps you track staff activity automatically records to HR files and logs individual goals is an important tool to help you improve and achieve goals that you set.

As you can see to achieve your goals you need to set goals that are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Trackable.

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