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10 Simple Solutions to Optimize the Caregiver Experience and Reduce Caregiver Turnover

Published on February 15, 2023 by Sharon Morrisette

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With the annual turnover rate for caregivers currently remaining at around 64%, recruiting and retaining caregivers will continue to be a top challenge for home care providers in 2023

High turnover rates can have serious consequences for your home care business – including both soft and hard costs – which are well documented in published industry benchmarks.

Not only do you have the hard costs associated with replacing each caregiver that leaves (averaging $2,600), but a loss of productivity, lower staff morale, damaged employer brand, and a potential drop in the quality of care services provided also impact your business. 

Preventable turnover is the key to your success in overcoming these challenges and staying ahead of the competition. Effective caregiver retention strategies remain critical in 2023, and the caregiver experience at your home care organization should factor heavily into this.

To get you off to a flying start, we’ve put together a list of ten simple solutions to optimize your caregiver experience – to guarantee your home care organization is the most engaging, motivating, inspiring and productive place to work in 2023. 

1. Update your onboarding and orientation processes for 2023

Your onboarding and orientation processes can make or break the caregiver experience. Home care providers must set the right tone for new caregivers joining their organization and give a great first impression of what it will be like working with them and their teams. 

With the largest percentage of caregiver turnover occurring within the first 90 days of employment, it’s vital that your onboarding and orientation processes are set up to effectively support new hires, acquaint them with your company culture, build connection, and help ease the transition into their new role.

Over 85% of organizations across industries are reported to have poor onboarding processes. By reviewing and updating your procedures for 2023, you can instantly improve the caregiver experience from day one, push your home care business way ahead of the pack, and increase your success in attracting and retaining top talent.

2. Create and promote a positive company culture

Promoting a culture of care at work - Smartcare Software

Your company’s culture is defined by a wide range of factors, including attitudes, values, beliefs, behaviors, habits, and office systems. Together, these factors create the ‘personality’ of your home care business and will directly influence the caregiver experience.

By investing time and resources into creating and promoting a positive company culture, you’ll quickly see improvements across multiple areas of your home care business. In addition, you can secure long-term success by adapting your culture as the home care landscape evolves.

Whether you’re just starting out or looking to grow your existing home care business, you must pay attention to your company culture. While it can take time to perfect, getting it right is key to optimizing the caregiver experience – and increasing engagement, satisfaction, and retention for all employees. 

3. Deliver excellent communication

Consistent, two-way communication is essential for building ongoing personal relationships with your caregivers, developing trust, fostering a sense of community, and ensuring a positive caregiver experience from day one. 

With caregivers mainly working remotely, it’s vital that home care providers can deliver robust and direct communication between them, office staff, management, and clients/patients and their families. The human connection in home care is paramount and needs to be embraced and supported.

Depending on your setup, there are many ways to ensure you’re communicating well, including through texts, emails, monthly meetings, weekly check-in calls, automated texts, and more. 

Since the pandemic, more tech tools are available than ever to support your communication efforts. Investing in the right communication tools can be highly beneficial. It will offer a conversation platform and help you automate many of your communications while still maintaining that all-important personal touch.

4. Regularly ask for (and act on) feedback

Identifying all client touch points with your home care agency - Smartcare Software

Part of creating a positive caregiver experience is to encourage a culture of open communication and honest feedback. It’s important to listen, demonstrate flexibility and adapt to the ever-changing needs of your caregivers. By doing so, they will feel valued, respected, and connected – all ideal for supporting your retention efforts. 

Your caregivers should feel that their feedback is welcomed and will be taken seriously, that you care about them, and about cultivating a work environment that embraces transparency, quality, and continuous improvement.

You can capture employee feedback in many ways, including surveys, questionnaires, regular appraisals/performance reviews, polls, in-app feedback, and performance management tools. ‘Stay interviews’ are also becoming popular and should be carried out every six months for maximum effect.

The benefits for your business make gathering feedback well worth the effort, as you can leverage all the data you collect to continually improve your caregiver experience, elevate your home care services, and enhance overall business performance.

5. Offer continuous training and development programs for career growth

Top-quality caregivers want to work for a home care provider that offers them a long-term future, with opportunities for personal and professional growth. Access to training and development programs was a significant factor driving caregiver recruitment and retention throughout 2022 – and continues to be so in 2023.

By offering a comprehensive training program that provides both online and hands-on training – and accommodates different schedules and learning styles – you will instantly improve your caregiver experience, as well as engagement and retention. 

Training programs come in all shapes and sizes, so think creatively about developing a high-quality program that will offer maximum impact. Remember, you can utilize many assets you already have, for example, through caregiver mentoring programs, upskilling and reskilling, and coaching.

Whether you’re reviewing your current training programs to find ways to expand on their strengths or starting to build a training and development program from scratch, we hope the top tips in our recent blog will help steer you in the right direction: Investing in Training and Development to Improve Caregiver Retention.

6. Simplify organizational processes – utilize the power of technology

scheduler image at work

Many of the tips we’ve listed here can be challenging to implement without the right tools – tools that will support your caregivers, streamline communications, simplify productivity, and promote a positive employee experience.

Routine day-to-day tasks like scheduling, filing reports, time tracking, and so on can be extremely time-consuming and greatly reduce your caregivers’ job satisfaction. They would far rather spend that time on aspects of their job that they really enjoy, like engaging with their clients/patients, training, upskilling, and team building.

Having the right technology tools – specifically designed for home care – means you can easily automate many of these routine admin tasks, simplify care management to increase workflow efficiencies, and optimize the caregiver experience.

7. Regularly show your appreciation and gratitude – and celebrate achievements

Lack of appreciation is one of the main reasons that employees leave an organization. It is not a good caregiver experience if they repeatedly put in their very best efforts and your business fails to notice or acknowledge this.

Promoting a culture of recognition is an excellent way to improve your caregiver experience, boost engagement and ensure everyone feels valued and motivated to succeed. 

From a simple ‘thank you’ to incentive programs, gamification tools, and personal rewards – these can all make a significant difference. Recognition is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so take the time to determine what motivates each of your caregivers and what is meaningful to them, and begin to build on that.

It is worth noting that employees’ wants and needs around recognition and rewards are changing. For example, a recent Gallup study revealed that younger employees desire more frequent recognition than older employees and are more committed when they feel valued for their unique and individual contribution. This is another good reason to try to customize your recognition and reward approaches to guarantee maximum results.

8. Promote diversity and inclusion (D&I)

Team work - Smartcare Software

While most home care providers have good intentions around D&I and understand that it’s a major value driver – 50% reduction in turnover risk; 75% decrease in sick days; 56% increase in job performance – many still struggle to deliver strategic, clear and sustainable actions to unlock its full potential.

To enhance diversity, nurture inclusion, and create a culture of belonging – which all significantly improve the caregiver experience – requires home care leaders to be committed to developing and implementing the right strategies – strategies that focus on talent attraction, development, and retention.

9. Offer the right perks and benefits 

Most home care companies understand that offering basic benefits like paid vacation time and health insurance is no longer enough in today’s job market. You have to go above and beyond if you want to provide your caregivers with an outstanding experience in the workplace.

Offering a market-driven salary is an essential starting point, so thoroughly research competitive wages in the home care industry to make sure you’re keeping up. Giving your caregivers access to on-demand pay/early paycheck access, through a home care platform that integrates with programs such as Tapcheck, is also a big benefit in hiring and retention.

With salary and paycheck access in place, start looking for other meaningful, innovative benefits that you can add that will attract new caregivers and keep your current caregivers happy and motivated.

10. Prioritize your caregivers’ mental and physical well-being 

Helping others

Caregiver well-being needs to include mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Supporting your caregivers in having a healthy work-life balance not only enhances the caregiver experience but also ensures they are more engaged, attentive, and productive when at work.

Consider putting in place a wellness program, which could include paid parental leave, paid vacation, child care support, health insurance, discounts for local gyms/health clinics/spas, access to a counselor, and so on. 

Flexible scheduling that’s more adaptable to your caregivers’ personal circumstances can also play a significant role in their overall well-being.

Try carrying out regular surveys to understand what your caregivers need in order to avoid chronic stress and prevent burnout.

Also, be sure to promote open communication so that any caregivers who are struggling know they can reach out and receive the support they need – rather than reaching breaking point and resigning.

What are the benefits of investing in the caregiver experience?

Home care providers who invest in their caregiver experience report significant improvements in engagement and productivity, reduced turnover, and up to four times more profit.

In addition, almost 40% report that client/patient and family satisfaction increased as a result of more engaged, motivated caregivers.

If your goals this year include improving your talent acquisition efforts and increasing caregiver retention rates, guaranteeing a positive caregiver experience could be one of the most valuable investments your home care business will make in 2023.

To learn more about Smartcare Software tools that will support your efforts to improve the caregiver experience and reduce turnover, 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.