The home care community is in a caregiver retention crisis. Last year the home care industry saw over 80% turnover levels across the nation, according to the article in Personal Home Care, Home Care Industry Turnover Reaches All-Time High of 82% published in May of 2019.
At Smartcare, our customers are seeing levels that are much lower than this industry average as the result of the focus on caregiver and client engagement that is embedded throughout our platform. While our customers are seeing strong loyalty of their care teams, we believe that the work is never done. There should be a continual improvement focus on caregiver retention for every agency and care provider.
Take These Steps to Improve Caregiver Engagement
One way to do that is by taking time every day to appreciate your caregivers and staff. It is the small and frequent gestures of appreciation by the agency’s management team and leaders that can make a difference. Things like giving a handwritten thank you note, special recognition and remembering your teams’ special days – birthdays, anniversaries, etc. go a long way to increase the loyalty of your care team. As a guide to help, we have put together ten ideas to help you better appreciate your care team and build loyalty.
1. Be Heard When Giving Thanks
Send an agency-wide email or note highlighting your care team for a job well done. This is easy if you have a home care platform that has instant messaging, emailing and chat capabilities right from the system.
2. Write a Thank You Note
Handwritten notes have a huge impact, take the time to write a note when someone does something special. Make sure you are specific in your note about what they did well. We have seen people keep these notes for years.
3. Ask for Their Ideas
Your team wants to feel that they are part of the solution; appreciating them includes getting ideas, opinions, and feedback from your care team on how to make your business better. Build this into your agency culture, so your team feels they can contribute. Give your team choices and ask them what they think.
4. Let Your Team Give Compliments
Your staff and care team should also be part of this process and feel they can recognize colleagues that have made a great contribution. Let them cheer on others on the team for success; calling out positives becomes everyone’s support.
5. Build Friendships
It’s well known through research that people don’t leave for money, they leave because they don’t have strong friendships and attachments to others. Create opportunities for your team to build those friendships. Bring them together for meetings, host social events and create opportunities for friendships to form.
6. Random Calls
Your care team and caregivers are remote. Think of them as islands to your business that you need to connect with. One of the best ways to do this is by making spontaneous calls to them without a reason or request. Simply calling to ask how they are doing and then listening to them will build appreciation.
7. Remember Their Special Days
It seems simple enough, keep your team members’ special days on your calendar and reach out. Days like birthdays, anniversaries, child and grandchild birthdays, or other events that are special to that caregiver or staff. Call them with shout-outs to the company wishing them a happy birthday.
8. Extra Time Off
On their birthday, reward them with an extra day off for their birthday or whenever they want to use that day as special recognition.
9. Highlight Success
Do short writeups of a caregiver that did something special, something that made a difference for a client. Share it with the team, they will not only learn from the story but you will show publicly your appreciation for the highlighted caregiver.
10. Use Social Media
Social media and your website can be a great way to recognize and reward your staff. Post a photo of your caregiver or staff and show your appreciation for them, talking about their achievements like years with our agency, length of time caring for one client, and special things they have done. This not only builds an appreciation of your team but also shows your current and future customers that you are more than a business; you value the human connection.
Our caregivers and staff are our most valuable resource in the company. Make sure you are doing something every day to appreciate them.