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Top tips for attracting and retaining caregivers in the Great Resignation

Published on October 29, 2021 by Sharon Morrisette

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In the aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdowns came the so-called ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021. An unprecedented number of workers quit their jobs having had their outlooks and expectations changed by the pandemic.

With mass redundancies or employees being fired and then rehired for much less, the pandemic made it clearer than ever that, on the whole, there is very little loyalty shown by companies towards their employees.

Many observers say that the Great Resignation began back in 2019 but that many factors that were exacerbated by the pandemic (primarily wage stagnation) produced the results that we are seeing now.

Incentives in the War for Talent

Attracting and retaining top talent has always been a complex issue. However, now more so than ever, there is pressure on companies to adapt.

Clearly, salaries are crucial. However, in a bid to retain workers, many companies are now offering additional financial benefits such as:

  • longer paid vacations
  • more paid sick time
  • extensive medical, dental and optical coverage
  • employer-sponsored retirement plans
  • life insurance

Invest in your staff, one way or another

If you’re a smaller firm and you can’t provide big financial incentives, it is important that you nurture and invest in your staff in other ways. Continuous training, recognition using a program like Smartcare’s Caregiver Rewards, good communication, and support all contribute significantly to caregiver satisfaction.

Investing in your caregivers’ futures, by providing them with more than just the minimum mandated training, shows them that they are valuable to you and you see them as a valuable asset not only for now but also for the future.

This, along with publicly recognizing and rewarding good work, significantly decreases staff turnover.

Good communication is also key. Poor communication is the number one complaint of caregivers who leave an agency. Check-in on your caregivers on a regular basis and consider issuing surveys to see what can be done to improve the caregiver experience.

Be a flexible employer

Employer flexibility

We know that in the post-pandemic world remote or hybrid work opportunities are in high demand as the workplace as a whole becomes much more fluid and flexible environment.

In the care sector, this is not a viable option. What can be done, though, in order to fight off competition from other sectors, is to be adaptable and understanding to caregivers’ personal circumstances.

Using technology like the Smartcare software is a great way to maximize communication within your agency.

Consistently good communication

Good communication

Good communication must be consistent, starting during the recruitment stage. It’s important first to understand your agency’s needs when recruiting and then to communicate that effectively to candidates to avoid incompatibility later down the line.

Let them know exactly about the shifts that need covering and listen to candidates’ availability and scheduling concerns. It’s important to understand what’s happening in their lives outside work, too. For example, do they have kids to look after? Does their availability change during the holidays?

When all is said and done, any agency that carefully vets its candidates during the hiring process has a higher chance of retaining those caregivers because their expectations are much more likely to be aligned.

Luckily there are tools to help with this. Smartcare provides an intelligent caregiver application tracking system, with employment screening, to support and simplify recruitment and hiring processes.

The importance of scheduling


However, it shouldn’t stop at recruitment. It’s important to consistently evaluate your caregivers’ evolving scheduling needs to ensure that they remain happy and committed.

Every care agency must cater for diverse needs – both of the clients and of caregivers. This is where powerful scheduling software can help you.

Smartcare’s unique dynamic scheduling dashboard removes the need to juggle complex software or spreadsheets to cover shifts.

With Smartcare’s scheduling tools, you not only save costs but also save time managing shifts but also communicate with your caregivers, and ensure that their work preferences are aligned with clients’ specific needs.