As we approach a brand new year, three of the biggest challenges facing leaders in the home care industry continue to be attracting, hiring, and retaining the best caregivers to provide premium care for their clients.
Regardless of what 2023 has in store for home care providers, you can get ahead of the competition and ensure you’re adequately staffed for your current clients while also preparing for future growth.
You can conquer the caregiver crisis if you find and implement the right strategies to keep your caregivers engaged, motivated, and loyal – to benefit not just your business’s bottom line but also your clients, families, and entire care team.
Here are our 10 top tips to ensure you begin 2023 fully staffed and stay that way for the foreseeable future:
1. Invest in caregiver training and development for success
Smart home care providers that invest in training to support caregivers’ career growth and personal development are shown to have significantly improved retention rates and generate more revenue.
If you still need to get a caregiver training program in place, 2023 is a great time to start.
When your caregivers see you investing in their growth and feel valued and supported by your business, they feel better about themselves, their work, and their employer. It’s a simple solution to increase caregiver engagement and motivation and reduce turnover.
Training programs don’t have to be high-cost to your business, as you can utilize many of the resources you already have available. For example:
- Caregiver mentorship programs
- Ongoing caregiver coaching
- Blended learning (online and in-person)
- Paid time for training (or other incentives for attending/completing courses).
The simple fact is that home care providers that build effective, high-quality training programs produce effective, high-quality caregivers – caregivers who are committed to their work and loyal to their employer.
2. Provide flexible scheduling
Scheduling issues continue to be one of the top reasons caregivers report for being unsatisfied with their current employer. From a lack of consistency, excessive travel time, inadequate hours, or limited flexibility – scheduling is a significant pain point.
If you don’t already have one in place, a user-friendly scheduling system is essential for home care providers looking to engage and retain their caregivers in 2023. The right technology will enable you to streamline your scheduling and caregiver planning process, automate caregiver notifications, post and manage open shifts, and much more.
Smartcare’s dynamic scheduling tools do all this, as well as allowing caregivers to access their tasks and schedules, accept shifts, find directions to clients’ homes, clock in/out, complete task recordings, and access company documents.
Simplifying your scheduling process and adding flexibility will keep your caregivers informed and connected and help your business to improve your caregiver experience, motivation, and retention in the year ahead.
3. Improve your caregiver-client matching
Many home care providers, particularly those experiencing staffing shortages, may not have the time or personnel to dedicate to a successful caregiver-client matching process, leaving it up to caregivers to establish the best relationship they can with clients and families allocated to them.
However, there are numerous ways you can support and accelerate better caregiver-client connections, to increase caregiver engagement, satisfaction, and retention – and see your home care business flourish and grow.
It’s in your home care business’s best interests to create, enhance, and maintain long-term relationships between clients, families, and caregivers. So it’s well worth investing in the right caregiver-client matching tools in 2023 to get it right.
4. Enhance communications
Caregivers continue to express their need for better communication with their current employer.
Caregivers can quickly become burnt out and quit without asking for help or speaking to anyone about their dissatisfaction.
To avoid this happening to your home care business in 2023, it’s essential to create an open, honest work environment – with clear communication channels – where your caregivers can share any problems well before they decide to leave.
It’s also crucial that your office staff is well trained in dealing with caregivers’ needs and communicating everything your caregivers require to do their jobs well. This doesn’t need to be hugely time-consuming if you have the right software in place, like Smartcare’s mobile app.
Smartcare can be accessed by your office staff and caregivers at any time and from anywhere and provides numerous ways for you and your office team to:
- streamline and organize all communication
- virtually check-in with caregivers
- communicate clearly with secure messaging and chat
- securely add and share reports, documents, and other information
- automate the caregiver notification process for daily scheduling and open shifts
- support effective collaboration.
A platform specifically designed for home care, like Smartcare software, ensures all communication with remote staff and caregivers is fast, fluid, and accessible to all – with HIPAA-compliant chat and messaging.
5. Make sure you’re offering an attractive benefits package
While offering a competitive salary is an important factor for caregivers, an attractive benefits package can go a long way to ensuring they remain with your company for the long haul.
This doesn’t have to be costly if you find out what motivates your caregiver team and look for innovative ways to meet their needs. For example:
- mentoring and coaching programs
- certification training
- flexible scheduling that meets their needs (see above)
- flexible pay structures, i.e., weekly pay (with instant transfers via smartphone)
- tools that help them perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively, like Smartcare’s mobile app
- employee recognition/incentive programs
- discounts from local businesses (movie theaters, hairdressers, restaurants, daycare centers, gas stations, etc.)
- free access to commonly-used supplies (from physical equipment to do their jobs effectively to healthy snacks).
6. Help them set and achieve SMART goals
The process of setting and achieving SMART goals is proven to support caregiver motivation, high performance, and job satisfaction. It not only enhances caregiver engagement and retention but also helps align them with the bigger purpose of your business.
The more involved your caregivers are in setting their own goals, the more motivated they’ll be to achieve them, particularly if you ensure they have the necessary tools and support for success – in addition to recognizing and celebrating milestones along the way.
Gamification tools, like Smartcare Software’s Caregiver Rewards System, are an excellent, cost-effective way to break goals down into smaller steps and keep track of daily progress. They also deliver automated feedback and rewards at crucial milestones to keep caregivers connected, motivated and engaged.
7. Utilize the best home care tools for delivering care
The arrival of a brand new year is a perfect opportunity for home care providers to review the tools they currently provide for their caregivers to do their jobs well – and to identify any shortfalls. Asking for direct feedback from caregivers is an excellent starting point.
Tools can include anything utilized during your caregivers’ day-to-day tasks to assist them in completing their duties, including medical devices, lifting equipment, client records, PPE, applications, etc. Make sure you’re ready for 2023 by taking an inventory and updating old equipment or adding new tools, so your caregivers have everything they need to succeed.
Top home care tools may also include access to a mobile point-of-care caregiver workflow platform that uses best-practice workflows. Complete home care platforms, like Smartcare’s mobile point-of-care solution, will ensure your caregivers are equipped to provide your clients with the highest level of care. In addition, they make delivering care easier, improve outcomes, and keep your caregivers fully engaged and satisfied.
8. Recognize and reward their contributions – celebrate success
Home care providers that are serious about retaining their top talent ensure that they constantly recognize their caregivers’ contributions and consistently reward success.
With over 65% of caregivers reporting that they’ll leave a home care employer if they feel underappreciated or that their hard work isn’t acknowledged, 2023 is the year to adopt a strategy that guarantees regular recognition and timely rewards to promote caregiver job satisfaction and inspire loyalty.
The key to successful caregiver recognition and reward is to think creatively and to be thoughtful – focusing on meaningful motivators and working towards them becoming an integral part of your company’s culture. For innovative and creative ways to reward your caregivers and staff in 2023, visit our recent blog for inspiration.
9. Introduce a caregiver incentive program
Disengagement has cropped up in many industries over the last few years, often stemming from poor management, chronic stress, or misalignment with company culture. Low morale and poor employee engagement lead to low productivity and high turnover rates, which are costly to your home care business.
It’s up to home care business leaders and their HR teams to boost morale and drive caregiver engagement. One winning way to do this is through incentivizing them.
85% of employees feel more motivated to succeed and do their best when an incentive is offered.
Setting up a simple caregiver incentive program for 2023 will help your home care business to beat the competition in attracting, engaging, and retaining more top talent. These programs can include:
- Recognition and rewards (see above)
- Referral programs
- Professional development (see above)
- Profit sharing
- Health and wellness initiatives – for physical and mental health
- Training/education reimbursement
- Bonuses, pay raises, enhanced benefits
- Additional/paid time off.
Once you’ve chosen incentives that match your caregiver team’s desires and personal styles – and align with your company values – be sure that everyone knows about them to encourage company-wide participation.
10. Promote a culture of care – from the top down
A person-centered, inclusive work environment is one in which everyone feels valued and respected. It generates a feeling of belonging and knowing that your employer cares about you – which actively stimulates engagement, motivation, positive contribution, and job satisfaction.
Promoting a culture of care throughout 2023 will positively impact all areas of your home care business, delivering a competitive advantage and increasing client/patient and caregiver retention. It will take some time to perfect, but the benefits will be well worth the effort required.
Making technology part of the solution
Smartcare’s complete home care platform gives you full access to home care’s most innovative and multifaceted approach to engaging and retaining your caregivers. It includes everything you need to simplify care management and build strong relationships with your caregivers to keep them connected, motivated, and loyal to your home care business throughout 2023.
If you’d like more information about any of the software solutions mentioned above, please contact us or request a free demo today. A member of our team will be happy to discuss ways in which we may be of benefit.