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Understanding Your Homecare Caregiver’s Motivation to Improve Their Retention

Published on February 25, 2020 by Scott Zielski

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Identify What Motivates Your Caregivers For Better Engagement

In our last blog (Understanding Your Homecare Caregivers Motivation to Improve Their Retention), we described four principal types of non-financial (intrinsic) motivators of your Caregivers and several ways to align Caregiver work assignments with the strongest motivators for them. 

We will now explore how you can identify which of the four motivators are strongest for each individual Caregiver. 

To recap, your Caregivers are most strongly intrinsically motivated in at least one of four ways:

  • Feeling a sense of purpose.
  • Seeking progress toward achievement.
  • Personal development through work.
  • Feeling empowered in their work.

To help optimize your Caregivers’ motivation and engagement you can take some simple steps to determine what is their strongest intrinsic motivation and align their work assignments accordingly. 

Assessing What Motivates Your Caregivers

When interviewing a Caregiver candidate or when a new Caregiver begins working for your team are good opportunities to assess their motivation.

This assessment can be done in a casual manner or in a more formal approach. The casual approach is to ask the Caregiver questions related to the items listed below to uncover their preferences and motivation. 

The more formal process would be to ask them to pick the top 3 items on the list below.  Either way works, just depends on what you prefer. 

Use Caregiver Preferences to Identify Intrinsic Motivators Of Your Caregivers

Here is a list of preferences that you can use to help assess your Caregivers intrinsic motivators.  Have the Caregiver identify which of these items is most important to them and why and you will be well on your way to identifying the best way for you to motivate that person. 

  • Work delegated to you (Caregiver) with a clear goal, but little direction on how to do the work. (Motivator: Feeling empowered in their work).
  • Meet with customers/clients to better understand how to help them (Motivator: sense of purpose).
  • Take a training class (Motivator: personal development through work).
  • Receive recognition for your service (Motivator: sense of progress toward achievement)

Some additional ideas to consider include: flexible work schedule, helping define work procedures, meeting milestones on a project, receive an award for a job well done, being mentored by a more senior person in the organization, receiving an assignment that will require professional growth to complete, and being assigned new responsibilities.

You can create your own list, use the items listed above or some combination, but be sure to keep the choices balanced by the number of each that fall within the four motivational areas, e.g. two examples of each of the four motivational profiles. 

The Key is Listening

Whether you use a formal approach or a casual approach, the key to learning your Caregivers’ strongest intrinsic motivation is to listen to what your Caregiver is saying when you discuss these items.  

To find out how SmartCare™ software and support can help you engage and motivate your team, please contact us at 1+ (800) 450-9104, email: hello@smartcaresoftware.com or visit us at our headquarters:312 S Barstow St Ste. 2, Eau Claire, WI 54701


Six Conversations: Collaborating with Your Staff to Improve Performance.  Steve King. Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional and Executive Development. https://www.uwcped.org/webinar-six-conversations-video