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Utilizing Effective Listening Skills to Improve Homecare Caregiver Retention

Published on March 6, 2020 by Scott Zielski

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In today’s highly competitive Homecare job market, it is important for you to get and keep great Homecare Caregivers. Using effective listening skills with all your team members and in particular your Homecare Caregivers is very important to their retention and engagement. 

Like an acrobat spinning many plates at one time, you have a myriad of things that you need to get accomplished each and every day to keep your Homecare Agency running smoothly. 

Taking time to really listen to your Homecare Caregivers can get lost as you try to keep up and avoid dropping any of those plates, but taking the time to listen to your team members can really improve your Homecare Caregiver Retention and Engagement.  

Why Don’t You Listen to Your Team?

There are lots of reasons that you use to justify dominating the conversation with your team, including the need to give direction, your greater level of experience, and you don’t have time to listen.  If you dominate the conversation you are sending messages to your Caregivers that you don’t value them and their opinions, it demotivates them – reducing their motivation and engagement, and makes them frustrated, which can lead to them leaving your Homecare agency.

Steps to Better Caregiver Retention and Engagement Through Better Listening

To better improve your Caregiver Retention and Engagement use the following steps to be a more effective listener – you may even learn something important too. 

  • Remember the old saying – you were given two ears and one mouth and use them in that proportion (or less, in the case of your mouth)
  • Being quiet is not the same as listening.  Be present with the Caregiver when they are speaking.  Face them and maintain eye contact.  Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by your i-Phone, watch, computer, etc. 
  • Keep an open mind – being judgmental of what the Caregiver is saying before they finish greatly reduces your effectiveness as a listener
  • Don’t interrupt the Caregiver when they are speaking.  Interrupting sends the message that you think you are more important than them, that you know more, don’t care and that you are in a competition to win and not in a conversation.
  • Give feedback to the Caregiver to show you are listening by asking clarifying questions (when the speaker pauses) and making verbal and non-verbal responses throughout the presentation, e.g. “hmm”, “uh huh” and nodding your head. 
  • Monitor how well you are doing.  Ask members of your team for feedback on how well you listen to them and others, including how much you listen versus speaking. 

Be The Manager That People Don’t Want to Leave

There is another old adage that states that people join companies and leave managers.  You don’t want to be the manager that people want to leave. If you practice these active listening skills and improve your listening effectiveness, you can instead be the manager that people don’t want to leave. 

So, start using these skills and improve your Homecare Caregiver Retention and Engagement.

Sources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2012/11/09/10-steps-to-effective-listening/#650062783891

A Butt-Kicking Project to Overcome the Drain of Talkative Leadership

To find out how Homecare Software and support from SmartCare™ software can help you increase Caregiver Retention and Engagement for 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