Caregiver job satisfaction is critical to the long-term success of your home care business.
Home care providers with happy employees not only benefit from a positive employer brand, higher productivity, and significantly reduced turnover but also see an increase in referrals, a boost in client/patient satisfaction, and up to four times more profit.
Ensuring your talented caregiver teams are fully engaged and have high job satisfaction means delivering an exceptional caregiver experience. This should include an inspiring onboarding process, excellent communication, continuous training and development opportunities, competitive wages, and an effective employee recognition program.
The big question is, as you implement solutions – or refine existing strategies – to improve the caregiver experience and raise caregiver satisfaction levels, how can you effectively measure the results of your efforts? Where do you even begin?
In this article, we look at six proven methods to help you excel at measuring and monitoring your caregivers’ engagement and satisfaction to ensure your strategies are working and guarantee your continued success.
1. Regularly survey employees
A well-thought-out survey can provide you with a comprehensive review of how your caregivers view your organization, what you’re doing well as an employer, and where improvements could be made. Depending on your survey goals, you’ll need to carefully consider the topics, timing, length, and format to yield actionable results.
For example, if you want an in-depth view of a range of work-related issues, you should use a detailed survey every 6–12 months. This could include a company culture survey, employee engagement survey, annual review survey, or 360-degree survey.
Other options include one-off surveys, like onboarding surveys (for new hires) and offboarding surveys (for employees leaving your business) – which can provide valuable insights into specific touch points with your company.
If you want to focus on an immediate problem, like communication or training options, it’s best to utilize a simple pulse survey to collect quick and actionable responses. These typically take just 5–10 minutes to complete and can be conducted as often as needed.
If you’re using the right home care software, like Smartcare, included satisfaction tracking tools make it easy to capture feedback from your caregivers – and clients – at the end of every shift with a quick two-question survey. Reviewing and utilizing this data on a regular basis will certainly improve your caregiver and client experience.
Asking questions through different types of surveys is a great way to allow your caregivers to express how they are feeling, and to tell you what’s working well for them and what they’d like to be different. By making your surveys anonymous, you can be sure to receive more honest and open feedback.
2. Offer more than one feedback channel
While surveys are arguably one of the best ways to gather the targeted information you need to measure your caregivers’ engagement, satisfaction, and performance, it’s also important to consider other approaches to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Using more than one way to measure satisfaction will make sure you capture a better-balanced representation of your team’s engagement and happiness at work.
For example, some caregivers will naturally prefer surveys or forums on your website, where they can take their time to think about their answers and write their thoughts down privately.
Others will favor sharing their thoughts verbally, in person, for example, during focus groups, one-to-one meetings, or team meetings.
Be sure to offer more than one feedback channel to accommodate all styles and preferences.
3. Set up a suggestion box
Sometimes, the old methods are the best! Consider setting up a suggestion box, whether it’s a physical box or a virtual one – the latter will obviously be best for your remote caregiver teams and can be easily set up on your website.
The benefit of this approach is that it allows your caregivers to give anonymous feedback as soon as it comes to mind (rather than waiting for you to ask for it via a survey or during a meeting) and on any topic they choose.
This is a great way to get a simple overview of employee issues that might not have been obvious to you, plus the amount of negative versus positive suggestions can help you gauge overall employee satisfaction.
Of course, it’s vital that you’re seen to review the suggestions regularly and take action on some of the ideas (giving credit/recognition where it’s due) to keep your caregivers engaged and incentivized to participate.
4. Look at your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Another way to find indicators of caregiver satisfaction, without asking your team directly through meetings or surveys, is to look at the quantitative data. For example, your KPIs may include missed shifts and caregiver turnover rates that can serve as valuable employee satisfaction metrics. Satisfied employees will make every effort to be on time, meet their schedule obligations, and won’t even consider leaving your agency.
Leveraging data insights is an excellent place to start identifying if you have a problem with caregiver engagement and satisfaction, and it can help direct your survey questions or meeting agendas to dig deeper to find solutions.
If you’re using the right home care software, like Smartcare, the KPI dashboard makes it easy to capture, view, and utilize these data insights – to help you make better business decisions and improve your caregiver experience.
5. Track the performance of your caregiver referral program
If you run a caregiver referral program, tracking the general metrics here can also reveal valuable details about the employee experience your company delivers.
Home care providers with high caregiver engagement and satisfaction will have high ratings and glowing reviews from current (and former) employees, see a high percentage of caregivers participating in their referral program and benefit from a good flow of new hires coming from this referral source.
Again, using the right software tools, like Smartcare’s Insights and Business Intelligence (BI), will make tracking these metrics far easier – with real-time KPIs to give you an accurate view of what’s working well and where improvements might be needed, without increasing your workload.
6. Establish standardized internal reporting processes
Whether running one or multiple channels for gathering feedback on caregiver satisfaction, you’ll need to set up a process to capture and collate all the information you receive to guarantee nothing gets lost or forgotten.
This is easier when carrying out surveys, but what happens when, for example, a caregiver suggests a way to improve scheduling (through the suggestion box), and another identifies an issue with the client-caregiver matching process (via a team meeting)? Where will these valuable insights be recorded, and who will be responsible for reviewing them?
It’s essential to decide and define how caregiver satisfaction feedback will be reported, ensure your teams know where, when, and how to submit it, and have a process in place to guarantee all feedback is received, reviewed, and actioned (as appropriate).
Four bonus tips for measuring and monitoring caregiver satisfaction:
1. Create a safe and inclusive company culture
Measuring satisfaction is a great way to keep your caregivers engaged and connected with your home care business. It sends a strong message that their employer cares about them and their happiness at work. However, it does rely heavily on one key factor: having employees who are willing to share their honest feedback with you!
Creating the right company culture – that actively encourages two-way, open communication and honest feedback – is, therefore, a critical part of being able to measure your caregivers’ engagement and satisfaction successfully. This is especially important with remote caregiver teams, who may otherwise feel somewhat disconnected.
2. Invest in the right home care software
Forward-thinking home care providers are investing in caregiver retention tools that include an option to receive real-time feedback from their caregivers, like Smartcare’s Caregiver Retention Toolset.
This not only provides tools to keep caregivers engaged, connected, and motivated but also offers 360-degree satisfaction tracking to monitor both client and caregiver satisfaction – giving regular insights into caregivers’ satisfaction levels at all touch points. These 360-degree insights allow you to more closely align your caregiver and client’s preferences within Smartcare’s automatic matching algorithms, increasing satisfaction on both ends.
3. Promote the ways in which your caregivers can provide feedback
Setting up caregiver feedback channels is all very well, but you must let your caregivers know about them!
There are multiple ways to regularly promote your feedback channel options to increase caregiver participation, including:
- Emails, phone calls, and texts
- Built-in social sharing
- A dedicated page on your website, for example, an employee forum
- Monthly one-to-one meetings with mentors or managers
- Annual performance reviews
- During the onboarding process
- Employee feedback software with automated prompts
4. Offer incentives in exchange for feedback
Not all of your caregivers will engage with your feedback channels, especially in the initial stages. Still, you need to acquire as much information as possible from multiple sources to gain a good understanding of the overall caregiver experience your company provides.
Where engagement is low, you can offer incentives that are of value to your caregivers, including gift cards, social gifting, or additional paid vacation time. If you run a caregiver rewards program, you can utilize this to encourage greater participation in completing surveys or engaging with other feedback channels you’ve set up.
When promoting your feedback channels and incentives, be sure to emphasize that this is a genuine effort from your business to listen to your caregivers to improve their lives at work.
Any home care provider’s long-term growth and success will be largely determined by how well they commit to caregiver engagement and satisfaction. This requires a good understanding of what drives caregiver satisfaction within your agency, along with a conscious, continuous effort from every team member.
Regularly asking for feedback shows your caregivers that you’re committed to them and their job satisfaction and allows you to leverage the data to continually enhance your company culture, increasing caregiver retention and business performance.
The data you collect will help you see precisely where you need to focus resources for maximum results to improve the caregiver experience you’re providing.
With a clear strategy for gathering and analyzing feedback and the right software in place, you can excel in caregiver satisfaction and retention, boost your agency’s overall reputation, and rise above your competitors to achieve business growth.