Coupled with global issues like COVID-19, one of the biggest challenges home care agencies face is caregiver retention. Caregiver Retention remains a top priority especially during and after a pandemic that has shaken healthcare workers to their core.
Homecare in the United States is growing and so is the rising demand for employment in this sector. With rising demands and existing shortages, there would be 7.8 million vacant positions by 2026 according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In order to deal with such shortcomings, all homecare agencies should invest in caregiver retention strategies. This is an ongoing struggle as most people working in the homecare sector are not in it for the long run. According to one study, 65% of caregivers are always on the lookout for better positions.
So, what do homecare agencies do to make sure caregivers are engaged and that they don’t leave?
Here are five things successful Homecare agencies do, in order to retain caregivers and enable greater productivity.
Putting Communication First
- A strong communication system has the power to satisfy both client and caregiver needs. Caregivers more often than not express dissatisfaction over lack of communication from their agency. Burnout is more common among caregivers who might quit and not speak of their problems with anyone. Health caregivers are twice as satisfied and willing to share their problems, when their agency has clear pathways or channels for communication.
- With a cloud-based storage system and HIPAA compliant chat, Hucu.ai makes communication that much easier among caregivers.
- The technology Hucu.ai offers is unparalleled as it streamlines communication in the form of secure, organized channels.
- HomeCare teams love Hucu.ai because it saves them time, which makes caregivers happier and more willing to be productive in their respective fields. With Hucu.ai’s mobile app, there are channels where caregivers can discuss patient or staff related issues and so there is an avenue where they can talk even if they are struggling with their own health. Hucu.ai’s secure messaging system builds on team feelings of trust, where they can securely share documents or other information with each other.
- The biggest impact of implementing Hucu.ai is a significant decrease in employee turnover rate! As much as 44% lower than the industry average.
- Feedback from your team of caregivers must actively be taken into account by homecare agencies. In case of a poor response to employee concerns, they will feel that their feedback holds no value for their employer and this might push them to seek alternative job opportunities. A culture where employee feedback is actively listened to will improve caregiver retention, as more employees will feel heard and appreciated.
- Hucu.ai builds on both employee productivity and satisfaction in the healthcare industry.
Opportunities For Career Advancement
- One strategy that homecare agencies adopt in order to retain employees is to offer them the opportunity to grow and excel in their careers. Agencies should prioritize their employees’ career ambitions during annual reviews. A positive career trajectory will encourage your employees to put in their best efforts and perhaps most importantly, continue working with your agency rather than seeking a job elsewhere. Equally important is providing your staff with the opportunity to build on their existing skill set. Giving them the support and training they need will not only help them but will encourage them to stay.
- Employees will be happier and more likely to stay, if their agency actively invests in their professional development. Healthcare agencies investing in quality training/education programs serve their caregivers a reminder of how important their professional growth is for them. Hence, training programs among caregivers serve as a key component in any caregiver retention program.
- Likewise, any effort by agencies towards retaining caregivers is incomplete if they do not appreciate or reward the efforts caregivers put in each day. 65% of employees are likely to seek work someplace if they remain under-appreciated. Appreciating and rewarding caregivers is also important and might serve as the deciding factor for them to continue working for you versus leaving the organization. Homecare agencies that offer various benefits are more likely to have caregivers that prefer working long-term for them. These benefits include flexibility in one’s pay structure, schedules, paid sick leaves, onsite daycare for caregivers’ children, health insurance plans, mobile-friendly software systems that facilitate caregivers in their jobs, like Hucu.ai’s mobile app.
Building A Positive Client-Caregiver Relationship
- Caregiver retention is especially supported by positive relationships between caregivers and the clients. There will be greater job dissatisfaction among caregivers if there is continuous negativity in their dealings with clients. Some caregivers would rather leave the agency than surround themselves with such negative interactions. The agency plays a key part in setting up a positive dynamic at the outset and training staff to foster positive interactions and deflect negative ones.
- Effective caregiver retention strategies put caregivers first and protect them. They are more invested in limiting stress among their caregivers. Leading homecare agencies even part ways with major clients that behaved unprofessionally with their staff members. Agencies that stand with their teams of caregivers communicate to them that there is someone who stands up for them. This will help with caregiver retention, as employees will become more invested in their agency.
A Positive Work Environment Makes A Difference
- A positive work environment helps homecare agencies in retaining home care providers. One LinkedIn study from 2018 found that employee commitment to a company was correlated with a healthy work-life balance. What makes that balance possible is agencies permitting home health workers to work with more flexible schedules that take into account personal commitments.
- Employees value being part of organizations that positively impact society. Agencies can remind caregivers that their day to day efforts are making a difference in the lives of so many people. Their hard work and constant services matter, as they are the ones who provide it to the ones who need it most.
- Employees have a higher chance of staying at a homecare agency where they are engaged and valued. Leaders and the management have a part to play in making this possible. Researchers from LinkedIn note,
“Professionals today prioritize a sense of belonging, supportive leadership and social impact in their day-to-day work lives.”
Leaders Have A Role To Play
- If done the right way, leaders and managers can make their employees work longer for them than they had initially anticipated. The wrong leader or manager equally holds the power to drive away his or her employees.
- If you are looking for a long-lasting collaborative work relationship, then homecare agencies must hire caregivers with a longer term mindset. Leaders must connect with and invest in their employees from the start of their working relationship. This could be over their personal or professional ambitions. What matters is the connection between them and their employees. Regular meetings with them also build on the relationship between employers and their employees.
- Every caregiver enjoys the feeling that their efforts are changing lives, and healthcare leaders can help nurture that feeling among the entire team. Leaders who support their team of caregivers are more likely to have them around for a longer time period!