4 ways building relationships can increase caregiver recruitment and retention
While caregiver turnover in home care is at an all-time high, the demand for home care services continues to grow. Paired with the fact that caregivers continue to face the stressful consequences of the public health emergency—along with the abundance of alternative local sources of employment opportunities—it’s no surprise that home health and private duty providers are struggling to increase caregiver recruitment and retention.
With caregiver retention being one of the largest issues faced by the home care industry, agency owners need something they can do right now to stimulate recruitment success and long-term retention. One option is to invest in your caregiver relationships. In the wake of a pandemic that forced caregivers to work remotely, many feel isolated and disconnected from office staff. Here, we discuss four ways to invest in these relationships, and how better connections between staff can lead to higher retention.
1. Invest in your office staff.
Did you know that for every office staff person who leaves, an average of five caregivers also leave? (Home Care Pulse, 2020) Caregivers are likely to follow office staff to other agencies, and it’s no surprise. Office staff know caregivers’ work preferences, skill sets, families—it’s a personal relationship because office staff schedule caregivers’ work hours, which consume a big portion of their lives. If a caregiver has a child in sports or must be home by 4:00 for dinner, office staff will know about it. Too often, agencies are focused on caregivers when they also need to be aware of the important relationships built with office staff. For this reason, investing in office staff is crucial to retaining caregivers. Make sure office staff feel valued, and tie their incentives to caregivers. Fostering this relationship and strengthening communication between both roles can lead to positive outcomes both in the office and in the field.
2. Invest in communication platforms.
Due to COVID-19, agencies that once rejected technology have been forced to embrace it. From mobile apps to video chats, communication technologies have helped our industry work remotely. And it’s been a serious advantage for caregivers—most of whom want more personal communication. By adopting platforms they use in their daily lives, such as texting or social media, you get more caregiver buy-in and satisfaction.
3. Invest in growth opportunities.
While most would assume that compensation is a determining factor for whether caregivers stay with an agency, satisfaction surveys show that one of the most important factors is growth opportunities. This could be as simple as promoting them to a new title, giving them an extra responsibility, allowing them to mentor new caregivers, or making them a part of training program design. Small opportunities empower caregivers and make them feel like you are helping them advance in their careers. The result can be more loyal staff who want to stay and grow in your agency.
4. Invest in recognition opportunities.
In a caregiver satisfaction survey, many mentioned that while they are privately given bonuses by their supervisors, they prefer to be recognized by their peers. Whether it’s a bonus or a shoutout for a new referral source, caregivers want to be acknowledged publicly for their role in your agency’s success. Share company successes with your caregivers, and share the recognition with the entire company.
Conducting an ongoing recognition program can allow all of your caregivers to participate. But no matter how you approach recognition within your agency, giving your caregivers the credit they deserve for your success empowers them in their roles and fosters loyalty among your staff.
As the home care industry continues to face caregiver retention issues in the wake of a pandemic, investing in caregiver relationships can help your agency achieve recruitment success and long-term retention.