In our “How to Succeed In Your First Year of Starting an Agency” article, a critical area for success is hiring quality caregivers/employees. Once you hire the right employee for your agency, it is important to retain them. Caregiver turnover is when an employee leaves the company and they need to be replaced. If your turnover is high, it takes time and money to on board and train a new caregiver, which can cause frustration among clients and loss of clients if they consistently have new caregivers coming into their homes. Here are a few suggestions that can help you reduce caregiver turnover.
Build Strong Relationships. Get to know your caregivers by asking about their experiences. Questions like what type of clients they feel comfortable working with, what motivates them to provide quality service, and what their skills/preferences are to best match a client with a caregiver. Congratulate them on important milestones like their birthday and work anniversary. Employee’s like to feel part of a team and a dedicated employee that you have a good relationship with is less likely to leave your agency.
Set Goals and Expectations. Every caregiver is unique and may have different job expectations and if they are unclear of what is expected out of them, they may not provide the quality of care your agency needs. Taking time to clearly communicate what hours they are willing or expected to work, the client locations they will be traveling to and from, and the amount they are getting paid for their services or any other requirements your agency expects will give them insight from the beginning as well as ongoing feedback will keep them on the right track. Meeting their expectations can also help them meet yours as an employer.
Show Your Appreciation. Employees, like to feel appreciated and to be recognized for the hard work they do. Most commonly, turnover is driven by not feeling valued by the company or supervisor. Show employees that their hard work does not go unnoticed by offering incentives for employee’s outstanding performance like for those who rarely or never call off, those who pick up extra shifts, or who bring in the most business referrals. You can even have an “Aide of the Month” recognition award. Remember to celebrate and engage field workers by having holiday work parties and appreciation events. Ensure employees are getting benefits like health insurance and retirement plans to retain them. Having an engaging workforce will boost company morale.
Compatibility. Ensuring your clients are matched with the proper caregivers will make it easier to meet the needs of both the caregiver and client. MEDsys has a scheduling feature that can assist schedulers by matching clients and caregivers attributes and preferences. For example, if a client speaks a different language and needs an aide who speaks the same language or if the aide is allergic to certain household pets and is unable to be assigned to a client with that pet. Using this featue will help you schedule by providing a good fit and this will help staff be happy. Happy employees help keep happy clients.