For decades, your care home has provided superior support and quality of life services to the sick and elderly. Your staff work as a family unit, looking after one another as they did with their patients.
But a global pandemic combined with already strained funding issues brought a series of unwelcome challenges to the home care industry. Your staff are leaving their tenured jobs for higher-paying positions, your job openings remain unfilled, and your funding was decreased.
The care home industry, while strained, will recover. You, your team, and your patients are all resilient. Read on to discover five tips to increase staff retention at your care home to ease some of that anxiety.
1. Embrace flexibility and technology
Your caregivers already feel the pressure. They’re scheduled without any say with their time preference or working style. And they’re thinking about leaving for a better-paying job.
To help ease the stress, give your employees some freedom and flexibility. The most competitive care homes empower their workers to customise their schedules. Embrace technologies that take the manual fuss out of basic processes so your team can focus on providing quality care.
Make it mobile. Use an app-based scheduling tool so your team can manage their working lives from their personal device.
Empower staff. Enable staff to swap shifts with their colleagues, electronically and on the go. This will relieve them from the pressure of calling out if they’re sick or need to reschedule.
Invest in automation. Allow employees to submit timesheets automatically and go paperless. That way, you’ll ensure that timesheets are always received on time and your staff gets paid on time.
2. Attract the right people
The UK faces unique challenges with hiring from foreign countries. The UK’s post-Brexit system, effective since January 2021, would not have allowed a majority of non-British care workers to find a job. Instead of relying on agency support, look to hire full-time, domestic staff.
When open roles outnumber job-seeking applicants, business owners must step up to market themselves. Do you have cultural values and positive stories to share? Job seekers are attracted to their employers’ vision.
Display your values, history, and differentiators. Make sure that when candidates view your site, they know exactly who you are.
Build an internal network. Referrals can be a cheap way for you to build your qualified candidate pool. Offer bonuses when your employees refer new staff and you can save money on recruiting agencies.
Share the love you receive. If patients leave you a glowing testimonial, make it public by putting it on your website.
3. Invest in training and development
Your employees want to work for a care home where they feel they have a future. Consider offering training opportunities like seminars and workshops, or reimbursing employees for additional classes. Your caregivers are less likely to leave when they can see you investing in their career.
Here are a few other ideas to help you invest in the right professional development opportunities.
Provide your employees with an education stipend. Even a small amount towards continuing education can boost the morale and quality of your staff.
Reward learning. Once you provide opportunities for your staff to continue their learning and development, recognize carers to take steps to boost their learnings. And encourages others to participate as well.
Keep training records in a central location. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) requires that your employees’ training and learning be regularly reviewed, with staff supervised where appropriate. To make tracking easier, store all your training records in one place.
4. Show appreciation
Carers are passionate about providing quality care for their residents. From doling out the right medication to leading an art class to managing questions from families, your staff have a lot going on.
As managers and owners, are you showing appreciation for the work they do?
During the pandemic, people showed greater appreciation to essential workers everywhere. Retain your talent by showing them you care in a few meaningful ways.
Make it tangible. Whether you decide on a gift certificate or a donation to a charity, give your employee a unique gift to show your appreciation of their hard work.
Create an employee of the month program. Highlight employees who go above and beyond by showcasing their wins in a monthly meeting or newsletter.
Collect peer recognition and share it with your positive feedback. Your staff will love knowing that their team values their contributions.
5. Prioritise mental health
Create a culture where your staff can express their feelings, opinions, and frustrations. A healthy team culture allows people to speak their mind and encourages dialogue.
Health and safety, especially in a care home environment, need to go the extra mile. Make sure that employees are taking time off to reset. By paying attention to mental health as a factor for wellness, you can ensure that your employees are compelled to stick around.
See something, say something. If you notice that one of your staff is feeling down, pull them aside and check-in.
Embed your mission. Assess your policies to ensure that they are adequately supporting your employees. Are there open-door policies and open channels for upward feedback?
Encourage work-life balance. Beating the pandemic, or any anxious period for a company is a team effort.
Fill the staffing gap
The coming months will be critical for the care home industries. Cutting costs, providing superb service, and impressing the regulator. All with minimal investment in money and time. It seems impossible — something has to give. Download Taking Care of Business: Tackling the Trends Driving Up Care Home Costs to learn more ways you can get ahead.