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40+ Reasons Caregivers Leave and the High Cost of Caregiver Turnover
Tuesday, July 26, 2016 - 14:41

This is a frog in the boiling pot story.

Is your home care agency like the frog?

Home Care agency Frog in a pot

If you don’t know the frog in the pot story, here it is: 

If you put a frog in a pot of hot water, it will jump out immediately.  

But if you put a frog in a pot with room temperature water and turn up the pot to a slow boil,  

the frog will not notice and get cooked. 

This famous story is a great metaphor for what happens to a Home Care Agency that does not notice the dollar hemorrhage that occurs when their caregiver turnover is high. Here is the breakdown using a comparison of two different fictitious agencies. 

Caregiver turnover cost comparison

***Based on annual revenue produced by caregiver. Average days to fill position. Ramp up time. Recruitment and training costs. 

In the table above we see that A+ Home Care agency is making an active effort to disqualify employees before the hire. By decreasing the number of unqualified employees their caregiver turnover costs are  significantly lower than B- Home Care agency. In other words, choosy people with great pre-hire processes have a low turnover rate. 

Here are many reasons that caregivers leave your employment. Many these reasons could be discovered before the hire, saving you thousands and thousands of dollars. 

Company policies:
  • No benefits.
    • Vacation time
    • Sick Pay
    • Health insurance
  • Paycheck issues
    • Not payed on time
    • Paychecks are wrong often enough so that the caregiver is forced to go over their paycheck with a fine toothed comb to ensure accuracy.
    • Trust is compromised because of this problem
  • Perceived unfair practices
    • Pay is too low
    • Shift are offered outside availability,
      • Offered shifts then show up as refused shifts when they shouldn’t have been offered it in the first place
    • They don’t get to keep own phones
    • Mileage not reimbursed when they may be driving a lot to get from case to case.
    • Having to drive to work even in bad weather
    • Caregiver is working for a couples’ case work but paid at single case rate
Work Conditions
  • The client is a hoarder
  • Too far to drive
  • In bad neighborhoods
  • Don't have clear directives for continuum of care
    • No notes from the previous caregiver
  • Inconsistent messages
    • Big differences between agency and client expectations
      • Caregiver caught in the middle
  • Poor scheduling practices, back to back appointment that are impossible to arrive  in a timely manner
Job security
  • not enough hours
  • not reliable hours- different every week
Personality issues
  • Direct supervisor:
    • Relationship is not good
    • Perceived as a mean person
    • They don’t have a relationship with them but would like one.
    • Do not feel empathy from managers and bosses
  • Scheduler
    • Caregiver perceives antagonistic behavior from scheduler
    • Client and caregiver match up for skills and service type but just can’t seem to get along
  • Relationship with peers
    • not getting along other caregivers
    • they have no opportunity to interact with other caregivers
Personal life changes
  • Moving out of work locality
  • Getting higher education
  • Decided that they just don’t like the work
  • Health issues
The caregiver’s working schedule
  • Conflicts with their life and home schedule
  • Training times occur outside the caregiver’s availability
  • Change in availability
Discharged by the Agency (Fired)
  • No show, no call to a client shift
  • Caught stealing
  • Not following care instructions
  • No or poor communications
  • Last minute notifications of availability
  • Lying about credentials
  • Client complaints
  • Not following agency policies
  • Too many refused shifts
  • Bad attitude
  • Took monetary tip from client (against agency policy)
  • Unprofessional conduct
  • Unreliable
  • Availability too restrictive
  • Leaving shift too early
  • Saying bad things about agency 

Don't be the frog in the pot.

Use the above examples for reference to tweak your communications and agency policies. This will start to move you in the right direction for recruiting and retaining the right caregivers. Then, having a great hiring process along with a reward and recognition program could really lower your caregiver turnover and grow a healthy and vibrant agency. 

Click on the icon to download a step by step infographic to get a good foothold on your hiring process. Start making a difference to your bottom line today.

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