We recently had the opportunity to attend an industry conference where many great topics were covered but one session really stood out to us. The session provided information on some really great tips and ideas for improving your caregiver and employee management practices. In the current environment where caregiver shortages and high turnover are an issue for so many agencies, we thought these ideas were definitely worth a look.
Caregiver Availability Rating System
To help improve caregiver availability at your agency, create and utilize a Caregiver Availability Rating System that could be used as part of a rewards system with your caregiver staff. Establish a simple rating system that could be as easy as a 1 through 5 rating – with 1 designating that no shifts had been accepted within a given time period and 5 designating that a large number of shifts had been accepted.
Caregiver Mentor Program
A program like this can benefit all participants. For the mentee they’re given one-on-one attention that can help them to learn their jobs and best practices more quickly, they’re given the chance to really feel part of the team, and it can help to improve their loyalty to your agency. For the mentor, being recognized in this role can boost self-esteem and confidence in their own skills, it can help them feel more valued by your agency, and it can improve agency loyalty as well.
New Caregiver Career Track
For newer caregivers, creating a career track that helps them to see the possibilities for growth within your agency is a great way to increase motivation, improve loyalty, and reduce turnover. Laying out a path of goals to work towards could include new roles and milestones like becoming a new caregiver mentor or achieving certification as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant.
Never Lower Your Hiring Standards
Many agencies run into caregiver shortages at times and it’s frustrating when you have great clients but not enough manpower to cover all shifts. However, lowering your hiring standards to fill those shifts can often result in poor care, dissatisfied clients, and maybe even a loss of business. Want more information about tips for hiring great caregivers? See our blog post, “Using Marketing Techniques to Build Your Home Care Agency’s Caregiver Staff.”
Create a “One Team” Culture
Some agencies have an “us versus them” mentality between management and caregivers which creates an untrustworthy and derisive culture. Be intentional about creating a strong and positive agency culture and really use it throughout your organization to build trust, loyalty, and teamwork.
Empower Your Office Team to Perform
Encourage your team to do great work by tracking performance goals for each employee and then be sure to reward and recognize people when goals are met.
Be Intentional About Staying Connected with Employees
People to feel valued and many times it’s not more money that creates that feeling, it’s receiving recognition for their hard work and contribution. No gesture is too small – it can be as simple as a phone call, a card, or an office open house for employees.
Conducting one-on-one meetings with team members can help them feel valued by your agency and it’s also a great opportunity to get valuable feedback about things that are going well within the agency and things that may need improvement. You may learn personal or professional information that helps you to know your employees better and they get the feeling of being heard. Over time this can help improve employee loyalty and loyal employees can be great when it comes to spreading positive news about your agency. In staying connected with your caregivers, you may recognize the warning signs of “compassion fatigue.”.
Use a VOIP System to Record Calls; Always Answer the Phone and Follow-Up the Same Day
Having staff members record calls they make and receive is good for both accountability and tracking behavior, this includes any communications with your caregiver staff as well. You can be sure that your employees are reflecting your great culture on anyone they encounter on the phone.
We hope you’ve found at least a few of these tips to be useful and worth incorporating into your agency practices. If you’re interested in learning even more about caregiver management and best practices listen to this webinar we hosted with Stephen Tweed, CEO of Leading Home Care, and author of the book, “Conquering the Crisis: Proven Solutions for Caregiver Recruiting and Retention.”