Ask any home care business owner right now about their biggest hurdles in reaching growth goals and you’re sure to hear one overarching theme: finding and retaining qualified caregivers. Many home care agencies have even been forced to turn away new clients due to staffing insufficiencies.
With so much competition for qualified workers, attracting caregiver candidates to your agency is likely to be a challenge. But equally important to hiring new caregivers is making sure your existing caregivers are motivated to stay. Of course competitive pay and benefits are important, however, there’s another key caregiver retention tool that you may not be utilizing to the fullest capacity: scheduling.
These tried-and-true tactics are a good place to start.
Make sure your schedulers truly value your caregiving staff.
Making sure your clients are receiving the exceptional care they need is, of course, a top priority. But equally important should be ensuring your caregivers receive the same level of attention. Each caregiver brings unique strengths and skills to the table and is an invaluable asset to your agency.
Establishing a culture within your agency that recognizes the needs of caregivers and the place of importance they occupy in your business is key to laying the groundwork for caregiver retention. Start by communicating this sentiment to your schedulers as these staff members are on the frontlines of caregiver communications. Ensuring that caregivers are treated with respect and consideration for their needs will go a long way in maintaining their job satisfaction.
For instance, if a caregiver is traveling a longer distance to a client, offer her longer shifts whenever possible. Listen to any scheduling concerns that arise with your caregiving team and the reasons behind them, and then honor their requests.
You might be surprised how many caregiver reviews mention feeling underappreciated. Caregivers who know they are truly valued and not just someone to fill a slot on the calendar will have the incentive to want to stay with your company.
Communicate with your caregivers.
Caregivers will certainly be contacted when there’s a problem, but are you communicating with them in other ways as well? Schedulers should get to know caregivers a bit more on a personal level – both for better caregiver matching and to improve caregiver retention.
For instance, if a caregiver has cared for her mother at home with dementia, bring up that experience with her. See if she would like to use that background to serve another person with dementia, or if that experience would be too difficult for her emotionally. Are there any skills a caregiver feels uncomfortable with, and if so, would she like some additional training? Are there any personal goals or interests the scheduler could bring up in conversation?
Connecting with each caregiver to better understand their scheduling needs can help increase their loyalty, flexibility, and job satisfaction.
Explore additions to your full-time caregiver team.
If you’re noticing a high caregiver turnover rate, you might want to look into additional staffing options to supplement your current team. Our industry partner, Home Care Pulse, suggests that these staffing options may help ensure more consistency for your caregivers while better meeting your clients’ needs as well:
- PRN caregivers: These caregivers work on an as-needed basis and can be very helpful in filling in scheduling gaps when needed. You’ll want to agree on the criteria for your PRN positions that work for both your agency and the caregivers, such as a certain number of hours per month.
- On-call caregivers: Pay a flat rate for a period of time during which a caregiver is committed to being available for a shift if needed. This works best for more seasoned caregivers or those with more training who would be able to fill in regardless of the client’s particular needs.
- Traveling caregivers: This type of position benefits a caregiver who wants to work shorter shifts and doesn’t mind driving between a number of different clients.
- Facility caregivers: If you don’t already have a partnership in place with your local assisted living facilities, this may be something to investigate. You would provide a caregiver to work in the facility with residents who wantprivate duty services in addition to the services they’re already receiving.
Fully utilize the features your home care scheduling system offers.
Using a robust caregiver scheduling system can streamline the scheduling process for everyone involved. However, if your schedulers aren’t taking advantage of all your system has to offer, you may be missing opportunities to help improve caregiver job satisfaction and retention.
For example, Rosemark offers the following features and tools:
- Availability & Status: This is one of the most important features Rosemark offers for caregiver management and scheduling. This feature allows schedulers to easily see which caregivers are available and the best fit for a given shift and helps your team to avoid mistakes.
- Shift Offers via the Rosemark Caregiver Mobile App: Rosemark’s mobile app allows schedulers to quickly send shift offers to individuals or groups as needed. Caregivers can then easily accept or deny those offers right from the app based on their preferences.
- Skills Matching: It’s called the Skills Matching tool, but this Rosemark feature does much more. This tool is hugely helpful in ensuring that schedulers are able to easily match caregivers and clients based on the unique skills, qualifications, characteristics and preferences each possess. It allows for truly compatible matches and greatly enhances satisfaction for both parties.
- Exclusions: This feature allows schedulers to customize client and caregiver profiles to exclude specific client-caregiver matches if requested by one of the parties.
- Rosemark Mapping: Have a new client in a particular area and want to see if any of your caregivers live nearby to minimize drive time? Utilize Rosemark Mapping to show current caregiver locations and make a match.
Learn More About Rosemark
Rosemark’s customizable home care management software improves the ease and efficiency of scheduling, reporting, communication, compliance, and much more.