Only about 33% of new employees are fully engaged in their role. With caregiver retention at a low, increasing engagement may be the secret to retaining caregivers. The following are eleven tips to retain your most talented caregivers.
1. Have effective and efficient onboarding
Doing so will build a foundation for your caregivers and will influence the other tips in this article. Having a poor onboarding process will set the stage for how your caregiver performs. To learn how to develop an effective onboarding process, click here.
2. Make caregivers feel like an asset to your company
Employees are more productive when they become an asset to the company. Same is true for caregivers. You can encourage this in a few ways, such as asking for their input regarding company rules and changes. Creating an environment for goal setting will also engage your caregivers as they will become more productive to accomplish their goals. Click here to learn how to help your caregivers achieve their goals.
3. Have strong company vision
Developing and communicating a clear company mission will make your caregivers feel more committed to the agency by creating a sense of purpose. Caregivers should know that their work contributes to the mission and thus, they will feel responsible for doing so.
4. Set clear expectations
It’s important that caregivers know exactly what their job will entail. You can make these expectations clear by having detailed job descriptions and communicating changes to said expectations, if any. Caregivers want to please their clients, but they need to know exactly what it is they need to do so.
5. Build an open and honest environment
Ask for and actively listen to caregiver feedback. It’s best to conduct this through a formal, face-to-face meeting with caregivers. In this regard, be open to suggestions and constructive criticism. Make receiving feedback one of your priorities - always be available when a caregiver wishes to communicate setbacks. Caregivers will then feel valued and motivated.
6. Provide learning and career opportunities
According to a survey of 765 caregivers, 52% of the respondents said that they were considering furthering their education in the future (click here for the full study). Therefore, it’s important to provide plenty of training and learning opportunities for your caregivers. Furthermore, you can give training opportunities outside of a caregiver’s annual (and initial) requirements. For instance, you can give training to a caregiver if their client has specific care needs. In addition, ask your caregivers what their career aspirations are and give them opportunities to reach them. Giving caregivers opportunities for growth will increase productivity.
7. Reward good work
Recognize when a caregiver has done well and reward them. For tips on rewarding caregivers, click here. Remember that recognition needs to be specific and genuine - employees will know when it’s not.
8. Provide constructive criticism
Even though rewarding caregivers is important, it’s also significant to give constructive criticism. Keep in mind that constructive criticism is very different from negative criticism. Negative criticism can greatly decrease motivation, even in the most productive caregivers. Be conscious of when and where constructive criticism is needed and how you communicate it. Face-to-face, one-on-one meetings with caregivers are great ways to provide feedback.
9. Consider building a caregiver program for recent college graduates
Shockingly, about 77% of students stay at their first job for less than one year. To combat this, some companies have built fellowships for students to provide immersion and learning opportunities. Consider creating a fellowship for your agency that allow interested graduates to work with different caregivers. You can also consider allowing the students to work with caregivers who all have different clients to learn more specific skills, such as Alzheimer’s or cancer care skills.
10. Foster employer advocates
If your agency is good at retaining its caregivers, you will consequently develop employer advocates that will refer your agency to others. Continue to foster these advocates by providing growth opportunities and communicating that their work is valued.
11. Cultivate brand recognition
To be competitive in recruiting and onboarding top talent, your agency must have brand recognition. To do this, make employee engagement and employer advocates top priorities.