7 Tips for Increasing Caregiver Retention

by Amanda Yao | Sep 10, 2019

Kevin Smith, CEO of Best of Care, played a critical role in expanding Best of Care’s geographic reach. He oversaw Best of Care’s 2013 acquisition of Boston-based Independence Home Care and 2014 acquisition of Westwood-based Access Home Care. To serve clients and their families on the Cape, in...

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How to use Glassdoor to Improve Caregiver Retention

by CareAcademy | Aug 16, 2019 | caregiver | 0 Comments

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How to use Glassdoor to Improve Caregiver Retention

For better for worse, the internet and social media enables individuals of all backgrounds to easily share their experiences with products and services... and their employer. Twenty years ago, potential employees had to rely on word of mouth to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to work for any given employer.  Today, sites like Glassdoor.com give job seekers more insight than managers realize. Because of this, it’s now more critical than ever to keep tabs on what current and former employees are saying. Bad reviews on Glassdoor will hurt your recruiting efforts. So how do you prevent this situation from happening? Simple… learn from your competitors.

The “Recruiting and Retention” Secret Advantage

What’s the fastest way to keep caregivers happily employed at your agency?  Read your competitor's negative reviews. Glassdoor encourages caregivers to share both the pros and cons of their employer.  By shopping your competitors you can see what they’re doing right but also what you should not be doing.

TIP: Create a Glassdoor account, look at your local competitors, and see what caregivers are saying to identify “hot buttons”.  Implement policies and systems at your office to prevent caregiver frustration.

What Caregivers are Saying

3 examples from Glassdoor

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At XYZ Co my schedule is consistently changed every couple weeks because of the extremely high turnover. Most coworkers leave because management is hopelessly disorganized. On my days off I get messages and emails asking me to take shifts, so even in my downtime, I’m not left alone. If you're looking for a job with benefits then this isn't the one. I just wanted to work part-time, but I’ve been working full-time hours for months. If you don't suck up to management and take all their shifts you will be " punished" by missing out on incentives such as bonuses.

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What can we learn from this review?

  • Make sure there is clear communication with caregivers. In this example, the caregiver describes that most of their coworkers left their agency because management was disorganized and dysfunctional. Usually, this is due to a lack of communication - make sure that when you hire caregivers, you let them know what to expect. Train and onboard them properly, and don’t just hire them and leave them in the dark.
  • Respect caregivers and their downtime. Keep in mind that caregivers' jobs can be stressful, and they need their time off to decompress and take care of themselves too. 
  • Do not threaten or use scare tactics to pressure employees. In this example, the caregiver described how their management punished employees who do not pick up extra shifts. Keep in mind this caregiver only agreed to work part-time and they are now working full time. This lack of respect displayed by management can lead to high turnover rates. 

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It seemed like a great and caring company when I started. They said all the time that I would be able to set my own schedule and tell them the number of hours that I wanted/ would be able to work. After I got started, the home office would call me ALL the time to pick up more shifts and clients, even though I was well over the amount of hours I agreed to work. They would guilt trip me when I said no and would frequently call on my days off. It felt like I was on call all the time. I had requested to not work with hospice clients and all of my clients were hospice. 

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What can we learn from this review?

  • Be truthful to your employees. In this example, the caregiver described how they were excited to work for a company that was willing to accommodate their schedule. The fact that this agency did not adhere to what was agreed upon led to a lack of trust and frustration. If you know that you can’t keep a commitment, don’t lie about it in the hiring process; it will only result in turnover.
  • Listen to your employees. In this example, the caregiver made a request for the type of client they did not want to work with. Obviously, not all requests can be met, but do your best to accommodate employees and communicate clearly to them you will at least try and meet their needs in some capacity. If you are unable to, make sure you explain why, the efforts you’ve taken, and how you might be able to accommodate their needs the next time around.

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Not enough reimbursement for time and gas spent traveling to certain clients. Be prepared to have your phone go off ALL DAY LONG as they scramble to find fill-in shifts. Even though you can deny shifts, some of the schedulers will make you feel guilty about it. They do not give you enough background prior to assigning a shift which can put you in situations you were not prepared for. Their two-day training is not enough to educate people about dealing with certain conditions. They say they don't work with anyone violent, and yet I was paired with someone who other caregivers said was violent on multiple occasions.

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What can we learn from this review?

  • Consider your employees. Keep in mind your caregivers need to travel between clients and gas can be expensive. While on the job, they deserve to be reimbursed for their time traveling.  
  • Do not make your employees feel guilty. If an employee is unable to pick up a shift, do not make them feel guilty for it. They work hard to provide care to clients, are entitled to live their own lives as well.  
  • Make sure your employees are well trained and prepared.
  • In addition to training required for compliance, make sure you train caregivers on the skills they need to be successful. For example, if a caregiver is working with a patient with dementia, you should provide dementia-specific training. Offering an easy way to complete ongoing and client-specific needs training can help keep caregivers engaged and motivated to provide the best care possible.

Taking Action on Insights

Given these examples from Glassdoor.com, it’s clear that asking caregivers to pick up shifts too frequently and pressuring them to take shifts on the other side of town is one major concern caregivers have when working with their agencies. 

Owners and managers can implement simple “rules” around this process for their office staff such as:

  • Respect Caregivers Time Off: Only call caregivers while they are on shift. Don’t interrupt their family time. Make sure your clients understand it’s normal for caregivers to take calls from the office while on shift.
  • Respect Caregivers Boundaries: If a caregiver is able to pick up a shift, great.  If not, thank them for taking your call and don’t pressure them.  Most home care agencies are short on caregivers so it makes no sense to do anything that increases caregiver frustration.  Frame requests as “I have extra hours for you if you want them, it would be this Friday. Do you want to know more?”
  • Respect Caregivers Ability & Preference: Make sure your caregivers have the skills and training needed to follow the care plan.  Make sure your caregiver enjoys working with the client.

In the end, the best way to increase retention boils down to two things… respect and training. Caregivers are looking to be respected by their supervisors. That means respecting caregivers and not pressuring them to do something they don’t want to or are incapable of doing. This can be difficult, as you’re always facing caregiver shortages and always need more help to cover shifts. However, making caregivers frustrated by pressuring them only creates a dangerous cycle of recruiting caregivers that quickly turnover.

CareAcademy recognizes these difficulties both caregivers and agency owners face, and we can help. In order to get yourself and your management team organized, you need more time in your days! We help agency owners save time spent on providing training, chasing down caregivers who haven’t completed mandatory training, tracking compliance logs, and more. For caregivers, our online training includes courses for caregivers with no experience, all the way to courses that provide client-specific training (Dementia, Alzheimers, and more). This helps caregivers feel prepared for difficult situations that will inevitably arise. Knowing how to handle those difficult situations will also decrease their stress and frustration on the job, leading to lower turnover. Interested in learning more? Watch the self-guided tour of the platform and get a free trial to try it out yourself!

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