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6 ways your home care staff can increase caregiver retention


A major challenge and significant pain point of any business is the retention of employees. How to retain caregivers continues to be the main question agencies are asking as they shift their focus to growth in 2022. Many home care agencies are adapting to meet the needs of their caregivers to improve caregiver satisfaction.    

Based on a recent caregiver employee churn and retention survey conducted by AlayaCare and Home Health Care News (HHCN), caregiver turnover was identified as a top business inefficiency. From a business perspective, employee turnover can reduce the quality of care provided and increase operational costs for home care agencies. For these reasons, home care agencies must make a real effort to identify and address caregiver turnover.  

What have home care organizations identified as the top reasons for employee churn?  

  1. Inconsistent schedules    
  2. Lack of proper training, development, and/or growth opportunities    
  3. Lack of proper resources and/or tech supporting job function   

The responses provided context and revealed what some agencies believe to be the reasons why caregivers are burnt out.

How can I increase my caregiver retention?   

According to the survey report, to prevent staff burnout and employee churn, some home care providers are increasing training and development opportunities, hiring more staff, and/or investing in technology to improve the employee experience…but there’s more to it than just that!    

Retaining qualified home care employees during this caregiver staffing crisis has been a challenge for most home care organizations. Based on the list from our last blog, listening to employee feedback and learning about their challenges and why caregivers leave is the first step to improving employee satisfaction, and in return employee retention.    

6 ways to retain home care caregivers

1. Creating professional development opportunities  

According to our recent survey, 92% of employees said they would certainly stay within their current organization. If caregivers need further learning opportunities, they need help from their managers and employers. There are several factors that are considered from the growth point of view of an employee; many caregivers look at training opportunities to support career advancement. Regardless of certification, you need to ensure your caregiver learns and grows in your organization, which would increase their skills in handling diverse situations, delivering quality care, and establishing safety for clients.  

A. Consider e-learning tools or online training and development   

Providing ongoing training was one of the top strategies home care agencies were implementing. There are a number of training and development resources available that allow home care agencies to provide easy access to certifications for their workforce. According to Aaron Dun, Senior Vice President of Marketing at CareAcademy, training and development is especially important at a time when providers are competing with other hospitality industries for talent.    

There are many online home care training and education companies, such as CareAcademy or Nevvon, that specialize in providing home care agencies with the tools to provide their caregivers with proper training and career development.    

Watch our recorded webinar with panelists from AlayaCare and Nevvon to learn more about online home care training and education 

B. Capture and use data for employee development and growth   

Based on an e-guide on growth strategies for home health care providers, one of the building blocks for growth is to capture and use data for employee development.  Use the data to find out where the gaps are that lead to employee churn and create improvement strategies to fill those gaps to maintain caregiver retention.  

C. Digital onboarding   

Another building block for retaining caregivers is providing a thorough onboarding experience to train new employees faster and more efficiently. Digital onboarding and learning management systems can get new caregivers up to speed faster by offering a guided experience of what to expect in a digestible format. Combined with in-person connections, this creates a memorable experience that helps caregivers feel welcomed and prepared. 

2. Employees more often leave managers, not companies 

Your leadership’s management styles will influence your caregivers’ engagement at work. The top complaint from caregivers is ‘lack of communication with the agency’. Effective communication is the key to any effective caregiver retention strategy. When you create an open and honest work environment that communicates clearly, your workers will feel more comfortable and will go to you whenever they need to. 

A. Build effective communication skills 

The top complaint from caregivers is ‘lack of communication with the agency’. Effective communication is the key to any effective caregiver retention strategy. When you create an open and honest work environment that communicates clearly, your workers will feel more comfortable and will go to you whenever they need to. 

B. Helping caregivers feel like part of the team 

Employers and managers should interact with their staff more often and make a conscious effort to make them feel part of the team. The fact is, if the Outreach Coordinator isn’t often able to contact your caregivers, they’ll feel less important thus increasing the turnover rate. Consistent contact and acknowledgment with your caregivers are important. Imagine how it feels to go to an in-person training session with someone who you’ve barely heard from. Even though this may be a small thing, it is going to help people feel part of a team. 

C. Ask for feedback and act on it promptly 

Regularly asking for feedback from your home care team and listening is crucial in developing an effective two-way communication plan based on the individual and team’s needs in general. If managers aren’t contacted regarding complaints and concerns, then their caregiver is likely not that interested in voicing them. Or if managers don’t take action or take too long to reply to voiced complaints and concerns from caregivers, then eventually these experienced caregivers may find employment opportunities elsewhere. The right culture to ask questions and respond immediately will increase caregiver retention. 

Check out AlayaCare’s employee retention dashboard, in the video below.

3. Manage client-caregiver relationships more effectively 

Creating a strong relationship can significantly improve caregiver retention among clients. Caregivers may be dissatisfied with their job performance if there have been ongoing conflicts or negative relationships between the client and others, while others will try another agency to get away from their ‘poor’ client. The majority of agencies are even going to exonerate clients who were ill-prepared and lacked professionalism. If you want to keep the team healthy, you must support the caregivers. 

4. Pay competitively  

A company paying competitively will be better able to secure more competent care workers in a competitive market. The agencies that are attractive to caregivers are those that consistently make a conscious effort to provide competitive pay and benefits. In some instances, gaining more money may prove difficult for business owners. It must determine whether the company will increase client rates and reduce margins. The best way to determine whether a company has the flexibility to increase rates is to see how many clients have to leave for a week because they lack caregiver support.  

5. Eliminate inconsistent scheduling   

  • Caregivers have voiced that they wish to work for an agency that provides reliable and flexible shifts without having to travel too far between clients  
  • Schedulers wish to fulfill a high volume of vacancies and scheduling requests now and in the future as efficiently and as accurately as possible
  • And Agency Leaders have voiced that they want to retain and satisfy their caregiver workforce, their clients and manage costs to scale their agency  

Did you know that, according to Home Care Pulse, for every 1 scheduler who quits, 5 caregivers will leave with them? It costs $2,600 to replace a caregiver and $6,500 to replace a scheduler – if you do the math this can cost the agency around $19,500.    

While inconsistent schedules were identified as one of the top reasons leading to caregiver turnover, investing in technology to improve caregiver experience was not voted as the number one solution. One of the top solutions to improving inconsistent schedules is a schedule optimization tool.    

Schedule optimization tools can do the work by generating an optimal schedule according to your priorities and constraints.     

How technology can help with inconsistent scheduling

Leveraging optimization technologies as decision support tools can assist all stakeholders to achieve their goals. Imagine having consistent, reliable, and flexible scheduling for your caregivers? Finding a scheduling optimization tool can help solve your scheduling issues and tackle one of the biggest reasons for caregiver turnover.    

6. Ensure your caregivers are not overburdened and have all the resources needed for their job 

Overburdening of caregivers on the job can often come from the lack of resources and technical support for your caregivers’ job function. As stated in the survey, only 19% of respondents have invested in technology to help with employee churn. Yet, one of the biggest pain points for caregivers is the lack of technical support they need to perform their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible.    

To support a caregiver’s day-to-day job, the right technology can help provide them with the right resources when they need them most. 

A. Mobile Supported Technologies 

We live in an age where everyone carries a mobile device on their person, why not use its potential to make your caregiver’s job easier?    

Smart, mobile technology can prevent employee churn by relieving caregivers of burdensome tasks that can lead to burnout and eventual departure, such as manual documentation after each patient visit.   

Flexible, intuitive software enables agencies to shift in any new direction desired, embrace emerging styles of care and deploy modern tools such as working offline when there is no access to Wi-Fi.    

B. Electronic Billing 

Manual billing and invoicing are tedious tasks that take up a great amount of time. Technology makes billing practices far more efficient by cutting down on manual processes. Wouldn’t it be better to have a tool that makes invoicing and billing easier and faster so the caregivers can focus more time on the patients and less on administrative tasks?   

Learn more on how technology can relieve the pain of billing in home care organizations.   

C. Clinical documentation 

Manually uploading clinical documentation and forms not only takes up time but can be quite a hassle for the caregiver to do. Having a tool that simplifies the administrative tasks like documentation can reduce delays as clinical staff will be able to upload charts in real-time, and configure and build any report into a digital format all with a secure documentation cloud-based system (HIPAA and PHIPA compliant).    

These are just some examples of technological resources you can provide your caregivers with to support their day-to-day job function.    

In the field, you want any technology to be intuitive and fast, to not frustrate caregivers or take too much time away from client care. Scheduling tools that provide visibility into the organization’s shifts can also empower caregivers to pick the times that work for them or avoid lengthy drives or gaps in their day. They can even pick up extra shifts with one click. On the back end, tech opens a precision window into a caregiver’s overall satisfaction levels. Machine learning algorithms can generate satisfaction scores that help you uncover the root causes of churn — and how to proactively address them.   

AlayaCare home care software can help increase employee retention and reduce churn by providing solutions to important caregiver pain points addressed in this article, and more.    

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