senior woman in wheelchair with her female caregiver

As a home care provider, you’ve experienced difficulty and frustration. When business owners in other industries would have given up and closed their doors, you remain positive and face the challenges, providing outstanding care for your clients. But as government regulations loom and day-to-day operations demand your attention, how do you ensure your business not only survives, but expands? By keeping your caregivers.

The correlation between caregiver retention and business growth may seem loose, but I assure you the connection is absolute. There are 77 million baby boomers reaching retirement age, and the demand for home care will steadily grow over the next several years. While exciting for the industry, the reality is that the only providers who will have the staff necessary to keep up with this growing demand are those who keep their caregiver turnover to a minimum. This is what I refer to as “The Caregiver Shortage Dilemma,” and is why nearly 49% of home care providers report caregiver shortages as the single greatest threat to their growth.

To build and maintain a team of quality caregivers, you need to be consistent, vigilant and strategic in your retention efforts. Let me propose three simple ideas for you to consider as part of your Caregiver Retention Strategy:

  • Quantity first, then quality. When posting your caregiver job openings, focus on the mediums that will produce the largest number of applicants. This actually makes it easier to find quality caregivers, because you have a larger pool of resumes to draw from. To reach as many potential applicants as possible, consider posting your openings on websites like MyCNAjobs.comIndeed.com and Craigslist.com. You can also use local newspaper want ads and online classifieds.
  • Establish a formalized Caregiver Recognition Program. As part of our Satisfaction Management Program, we interview thousands of caregivers every month. From this data, we’ve found that “recognition from supervisors” is right at the top of ways caregivers prefer to be recognized for a job well done. This could include handwritten notes, mentioning specific caregivers in newsletters and meetings and providing gift cards and other incentives. The key is to let your caregivers know you appreciate the work they’re doing, and make it fun.
  • Measure Caregiver Engagement. The Caregiver Engagement Score (CES) is based on caregivers’ answers to one simple question: “How likely are you to recommend employment opportunities offered by [agency name] to an interested friend or family member?” The question is measured on a 1-10 scale, 10 being “highly recommend.” Without exception, those with a high CES see lower caregiver turnover. For Home Care Pulse customers currently enrolled in our Caregiver Satisfaction Management Program, we calculate this score for you and it can be found in your monthly reports. If you’re not currently enrolled, contact us today and let us help you hold onto those quality caregivers.

While focusing too much on “The Caregiver Shortage Dilemma” could become distracting and even discouraging, ignoring the threat could be even more detrimental to your success. Take the time to work on your retention strategy, be consistent and remember that implementing a good strategy is far more effective than not implementing a great one. Thank you for all the hard work you put into making sure our seniors are well cared for, in the comfort of their own homes.

Aaron MarcumAaron Marcum is the founder and CEO of Home Care Pulse, a satisfaction research and quality assurance firm specializing in the home care industry. Prior to founding Home Care Pulse, Aaron owned and operated a successful home care business. As a home care provider, he recognized the need for a satisfaction management firm specializing in private duty home care. Because Home Care Pulse gathers so much data between their satisfaction management program and the annual Private Duty Benchmarking Study which they conduct, Aaron is recognized as one of the leading sources of data for the home care industry, and he speaks at dozens of conferences nationwide.