All employees need to understand how their performance impacts those they serve, and this is especially true for caregivers. Meeting with caregivers one-on-one is crucial in helping them understand their value to your agency. When issues arise, these one-on-one meetings also allow supervisors to ask questions and better understand the caregiver’s perspective. When conducting interviews, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
When conducting a review, give the caregiver your full, undivided attention. Keep in mind most thorough reviews take 30 minutes or longer so a quiet, comfortable area without distractions is best. When a caregiver feels at ease, they will be more open to receiving constructive criticism and finding solutions to problems. Leave your phone outside the meeting and ask that the caregiver do the same.
According to the 2014 Private Duty Benchmarking Study, 58.3% of home care agencies conduct their one-on-one caregiver reviews annually; however, data suggests this isn’t enough. You should perform check-ins and reviews at least once each quarter, though monthly reviews have the greatest impact. Consistent feedback and encouragement helps caregivers improve more steadily.
You should always celebrate your caregivers’ achievements, but sometimes excessive praise can lead to sugarcoating. Surrounding criticism with compliments often comes across as insincere and can deliver mixed messages. Don’t gloss over issues. Downplaying weaknesses often prevents real improvement. Rather, after addressing an issue, use it as a springboard to then focus on moving forward. Reassure your caregivers that you want them to be with you for the long haul, which is why you’re so invested in their improvement.
Use specific examples of actions and behaviors instead of vague statements when conducting a review. Discuss future goals and achievements you both want to reach. Encourage each caregiver to set ambitious and realistic goals. This should be an empowering experience, rather than a stressful one, so work together with the caregiver to form a plan you’ll both put into action.
Supervisors often use checklists of review points that they carry over from one review to the next. However, if a caregiver is always early, does he or she really need a review of the punctuality policy? While it is more time consuming, take the time to outline each caregiver’s review individually. By doing this, you’ll use your review time more effectively and the caregiver will see your personal investment in her or his success.
Before ending the review, write down any assigned tasks and goals. Sign the document and have the caregiver do the same, affirming your commitment. This document should be used as a reference during the next review for follow-up. Making your reviews both effective and positive can be tricky, but by utilizing these tips and performing frequent reviews, not only will your caregivers improve, but your ability to review their performance will as well.