Solving these five common deal-breakers could save your agency an average of $171,600 in annual caregiver turnover costs that you could be investing into a reputation makeover instead.
The bad news: We’re in the middle of the worst caregiver shortage in history, and industry caregiver turnover is at 65%.
The good news: With help from the thousands of caregivers we survey each month, we’ve identified some of the common factors that can make or break your agency’s reputation—and how to solve them.
Building a reputation in your local market may seem easier said than done as caregivers are being faced with more competing options than ever before. Give your agency a competitive edge in attracting and retaining more loyal caregivers by avoiding these potential deal-breakers.
Deal-Breaker #1: A 90-day review is the first time caregivers get to communicate concerns.
Although a 90-day review may be common practice, waiting to gather caregiver feedback until this benchmark could be creating blind spots for your agency and prolonging, even escalating, an easy fix.
According to the Annual Home Care Benchmarking Study, 57% of caregiver turnover occurs in the first 90 days of employment.
As a result, caregivers are seeking out agencies who offer a welcoming environment to review concerns along the way and who can provide timely information to important questions in order to help them smoothly transition into their new role.
Solution: Implementing weekly touchpoints increases job satisfaction and caregiver retention by setting your employees up for success.
As Dawn Spicer, Caregiver Development Manager at Home Instead of Jacksonville Illinois, said on a recent episode of our podcast, “We touchpoint each week with [caregivers] to see how things are going so that they have the training they need. After we give them the initial training to build them up and make sure they have everything they need, once they get going, they might hit a little snag…and they might not feel comfortable asking for help. We set ourselves up to be right there to provide that when it’s needed.”
Ensuring your agency offers organized and transparent internal communication channels long before a 90-day review will not only equip your caregivers with the necessary tools to succeed in their role but will also enhance the client experience.
Creating weekly touchpoints for caregivers to ask questions provides your agency with the opportunity to address concerns and build caregiver confidence with their new clients as you meet their needs.
Deal-Breaker #2: Caregiver training begins and ends at orientation.
One of the most common scheduling mistakes that agencies make is prematurely sending new employees to fend for themselves on their first shift without preparing them with enough training to help them feel comfortable. In our surveys, new hires overwhelmingly prefer more training that includes an introduction to the situation and needs of their new clients.
Solution: Personalize training to meet each employee’s individual needs to make your agency more competitive to work for.
Ensure your caregivers have training options that best fit their learning style and personal needs. Older caregivers may prefer more in-person training while a younger demographic may care for more online-centered training that they can pick up and review at any time. Explore creating a blended learning approach to train each caregiver with their personal needs and training preferences in mind.
It may seem a little daunting to offer competitive training to your caregivers, but you don’t have to do it alone. Make your agency stand out by choosing from our 500+ RN-developed courses with blended online/in-service training options or register for our Home Care Training Summit to learn more about why trainers have the hardest job in home care.
Free Scheduler Success Training Series
The industry’s first training series created just for home care schedulers. Available for a limited time only.
Deal-Breaker #3: Your current payroll system doesn’t reflect your caregivers’ preferred payment schedules or financial needs.
While living paycheck to paycheck may be standard practice for 78% of American workers, 1 in 4 caregivers live below the poverty line with the median annual income for caregivers equivalent to less than $14,000.
Caregivers are specifically seeking employment with agencies who offer competitive payroll models and incentives.
Solution: Offering your caregivers consistent compensation options, such as daily pay, equips your agency with the tools to better provide for their needs and reduces caregiver turnover.
73% of daily pay users agree they are more motivated to come into work each day as opposed to the traditional biweekly pay schedule. Daily pay will incentivize more caregivers to choose your agency as it offers greater flexibility and security for their financial needs
Agencies like Bright Spring and certain Visiting Angels locations have adopted the daily pay model and are already seeing the modification pay dividends in increased employee retention.
As mentioned in Home Health Care News, “Companies have seen on average a 50% reduction of annualized turnover among the population of daily pay users. The story is very clear: daily pay is a benefit that caregivers are willing to stay for.”
Including daily pay into your current employee benefits package is a simple add-on to your current payroll program and is an easier process than you may think. Re-evaluating your payroll system and catering it to more adequately sustain the caregiver lifestyle may be the difference that prevents new hires from rejecting your offer and instead begin striving to climb your company’s ladder.
Deal-Breaker #4: Your caregivers don’t have a roadmap to navigate how to advance in your organization.
Do your employees see caregiving as a dead-end job? It might be because their “promotional opportunities” are just a change of job responsibilities in disguise. Many agencies lack awareness of the fact that they are limiting their employees’ potential and could elevate caregiver retention simply by providing adequate career advancements.
Caregivers are looking for agencies who provide continuing education and career advancement opportunities—or they won’t be afraid to speak with their feet.
Solution: Establishing growth opportunities to advance upward through the company will increase employee acquisition by eliminating interest in competing agencies.
Caregivers want an agency who believes in their potential and frequently reviews how they are helping employees reach their professional goals.
Dawn Spicer worked her way up from being a CNA in a long-term care facility to Caregiver Development Manager and explains how she keeps an open dialogue with caregivers to see when they are ready to move up in position.
“Each year we have an overview and I just like to sit down and talk about our experience with clients that we’ve worked with, personal and professional goals that we’re setting and where we’re at—it’s really good feedback to learn what else we can do to help them feel satisfied in their roles.”
Discover if caregivers are satisfied with their positions by first evaluating to see if any already feel they have outgrown their job responsibilities and provide a company culture that evidently values their contribution to the whole agency.
Deal-Breaker #5: Your front-line workers rarely see the office after adjusting to pandemic protocols and don’t feel appreciated for the heroes they are.
At least 50% of all turnover results from poor relationships between employees and their bosses and that number continues to rise. The COVID-19 pandemic has exhausted the efforts of many caregivers providing home/hospice care and dramatically increased the distance between the office and the employee.
Gordon Tredgold explained, “Every year, Gallup runs an engagement survey that shows that, on average, 64% percent of employees are disengaged. Odds are…nearly two-thirds of your staff are disengaged. Not only that, but 15% are actively disengaged. In other words, if your business was a boat, for roughly every two individuals that are rowing hard towards your goals, one employee is rowing the opposite direction—and the rest are just passengers.”
Now more than ever, caregivers need a work environment that is actively seeking out their feedback, genuinely appreciates their efforts with compensation, and offers an inclusive culture that cares about their caregivers.
Solution: Quantifying caregiver satisfaction and rewarding employees will help intercept post-pandemic burnout, expand employee morale, and cultivate a culture of belonging.
As the old saying implies: If you are not purposefully cultivating the culture you want, a culture will create itself. Improve your reputation by taking control of the culture people are associating with your company.
Chelsey Ammons, the Vice President of Nursing at Care Advantage, shares an example of how she ensures her agency prioritizes a culture that recognizes their employees:
“We just had a caregiver who celebrated 30 years with us. She got a big gift basket full of [company] swag. She had a lot of pictures taken that were displayed on all our [social media] platforms, our website and a number of pamphlets that we use and distribute. It was a really good moment for her, and she was so appreciative, very tearful and just thankful for the recognition.”
Here are a few ways you can enhance company culture for your caregivers:
Overall, the best way to ensure that you’re building the right company culture is to track employee satisfaction through anonymous surveys to exemplify to your employees that you are actively seeking ways to improve their job experience.
Discover Your Caregiver’s Deal-Breakers Before They Quit
Offering anonymous feedback opportunities will create a safe environment for your caregivers to express their deal-breakers as you uncover the information you need to attract and retain more employees.
“Our agency’s ability to keep annual caregiver turnover under 30% is a direct result of using Home Care Pulse’s surveys,” says Laura Shaw-deBruin, Executive Director at Norwood Seniors Network.
Position your agency above the rest and enhance your company’s reputation by uncovering your agency’s blind spots—before your employees feel compelled to hand in their two weeks notice by scheduling a free demo today.