Summer is often the toughest time to keep caregivers engaged in training. Here’s our advice on what you can do.  

Every summer we see a downward trend in caregiver engagement on our training platform, with it picking up again every fall. How do you keep caregivers more engaged in their training during the summer? 

Your home care agency can utilize the seasons to teach a variety of conditions and skills that are timely and relevant.  

Here are some tips to keep your training fresh and fun this summer:  

#1: Lead your training with icebreakers.  

These might sound cheesy, but they are a great tool to get to know your caregivers outside of work. Some summer-themed icebreaker questions you could ask are: 

  • What is your favorite flavor of ice cream and why? 

  • What is your favorite summer activity and why? 

  • If you could only vacation in one spot for the rest of your life, where would you choose and why? 

Aside from getting-to-know-you questions, you could go higher-level and ask them about more serious topics. What are their plans? Do you know what your caregivers’ goals are for the summer? Is there anything you can do to help them achieve those goals?   

#2: Gamify your training.  

This can mean various things, but the concept is to make the training fun and interactive like a game. Reward your caregivers for tasks completed and skills gained.  

For example, our platform, In The Know caregiver training, offers gamification based on learner engagement. Learners receive points for lessons completed and time spent on training. These points can be used to offer rewards like gift cards, bonuses, PTO, or drawings in a raffle.  

Gamification can happen automatically in the training platform as part of a system your staff creates. You can manually assign points and give rewards based on lessons and modules completed.  

According to Totara Learning, “Companies that have implemented game-based learning have seen collaboration increase by over 50% and attendance rates grow by more than 20%.” This can keep your caregivers engaged and always learning.

#3: Decorate your office and training room like a beach or other summertime scene. 

It’s much easier to visualize summer when you are looking at it all the time. Whether you transform your office into a beach or a fun backyard barbecue, your caregivers will enjoy the effort.  

With sunscreen, sunglasses, and beach towels – you can transform your office into a summertime oasis. You could also bring summer-themed snacks and treats like ice cream and watermelon.  

#4: Hold raffles, trivia games, and contests.  

Training is about more than learning, and by hosting, trivia, raffles and contests, you can keep things fun too. Caregivers can win additional entries for these events by picking up additional shifts. They could also earn entries when a client calls with positive feedback for them.  

You could also do some in-house trivia. Give out additional entries to caregivers if they can guess the year that you opened, or if they can pinpoint how many clients you have. 

Encourage them to be collaborative. Offer them additional entries for helping another caregiver when they had a hard time transferring a client or giving a coworker a ride to work when they needed a lift. 

Some of the rewards could include a day out at the beach, or a summer-themed gift basket with your caregiver’s favorite snacks and candy.  

#5: Survey your caregivers to see what they want to learn. 

Caregivers are more likely to engage with training when it’s the stuff they want to learn; this sounds obvious, but it’s easy to overlook. 

We researched the ten most popular training topics that agencies are offering in this year’s Home Care Benchmarking Study, and they include:  

  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia 

  • Safe transfers 

  • Helping with activities of daily living 

  • Infection control 

  • Helping with mobility 

  • Recognizing abnormal observations 

  • Preventing re-admissions 

  • Caring for a client with mental illness

  • Housekeeping

  • Understanding common medications 

There are plenty of other topics that you can go over, and you can tailor each of these topics into summer themes. For example, you could go over summerappropriate activities and ways to engage with clients living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.  

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Keep your caregivers connected this summer. 

Although summer is just starting, it’s important to look at how you can refresh your training to adapt to the new season. Not everything needs to be changed for summer, but it adds a layer of fun and engagement for your caregivers.  

Gamifying the content in your in-services helps caregivers to understand concepts better. This can also serve as an opportunity to help you learn more about the way that your caregivers learn. You might learn who would be a good caregiver mentor 

Whether your caregivers are visual, kinesthetic, or hands-on learners can help pave the way for your future training. How is your agency training this summer to keep your caregivers hooked?  

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