The United States is projected to see a national shortage of 151,000 care workers by 2030—remembering to say thank you just may be the key to keeping the caregivers you already have.

It’s okay to admit it: You were raised to say please and thank you but you wish someone would have told you sooner that by saying those little magic words, you could keep your agency bustling with satisfied, loyal, and empowered employees.

This holiday season, it has never been more crucial to appreciate your employees as we face the worst caregiver shortage in history. 

In a study done by the American Psychological Association, researchers found that, “93% of employees who reported feeling valued said that they were motivated to do their best at work… and among those who felt valued, only 20% said they intended to look for a new job in the next year.” 

Here are 8 unique ways that home care agencies from coast to coast are combatting the 65% caregiver turnover rate by spreading a little holiday cheer this season:

  • Deposit your caregivers’ paychecks early with a little extra for the holidays.

  • Send your caregivers home with a pie the day before Thanksgiving—early, if possible.

  • Drop off a turkey to their home or give a grocery gift card toward their own Thanksgiving.

  • Reimburse their scrubs or give away company merch.

  • Train your schedulers to be caregiver retention gurus.

  • Thank thein their own clients’ words.


*Note: The following tips were taken with permission from posts within the Home Care Operators Community on Facebook. Become a member and browse more useful content from the home care community here.

1. Deposit your caregivers’ paychecks early with a little extra for the holidays.

According to the Annual Home Care Benchmarking Study, 1 in 4 caregivers live below the poverty line with the median annual income equivalent to less than $14,000. 

For those who are already living from paycheck-to-paycheck, the holiday season can quickly become a heavy financial burden. Make a noticeable difference in your caregivers’ lives this season by first anticipating their financial needs and exceeding their expectations.

Leading up to a major observance, surprise your caregivers by depositing their paychecks 2-3 days before their scheduled payday and include an added holiday bonus to ease the financial pressure of the season.

If depositing caregiver paychecks ahead of schedule during the holidays is well-received, consider adjusting your current biweekly payroll system to offer payment options like daily pay. Daily pay will incentivize future caregivers to work for your agency as it offers greater financial flexibility and security.

As mentioned in  , “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.”

Receiving a paycheck a few days earlier that is larger than expected is a simple way to say thank you that could end up saving your agency an average of $171,600 in annual caregiver turnover costs.

2. Send your caregivers home with a pie the day before Thanksgiving—early, if possible.

Nothing makes you feel more appreciated than being handed a warm pie for the holidays that you didn’t have to bake. Jessica Nobles, with Nobility Care Solutions, delivered pies to her caregivers this Thanksgiving and reaped the satisfaction of service. 

A simple pie inspired multiple caregivers to personally text and thank her for the thoughtful hand-delivered gesture. 

Saving your caregivers’ time in the kitchen this holiday season doesn’t have to break the bank. Pre-order pies a week in advance from your local grocery store to participate in the holiday traditions as a team.

3. Drop off a turkey to their home or give a grocery gift card toward their own Thanksgiving.

Tell your caregivers that the entrée for their Thanksgiving meal is on you! 

It is highly likely that your caregivers have not had much time to plan or shop for their holiday meal as the The National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP reported that over 56% of employed caregivers are fulltime workers. 

Felicia Woolcock, at Majestic Sunshine Care, packed her trunk full of turkeys and hand-delivered them to her caregivers’ homes.

Kelly Smith Britton, at Always Best Care Senior Services, supplied each of their caregivers with a gift card to help cover the cost of a turkey or a few items off their holiday grocery list.

Whether you decide to hand out turkeys or gift cards, your caregivers will appreciate how you took time to take care of their needs outside of work.

4. Reimburse their scrubs or give away company merch.

Communicate how excited you are for your caregivers to return next year by restocking them with the essentials to confidently perform their job as you ensure everyone feels like an irreplaceable asset to your team. 

“As healthcare providers, we’re very busy and need scrubs that work as hard as we do,” says Kristen Schiefer, MSPA, PA-C. “That’s why it’s so important to buy good quality, durable scrubs that are made to last.”  

If you don’t yet have a company uniform, reward your caregivers’ loyalty to your agency by giving them company merchandise as a symbol of your gratitude that they chose to work for you. 

Providing your caregivers with a fresh set of scrubs and company merchandise will enhance both the confidence and credibility of your caregivers. 

5. Train your schedulers to be caregiver retention gurus.

You’ve most likely set a goal for your caregivers to treat their clients like they would their own family—but when was the last time you prioritized their time with their own family? 

Schedulers approach no small challenge as they tackle accommodating everyone’s time-off requests during the holiday season. Encourage your caregivers to submit all requests in advance to give schedulers enough time to coordinate approving them as much vacation time as possible. 

Your caregivers (and schedulers) will feel valued knowing that their time is honored and respected. 

Our schedulers are often our first line of defense in retaining employees. With the ongoing struggle to find and hire quality caregivers, it’s important that they have the training they need to be confident and successful in their roles.

6. Thank them in their own clients’ words.

As we speak, caregivers across the world are performing hundreds of miracles and making a tangible difference in the lives of thousands—all in a day’s work. 

This holiday season, don’t let your caregivers take themselves for granted any longer. 

Create thank you cards using real client feedback to help your caregivers see exactly how much their efforts are personally valued and appreciated, straight from their own clients’ perspective.

Kathy Jordan Uveges, at Seniors Helping Seniors, surprised their caregivers with notes of appreciation.

If you recall a moment where you were impressed with a caregivers’ actions, write a quick note to show that their service not only matters to your agency, but is in fact the very reason you began working in home care. 

Praise sounds better straight from the source. Collect client feedback throughout the year to begin thanking your caregivers for their invaluable service all year round.

Give All Year Round

You don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to begin thanking your caregivers. Let this season of giving infuse daily practices into your company culture that will ensure your caregivers are feeling appreciated all year round.  

Who knew that saying thank you would become a worthwhile investment for your agency to begin competitively retaining and attracting more caregivers who love what they do? 

Find out exactly how well your caregivers are feeling appreciated and publish their best reviews directly to your online presence by signing up for a free online review scorecard today.

Learn more:

HCP’s Care Intelligence Platform offers RN-developed training, satisfaction surveys, and reputation management tools to help you become the best employer and provider in your area—and make sure everyone knows about it.

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