The Number One Way to Compete
Another question in the Home Care Benchmarking study is: “How do you separate your company from your competitors.” For four years in a row, “Caregiver Quality” was the number one source of competitive advantage for home care CEOs.
The biggest threat to home care agencies is the caregiver shortage. Caregiver turnover continues to rise, and the number one way to compete is caregiver quality. We have a real crisis, and as leaders, we need to conquer it.
The Three-Tiered Solution
There are three tiers, or stories, in the solution to the caregiver recruiting and retention crisis – the upper story, the middle story, and the lower story.
The Upper Tier is where we look at the demographics of the health care workforce. This is where we recognize that there are simply not enough workers in healthcare to meet the growing demands of an aging population. This solution at the upper story requires an industry-wide effort to make careers in health care more attractive to young people and to provide the education to prepare them for health care careers.
We have done significant research on what government and health care leaders are doing to solve this crisis at the demographic level, and that’s a topic for another day. In short, though, we encourage you to get involved at the local and state level to support efforts to attract more qualified workers to health care as a career.
The Middle Tier is where organizations focus on their company culture and leadership. The effort at this level is all about creating a Culture of Attraction and Accomplishment. It’s about creating an organization where the limited number of workers who are committed to the home care and hospice are attracted. We’ll devote a whole section to this story.
The Lower Tier is where organizations develop tactical solutions to attract and retain top talent at the front lines. This solution involves helping you define and implement the seven steps of the Caregiver Quality Solution System.
Creating a Culture of Attraction and Accomplishment
We define culture as “the way we do things around here.” The culture of your company is driven by four fundamental factors:
- The leadership style of the CEO.
- The core values that guide decisions and actions.
- The behavior we expect.
- The behavior we permit.
A “Culture of Attraction and Accomplishment” we define as “a culture where employees feel like this is a great place to work, where they can do meaningful work that makes a difference, and where they feel valued and appreciated.” We’ve shortened this to COAA. What does it take to be a COAA company?
There are three distinct parts to this culture:
- A great place to work.
- They can do meaningful work that makes a difference.
- They feel valued and appreciated.
Our study of company culture and our three decades of experience leading executive strategy sessions and board retreats suggests there are five steps to creating a strong culture.
- The senior leadership team makes a commitment to develop and implement a vision and strategy to grow the business.
- As a part of setting vision and strategy, the team defines the core values that will guide their thoughts and actions. Sometimes these values are explicitly stated by the leadership team. Other times, these values are implicitly defined by the CEO and her or his leadership style.
- The company seeks the very best talent to execute that strategy with excellence.
- The implementation works. The business grows and people behave in ways that are guided by the vision, values, and strategy.
- The firm succeeds by most measures and that success continues over time.
A culture emerges that reflects the vision, values, and strategy and the experiences people had in implementing them