When you hire a new caregiver to join your home care team, providing them with a mentor could help them feel more confident in their skills as a caregiver. Having a mentor program in place, you will be able to strengthen the bond between your caregivers and provide them with the essentials needed to be successful at your home care agency. A caregiver who is new and receives the right training they need will be able to provide your clients with a higher quality of care.
Providing a mentor program for your caregivers means you need to have capable caregiver mentors. The mentors need to be able to take on the role to ensure the new hires thoroughly understand and have a great example of satisfactory training and what it takes to be an outstanding caregiver. The training should also provide information on how to represent the company. Here are a few benefits to having a successful caregiver mentor program:
Increase caregiver retention
Helps clients feel safer and more secure with the company
Provides accountability for new caregivers
A career ladder for current caregivers
Helps caregivers feel a part of the team
A mentor program is not supposed to replace your main form of training, it is to supplement it. A way for them to see the core values of your company put into real-life situations.
Properly executed, a caregiver mentor program will increase caregiver retention and improve the level of care you provide to your clients. How should you implement a caregiver mentor program into your home care agency? Here are five easy ways for you to follow to help you create one.
Select Your Top Caregivers
When considering who qualifies as a caregiver mentor from your agency, you will want to choose between employees who have been with your agency for at least six months. Do they have good leadership skills? Do their clients appreciate the work they do for them? Make sure to choose caregivers who are positive and really portray what your agency is all about. These could all be factors of who you may choose to become a mentor or a mentor leader.
A Career Ladder
A common reason employees leave is due to a sense they have no ability to progress with the company they are working for. A mentor program is a great way for your employees to receive promotions. After you have chosen which of your employees would be the best mentors and leaders, provide them with training and certification so they are able to help the new hires excel. Compensate them for the work by increasing their pay by an amount you feel makes sense. Show you appreciate them by giving them an opportunity to grow by helping increase the quality of caregivers your home care business has. This will help them step into the role of caregiver mentor or mentor lead and really own their new position.
At the time of orientation, assign the new caregivers to their mentors and team leads. Have the caregiver mentors provide hands-on training during the first one or two shifts. These should only last about two hours or until the new hire feels comfortable. After which, mentors should be the point of contact for any concerns or questions the new caregiver may have. Mentor leads should perform weekly calls or sit down coaching conversations with the new caregivers as well. Menor leads should ask how their training went, and how the mentorship is going. Mentors, Mentor Leads, and others in management should encourage the new hires they are still learning but doing a great job. Help them feel a part of a team.
Reward your mentor leads for every new caregiver who graduates from the mentorship. Graduation should take place 60 days after the first day of the new hires and should include the presentation of a certification of completion. If a new hire makes it past their first 60 days, they are more likely to stay with your agency for good amount of time.
Promote your Program
Let your future applicants know you have a mentor program. This will assure them you are not ‘throwing them to the wolves’, rather giving them the opportunity to grow and learn in this new role. If promoted well, this could also be a way of attracting candidates who are motivated by positions that provide a path for growth within a company.
Place this information on your marketing materials. When a future client finds out their caregiver will be trained and mentored for a period of time, they will feel comfortable with using your services knowing the caregiver has been trained and mentored appropriately. Clients will also feel more comfortable referring your services to their friends and family, ultimately helping you earn more business.
A caregiver mentor program is a great way to boost retention, morale and the overall well-being of your home care company. Your caregivers will be well better trained and able to improve the satisfaction level of your clients. As the leading satisfaction research and quality assurance firm in the home care industry, Home Care Pulse can help manage the satisfaction of your caregivers and your clients. To learn if your mentorship efforts are working with your agency, schedule a one-on-one demo with us.