As a home care business owner, retention of high-quality caregivers may be one of your largest concerns. According to the 2017 Home Care Benchmarking Study, home care businesses experienced a 65.7% turnover rate for caregivers last year. This can be an expensive, stressful problem for your business.
So, how do you prevent this rate of turnover in your business? How do you help your caregivers to love their job and want to keep working for you? If caregivers are happy with their jobs, they will be less likely to leave. One way to improve caregiver satisfaction is to recognize your caregivers for their hard work. The number one thing Home Care Pulse hears from caregivers every month, during our quality satisfaction interviews, is that they would like more recognition for the hard work they do. They like to know their employer and supervisors notice their work and are grateful for it.
It is interesting that though many caregivers do mention they would like higher pay, they more often mention the need for positive recognition. U.S. workers just want more gratitude and thanks on the job. It’s all about recognition! This is what keeps caregivers happy and is why they stay loyal to a certain company.
Time spent recognizing and rewarding caregivers for good performance is time well-spent. Caregivers who are happy with their jobs—who have been recognized and rewarded by their employers—perform even better on the job, accomplish more, provide excellent service to their clients and are less likely to quit.
Aaron Marcum, CEO of Home Care Pulse, often points out that happy caregivers provide better quality service, which leads to happy clients. And happy clients are more willing to refer others to your company—and more referrals means greater growth! All of these benefits stem from one thing: happy caregivers.
Do you have a caregiver recognition plan in place? If so, is it working?
Here are some ideas for recognizing your caregivers’ good job performance:
1. Gather Feedback Continually.
In order to recognize caregivers for a job well done, you first need to know when they have done something worth rewarding. It is important to pay attention to feedback from clients, fellow co-workers, supervisors, and staffing coordinators. You can do this through surveys, interviews, emails, word-of-mouth, etc. In addition, Home Care Pulse can provide you with a third-party way to gather information. Through our Satisfaction Management Program, we conduct interviews with your caregivers and clients, collecting feedback and providing you with a monthly client and caregiver satisfaction report. This information can give you a basis for your recognition program.
2. Focus on Goals.
When recognizing caregivers, keep in mind your business goals. Watch for caregivers whose performance is helping your business reach those goals. Point out that their success is helping the entire company. One of the best ways to produce happy caregivers is to clearly communicate how they can become more involved in carrying out the overall mission of your company. If they feel they are part of that mission and a key member of your team, they will typically stay longer and help produce happier clients. You have set important goals for your home care business. Help your caregivers to know they play a vital role in reaching those goals.
3. Create a Budget.
It is possible to recognize your caregivers without spending any money. “Thank-you” notes and words of encouragement don’t cost a thing. But if your business is able to, consider budgeting money specifically for caregiver recognition. Let supervisors have a budget they can use just for this purpose: money to spend on things like awards or gifts for caregivers. Strive to budget at least 1% for caregiver and employee recognition.
4. Give Recognition.
Here are some overall tips for caregiver recognition:
- Timely. Recognition should promptly follow an accomplishment. Delayed recognition may seem less sincere or important. “Make time for recognition.”
- Specific. Be specific when you recognize a caregiver’s accomplishment. Show that you know the details of what they have done and how it positively impacts your business.
- Earned. Give recognition to those who have earned it. Recognizing caregivers who have poor performance, in hopes of improving their performance, doesn’t work, and it may have negative consequences. Recognize good, positive achievements.
- Sincere. Know your caregivers’ names, pronounce them correctly. Know their job and the specific achievements you are recognizing. Be positive, “upbeat and genuine.”
Caregivers are the lifeblood of your home care business. If you have happy caregivers, you will have happy clients. Keeping your caregivers happy will not only increase retention rates but also improve the overall culture of your home care agency. With these tips in mind, allocate funds and resources to create a caregiver recognition program to keep your caregivers satisfied and working for you for the long term.
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