How Tom Genetti Became a Leader in Excellence Award Winner
During the awards webinar, two Leader in Excellence winners discussed the steps they’ve taken to qualify for these awards. I want to discuss their stories briefly, as I think they hold a wealth of insights for other agencies.
Tom Genetti, owner of independent home care agency At Your Service, Inc. in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, discussed the strides his agency took to qualify for Leader in Excellence this year. Tom has built his business model around being able to provide an all-round superior experience to caregivers, with the expectation that loyal caregivers will help him save costs, keep his margins, and establish his agency as the best source of care in his area.
“Every caregiver we lose and every caregiver we gain makes an impact,” Tom told me in a phone call before the webinar. To ensure that staffing would be his competitive advantage rather than an a threat to his business, Tom raised his minimum wage to $15 and sent out a press release to local news outlets that he was “pulling a mini-Amazon.” In addition, he works extremely hard to source the right caregivers, including hiring a full-time recruiter who actively searches out and meets with individuals they want to hire, often in the potential caregiver’s own home.
The level of care his agency is able to provide with a stable, loyal group of caregivers allowed him to sustain this business model and qualify for the industry’s highest award.
The proof is in the pudding for Tom’s agency; according to his most recent satisfaction reports, 100% of his caregivers are promoters and his caregiver turnover rate was 37% in 2018, compared to the home care industry average of 67%.
How Michelle Lisk Became a Leader in Excellence Award Winner
During the webinar, Michelle Lisk, a SYNERGY franchise owner in Pennsylvania, shared a different strategy.
Michelle relies heavily on several important insights she’s received from her caregiver feedback about recognition. “You have to learn the kind of culture your caregivers are looking for,” says Michelle. “It isn’t just about the money or they [probably wouldn’t be working as a caregiver].”
“There was a point when I realized the culture that my caregivers wanted. They wanted to feel a part of something. It’s about the caring and recognition. If you go back through our monthly reports and surveys that we get from Home Care Pulse, you can see by their responses that that’s what the caregivers really wanted. They just want to feel appreciated and like they’re doing good out there.”
Michelle has taken this insight to heart by introducing recognition programs, drawings for prizes at training meetings, and a variety of other strategies to help caregivers feel valued. Her results speak for themselves: in the five straight years that she’s been a Leader in Excellence award winner, the average length of time her clients stay with her agency has almost tripled. During this time she’s also reduced her caregiver turnover by approximately 30%.
Listen, Learn, Act, Grow
Both of these award winners followed a process that we emphasize strongly at Home Care Pulse:
- LISTENING to your clients and caregivers and actively seeking feedback on how to improve, rather than sweeping negative feedback under the rug.
- LEARNING their priorities to see where you should focus your time and energy—as well as identify your blind spots.
- ACTING to improve your client/caregiver feedback based on the insights they give you.
- GROWING your agency as your clients and caregivers become your biggest promoters.
Win Next Year
To the agencies who won this year: congratulations. We’re inspired by your efforts and by the quality of care and employment you provide. Keep up the great work—I look forward to seeing you on the list of award winners again next year.
To the agencies who didn’t qualify this year: We still recognize and appreciate the incredible quality of care and employment you provide. I challenge you to make qualifying for a Best of Home Care award one of your goals this year. There are future award winners reading this letter right now—are you one of them?
I’m inspired by all of you. Let’s keep working to improve lives together.