How can orientation be improved?
Because the needs and circumstances of every agency are different, there’s no single way to do orientation. However, there are common mistakes; one of the most common is rushing through it in attempt to get caregivers to their first shift.
This mistake is understandable; all too often, new caregivers fail to show up to orientation or their first day, so many agencies rightly feel a need to hurry through orientation so as to not lose caregivers before the first shift.
This thinking, however, is flawed; a (paid) caregiver orientation that reinforces the feeling that they’re working for a caring, employee-centric company and leaves them feeling fully prepared for their first shift is going to do much more for early caregiver retention than rushing through the experience.
You should also think about what brought them to their current caregiving position with you. Why did they leave their last position? Common reasons include feeling unsupported, isolated, or unprepared. If you address these topics head-on, you can prevent similar problems with your agency.
You’re probably familiar with what your caregivers think about your training, but it’s always beneficial to have a reminder. Here are some quotes from our caregiver surveys giving a snapshot of some common thoughts on orientation and training:
How many of those may be applicable to the orientation your caregivers are receiving?
An in-person orientation might not be realistic if you have too many attendees. There are many ways to offer online training and information sessions. However, make sure that your caregivers have time to get trained and meet with the scheduler/care coordinator in the office before starting their first shift.
Make sure to also:
Understand your caregivers’ client preferences.
Understand your caregivers’ communication and learning preferences.