At the core of every good home care agency are its caregivers. Without them it is impossible to provide high quality medical care to patients and therefore impossible to have a home care agency. That’s why keeping your caregivers happy is of utmost importance.
Though it is less hectic than the hospital setting, home care workers are still prone to burn out. In fact, not being located in a central facility can leave employees disgruntled with assignments, commute times, and lack of support. Though these are separate issues entirely, there are several strategies good home care agency owners can use to recruit caregivers and then retain the best of them.
These five ideas will help boost the morale of employees and give your home care agency a leg up on the competition when the time comes for recruiting caregivers to your team. Implementing them together can have an even better effect than if they are used one at a time. See how these techniques could fit into your home care agency model:
Safe Staffing Ratios Are Key
Healthcare workers are likely to agree that staffing ratios are key to providing quality medical care to patients. Having the right amount of staff to patients prevents burnout on the part of your employees. When it comes to recruiting caregivers (and retaining them) few things are more attractive than great staffing ratios.
Though needs vary based on the number of patients being served and the intensity of care, employers can work to maintain above average numbers. For example, Nurse.org suggests the highest ratio be 1 nurse to 5 patients. Of course, this also varies between the type of staff. Do some research on safe ratios for different specialty services your agency provides. You can help your employees provide better care through safe staffing.
Stability Builds Relationships
A huge perk that your home care agency can market to employees is the stability that comes with the job compared to working in a traditional hospital. Random 12-hour shifts scattered randomly throughout the week create a hectic schedule. Your home care employees can follow a more stable schedule. For those looking to escape the unpredictability of the hospital setting, this stability can be a huge plus.
Stability is more than just scheduling though. It also means employees are able to build relationships with the patients they care for. Since home care is often prolonged over a period of months or even years, these relationships can be built and fostered over time. As employees build a connection with their patients, both will have a happier, more emotionally fulfilling workplace.
Setting Clear Expectations Avoids Confusion
Though working outside of the hospital setting comes with plenty of benefits, it also comes with some drawbacks. For one, expectations may not be clear because employees are working in the client’s home rather than a central facility. This can make communication between you and your staff difficult and may even cause confusion with regards to what is expected. However, setting clear guidelines can help prevent issues and ensure the processes of care and business run smoothly.
For one, your home care agency should write a formal policy which outlines the duties associated with each individual position. Expectations of all employees should be set (ie. answering calls, requesting time off, handling complaints.) It is important to note this policy should be written in easy to read wording that is easily comprehended by everyone. Since the guidelines are in place to build workplace structure in a non-traditionally structured field, they should not be filled with legal jargon and confusing phrases.
Clear communication of expectations is key to building successful, positive relationships with your home care team.
Training Opportunities Give Employees Pride In Their Career
Perhaps more than any other field, the healthcare industry demands lifelong learning. This may come in the form of advanced degrees, conferences, or online certifications. Healthcare workers must pursue these opportunities to stay competitive in the job market and knowledgeable in the clinical setting. If you want your team to be of the highest caliber, consider sponsoring voluntary training for their employees.
For example, your home care agency could offer a yearly stipend to employees with the condition it is used on further education or certification. If you cannot financially achieve this type of support, you could offer to send a few top “employees of the month” to a field-related conference or certification class once or twice each year.
Most healthcare workers take extreme pride in what they do. This means that most of them will find support of their education-furthering endeavors to be an exciting and fulfilling offer.
Bonus: Recognition For A Job Well Done
Though caring for patients is often a thankless field, offering internal recognition within the company can greatly boost morale. Running an employee of the month spotlight, providing anonymous “caught doing good” reports, or offering some sort of incentive for excellent performance gives employees even more pride in their career. Besides, who doesn’t love a reward for their hard work?
Of course, these are not the only strategies. Every company must assess what will make their employees happiest and then implement those measures. However, by putting these strategies into action to start, your home care agency can greatly improve employee morale and happiness. In doing so, the business will run smoother and patients will receive better care. Finding and retaining employees is challenging, but a great team makes your business! Let our custom job board do the work for you!