10 Nov How to avoid high caregiver turnover in your home health agency
Tips and strategies to build and maintain a productive & satisfied agency staff
A high turnover rate is something that most home healthcare agencies face, however, the problem is much deeper than it seems. It’s more than filling empty holes in your schedules; it tends to have profound consequences for patients and the efficiency of the overall business.
This comprehensive blog will explore the causes of the home health epidemic and where it comes from. It will give you the information you need to tackle this issue by creating an ideal work atmosphere that will attract and keep loyal employees. Are you ready to make a change?
What Causes a High Turnover Rate in Home Healthcare?
Unfortunately, there is no single reason for a high turnover rate. When it comes down to it, the job itself is a hard one! However, this is usually a bearable factor when all other components fall into line. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that could be making it so that employees don’t want to stay with your company.
Uncompetitive Benefits and Perks
One of the leading causes for employees quitting or changing home healthcare companies is because their salaries and perks are uncompetitive. In light of this, agencies are required to resort to salary benchmarking to remain competitive on pay. Moreover, incorporating incentives that entail salary escalations based on length of service is highly effective in keeping your nurses and caregivers.
Inadequate Training and Support
Poor preparation of employees can lead to dissatisfaction within a company, resulting in higher turnover rates. Therefore, home health care agencies need to implement thorough orientation programs that cover a wide range of topics for the staff and conduct ongoing training on a regular basis. You can boost your employees’ morale, job satisfaction, and loyalty by ensuring they have confidence in themselves and the support they need. Consequently, they won’t be satisfied if they don’t know how to do their job correctly.
When inappropriately handled, the stress that comes with home healthcare can cause exhaustion. Agencies should adopt proactive measures for managing burnout among their employees. Some of these strategies involve stress management and mental health programs, promotion of workload management, and facilitating effective work-life balance. Other agencies have even gone as far as allowing one paid ‘mental health day’ a few days a year for an extended break.
Poor Communication and Leadership
To ensure the stability of the workforce, there is a need to create effective communication and stronger leaders. The more disengaged employees believe they are to the agency’s mission and concerns, the more likely they are to resign. Agencies, therefore, need to focus on clear communication and encourage a spirit of honesty. A simple, supportive leadership that appreciates staff input can be used to retain loyal employees.
Reversing a High Turnover Rate Within Your Home Healthcare Agency
Now that you know the potential issues causing the high turnover, it’s time to make some changes. Keep in mind this won’t reflect a difference overnight, but as long as you stay consistent over time, you’ll be able to ‘reap what you sow’ as so to speak.
Employ Comprehensive Training and Onboarding Programs
Adequate training and onboarding help you cut attrition to a minimum in your home healthcare corporation. It also covers everything beyond the procedures involved in induction, as it prepares people to work and settle in with the culture and organizational expectations of your agency.
Adequate training and onboarding will instill confidence among new staff, and increase their productivity, and employee satisfaction. This includes welcoming them to the organization, defining their job scopes extensively, and educating them on matters such as law and department guidelines, among many others.
Additionally, it’s important to note that the onboarding process should be seen as a never-ending journey. Therefore, agencies need to promote employee education via conferences, mentorships, workshops, and different types of ongoing, paid education. Making sure your home health training courses are up to par goes a long way towards true caregiver retention.
Through good training exercises and an excellent onboarding process, one gets loyal, well-skilled, and informed employees who become just as passionate about the mission and vision as the agency is.
Measuring the Overall Success of Your Home Healthcare Agency
Let’s fast forward a bit: You identified the issues within your agency and incorporated several significant changes. Now what? It’s time to measure the success of the business overall. There are a couple of ways to do this, which we will take you through below.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
First and foremost, you have to show that your tactics for reducing turnover are working. Technology like home health care software and workplace management systems have simplified analyzing data and trends within agency productivity. Your agency can implement key performance indicators or KPIs. One of these is the employee turnover rate, which measures the number of employees you have at the end of each year.
Something else that could be helpful is an employee satisfaction questionnaire, as this is a vital part of the overall performance evaluation. After all, these queries will be crucial in determining whether your employees are satisfied with their jobs. You’ll want to be sure to ask for suggestions as well!
What your agency will then do differently than many others is do their best to consider the suggestions they receive and take the time to speak with each employee as to why this is or is not feasible. Together, they can agree to work toward a realistic solution as this helps ensure your employees feel heard.
Set Realistic Goals and Timelines
Indeed, stating targets and deadlines for evaluating the success of turnover reduction is not sufficient alone for solving the problem. Before stepping into any journey towards creating an effective agency, having a clear picture of what you want to achieve is necessary. This will help with higher levels of retention as well as increased job satisfaction scores on your questionnaires.
The next step should be to develop concrete, measurable objectives that you can achieve. You can do this by preparing a handbook capable of guiding you on how to set up goals and strategies needed to meet the intended results.
It’s Time to Act
Though it may be challenging to tackle the high turnover rates in home healthcare organizations, it is imperative to do so. This problem has many roots, such as non-competitive wages, insufficient training, stress, bad communication, and leadership. However, it is necessary for an organization to deal with such problems and make a steady, satisfied workforce by having complete training programs that grow the confidence, productivity, and loyalty of employees.
Additionally, you need to assess whether your agency’s actions were successful. Performance indicators like monitoring workforce retention rates and employee surveys offer helpful information about the improvements made.
As mentioned earlier, setting realistic goals and timelines also plays an essential part because they provide a guide in decreasing turnover rates and increasing job satisfaction scores. Therefore, home health care agencies must endeavor to continually improve and be flexible to build and retain a loyal team, which will, in turn, result in good service delivery to the patients and also good performance of their businesses.
SageJournals. (2021, July 26). The Role of Schedule Volatility in Home Health Nursing Turnover. Retrieved November 4, 2023. The Role of Schedule Volatility in Home Health Nursing Turnover – Alon Bergman, Hummy Song, Guy David, Joanne Spetz, Molly Candon, 2022 (sagepub.com)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, September 23). Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages. Retrieved November 4, 2023. Strategies to Mitigate Healthcare Personnel Staffing Shortages | CDC
Author’s Note: Views, information, and guidance in this resource are intended for information only. We are not rendering legal, financial, accounting, medical, or other professional advice. Alora disclaims any liability to any third party and cannot make any guarantee related to the content.
Additional Home Health Agency Staff Retention Reading:
- Five facts about caregiver burnout that will startle you
- Creating magnetic job postings to attract nurses to your agency
- Preventing caregiver turnover in your home health agency
- Ten best ways to show caregiver appreciation
- Dealing with the shortage of caregivers in home healthcare
- Caregiver training – six key practices to get nurses off to a good start
- Work/life balance tips for clinicians
Alora’s home health software solution is ideal for agencies operating in both skilled and non-skilled care. For more than 16 years Alora has simplified workflow for countless agencies, helping them serve nearly 850,000 patients, while fostering growth and efficiency. Building a strong agency culture where caregivers enjoy their work starts with making their job as simple as possible. Alora makes everything involved with day-to day workflow easier, so agencies can reduce turnover and thrive with simplicity, allowing inspired caregivers to focus on patient care.