Home health staff training

Staff Retention & Reducing Callouts in Home Health Agencies

Key Leadership Strategies to Keep Your Staff Happy and Productive

“Power, Praise, & Perks”

The home healthcare industry is becoming a high-turnover job, meaning that people are parting ways with companies just as quickly as they are hired. The healthcare workforce as a whole has been suffering, even more so since the pandemic. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 30% of healthcare professionals are thinking of leaving the healthcare industry. That same survey found that 60% of the healthcare workforce was impacted mentally by working during the pandemic. The main reasons people are leaving healthcare right now are:

  • Feeling overworked.
  • Lack of recognition.
  • Poor company culture.
  • Better opportunities elsewhere.

The pandemic took a toll on employment and put many healthcare workers in a vulnerable position on the front lines battling a deadly virus. It also awakened many employees and gave them the radical realization that they deserve more. No longer are people willing to stand for poor leadership and being overworked and underappreciated. As employers, there are small but mighty changes that can be made to improve home healthcare staff retention and limit things like callouts and burnout.

In this home care blog, we’ll go over three proven methods to retain staff and limit callouts for home health agencies, Power, Praise, and Perks.

1. Power  | The Power of Leadership

Homecare agency managementThe impact of leadership is enough to make or break a team, and powerful, focused leadership can improve and sustain your work environment exponentially.  “Power” in this sense is different from the “power,” we think of. People are no longer willing to work under a dictatorship where they go unheard and are mistreated by management. It’s time to shift from traditional leadership to transformational leadership. Transformational leadership changes the leadership role from traditional, transactional, and domineering to an approach based on motivation and collective changes. Transformational leadership uses personality and compassion to encourage a shared goal and has proven to improve staff retention, stability, and job engagement. Here are a few ways you can adopt transformational leadership:

  • Build more personalized relationships with staff.
  • Ensure all staff feel represented and heard.
  • Listen and show empathy.

2. Praise  | Praise for work ethic

Healthcare is often a thankless job, and you’ll find that many employees just want to be recognized and complimented for the work that they do. By showing your employees how important they are to your company, you can retain their employment. Many people who work in home health care enjoy the act of caring itself and are selfless by nature. That said, the hurt they experience when they feel like their company doesn’t recognize their efforts can have a devastating domino effect on not only caregiver staff, but additionally the agency as a whole. By taking the time to reach out to your employees via mail, text, or any correspondence you can reassure them. Every relationship needs reassurance and praise, small acts of compassion can go a long way. Many businesses put the customer first and while that can be good for business, it can prove harmful to staff, which is not good for business. Prioritizing your employees will in turn improve patient care by making your staff feel heard and validated. You can take a few of the following steps to praise your employees for their work ethic:

  • Providing a welcoming work environment: Staff should be able to talk to you when they need to.
  • Make sure your employee’s needs are met: Do they have all the equipment they need to handle the job (ie work phones, visit supplies, Covid safety equipment, home health software, and workflow management technology, etc.)?
  • How are nurses and caregivers feeling, are they well today? Could they use a day off to nurse a cold or combat tiredness? A simple “How are you doing today?” and “Is there anything I can do?” can go a long way in giving you an opportunity to offer some rest/time off when scheduling allows.
  • Be accommodating. A better work life balance for caregivers is more important now than ever in the age of caregiver shortages in the home health industry. Now is the time to be more flexible with scheduling, understanding in emergencies, and helpful.

3. Perks  | Perks of working for YOUR agency instead of somewhere else

Everyone loves perks! You may find yourself signing up for a random membership because of all the benefits that come along with it. The same can be said about employment. There are things you can do to get people involved in the work environment and enjoy working. Are you familiar with the saying that you should find a job that you enjoy doing so it doesn’t feel like work? This can be done so simply and at little cost.  Let’s discuss some things you can do to encourage your employees to show up:

  • Incentives and Interactions: Everyone enjoys incentives, and they don’t have to be expensive. Some people just enjoy friendly competition, and interactive games or activities can boost workplace morale. Imagine having a raffle for people who work at least 5 shifts a month or have the best attendance. You can also offer a game of spin the wheel and allow your employees to choose prizes.
  • Wellness and Workshops: Now more than ever people are taking their health seriously, as they should. Especially in the healthcare industry, these jobs can be mentally/emotionally, and physically taxing. People also find themselves in the same routine of working with no added value to their personal life. Offering stress management workshops, fitness reimbursement, financial education, family day or even hosting a yoga class once a month would bring your employees together and feel cared for.

Make your agency the BEST place to work!

The things listed above are just a few things that you can offer as perks of working for your agency. You may not be able to afford to send all of your employees to Cabo for a weekend but you may be able to afford things like movies, zoo, or museum tickets which are all still fun for clinicians and their families.

The three Ps of good homecare agency staff motivation and retention, “Power, Praise, and Perks” are the best foundational methods you can adopt to turn your casual employees into committed team members. These ideas are very simple and should be mandatory building blocks to running a successful home health agency that puts employees and patients first. Start off 2023 with a plan of adopting one or more of these to use in the first quarter, or improving upon existing programs if you have something already in place.

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.

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 thrive with simplicity and focus on patient care.

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