I was speaking at a conference of senior care providers last month on the topic of growing your business when someone stopped me mid-sentence with this observation: “I can’t take care of one more client unless I can find good caregivers.” He went on to note that recruiting quality applicants is no longer easy. In fact, he said, most days it feels almost impossible.
This provider is certainly not alone in his quest to attract quality candidates to his team. In fact, a recent survey by technology provider OnShift titled “Workforce Insights: Get Ahead” notes that 63% of senior care providers find human capital management one of their top operational priorities. The report notes that three areas are most challenging: finding qualified candidates, employee retention and satisfaction and staff scheduling.
While it’s nice to know you’re not alone in those challenge areas, it might be even nicer to have some solutions available.
Since I’m the founder and CEO of a training company, I’m passionate about training as a tool to help you build your dream team. Let’s look at some proven methods you can start using now to improve recruitment, employee retention and employee satisfaction – while you’re building that dream team!
1. Start offering formal training programs. In a recent survey of applicants on a caregiving hiring site 65% said that formal training programs are influential in deciding which company they want to work for. Candidates are clearly seeking more than just monthly inservices or mandatory training. Candidates have a choice of employers, especially the good ones. And those good ones are looking for formal training programs that will help them grow in their knowledge, skills and careers. Do you offer specialty certifications to give caregivers the opportunity to grow and advance? If you don’t offer them now, you may need to start offering these programs to be competitive and to attract the best possible candidates.
2. Offer more training, more often for current employees. 85% of currently employed caregivers say they want more training opportunities. In short, offer much, much more than the minimal required if you want to retain your best and brightest.
3. Communicate your robust training program to candidates. Be sure to mention training in recruitment ads, during interviews and on job postings. Keep in mind that more than half of all candidates are looking for it. If you offer it, be sure to let everyone know!
4. Offer caregiver certifications. When you’re building your dream team, look for ways to recognize the learning achievements of every single member of your team. I love little lapel pins. They are inexpensive to purchase and I’ve seen caregivers with every pin they ever earned on their scrub top or circling their name badge. Caregivers will wear these pins with pride. They’ll also glow when you mention their accomplishments in e-newsletters or on company bulletin boards. One caregiver, Linda, working for a home care client of ours earned more than 54 certificates online in the past 12 months; the caregiving team at the company she worked for collectively earned more than 762 training certificates in that same time period. This agency also earned the highest customer and employee satisfaction ratings in the entire organization of over 500 home care agencies. Coincidence? I don’t think so!
5. Look for career growth opportunities. 25% of all employees leave their jobs primarily because they lack opportunities to learn and grow. Guess who these employees are? They’re your highest performing, most motivated employees – the ones that are so passionate about doing a great job that they’ll take every class you make available to them, even on their own time. They’re the Lindas of the world that will earn more than 50 course certificates on their own time just to do a better job for the clients they love. They’re the core of any successful company’s dream team.
6. Focus on employee engagement. This is vital to the success of any organization. Keys to building engagement include making sure every employee has the training and tools to do their very best every single day. It also includes finding ways to connect employees on the job (having a best friend at work is a high measure of engagement) and having great relationships with supervisors. Engagement matters: organizations with highly engaged employees have the most satisfied customers. More importantly, if you sit in a CEO or executive seat like I do, these organizations average three times the net revenue of their counterparts without the same level of engagement.
7. Pay a little more. Yes, I know this seems counter-intuitive to your bottom line success but it works if you have a sound strategy behind it. Let’s say, for example, that you have a caregiver who earns a Diabetes Care Certification in her own time. You also have a family inquiring about care for a mom newly diagnosed with diabetes. Matching your client needs with unique skills on your team means you may be able to charge a little more and pay a little more. Now you’ve earned loyalty and a high satisfaction rating from both the client and the caregiver – a win all around.
Whether you’re a new senior care organization or you’ve been around the block a time or two, if you’re looking for strategies to build your dream team and realize the goals you have for your company, you’ve got to invest in training. It’s one of the best investments you’ll make!
Learn more about certifications, online training and other training options offered by the Institute for Professional Care Education, LLC (IPCed®) by contacting an IPCed Training Specialist today at http://www.ipced.com/demo/.
About the Author
Sharon K. Brothers brings over 30 years’ experience in senior care services to her passion as the founder and CEO of IPCed.
Sharon has an advanced degree in social work and leadership experience in multi-state Assisted Living corporations. She has been a developer, owner and operator of dementia care assisted living communities and has deep expertise as an educator for all levels of staff within the care profession.
Sharon has also been involved in voluntary community organizations including facilitating support groups for families and serving on Area Agency on Aging advisory boards.