Why They Stay: Unlocking the Secrets to Caregiver Retention in Home Care

How to keep your best caregiver talent

A happy caregiver helps an older client, representing the results of a good caregiver retention program.

For employers across every industry, employee retention presents a significant operational challenge. In 2023, 66% of HR professionals said that employee retention is their top priority. It’s even more concerning for healthcare companies, where turnover rates for some providers can be as high as 35%.

Yet caregiver retention can be a tough assignment. Burnout in the healthcare field is high, and the job has a reputation for being low-paying and stressful. A better employee experience paired with thoughtful agency branding can make a significant difference in caregiver retention.

Here are 4 ways to create a culture and workplace that helps you retain your best caregivers.

The problem with high turnover

High turnover can lower employee morale, forfeit productivity, and deplete institutional knowledge. In the healthcare industry, turnover is especially high. In a single year, one industry report estimated the attrition rate of registered nurses at 27.1%, certified nursing assistants at 35.5%, and nurse practitioners at 15.3%.

For small home care agencies, that level of turnover can seriously disrupt basic operations and compromise client care. Here’s how to mitigate the risk of caregiver attrition.

1. Compete with benefits packages

Recruiting and retaining caregivers isn’t just about base pay (though that does matter). Many employers compete for talent with their benefits packages and perks.

Some of the most in-demand benefits include:

  • Flexible schedules. Workers need the ability to schedule work around their lives. Home care providers can provide job-sharing, compressed work weeks, and other non-traditional scheduling options that caregivers can customize to their needs in collaboration with clients and the agency.
  • Remote work. Healthcare employers struggle to provide remote options simply based on the nature of the job, but some home care agencies are adding telehealth services to their offerings, and others are allowing caregivers to perform administrative tasks from wherever they like.
  • Financial wellness programs. A solid foundation of literacy can help your workers prepare for emergencies, save for the future, and spend wisely now.
  • Mental healthcare. According to a 2023 survey by the American Psychological Association, 92% of workers say it’s important to them that their employer cares about their emotional health and wellbeing. This is especially important for workers whose jobs are often mentally and physically taxing — like caregivers.
  • Career growth opportunities. Offering the chance to learn new skills can make the difference between losing and keeping your caregivers. A survey by Pew Research Center found that 63% of workers who left their jobs in 2021 cited a lack of advancement opportunities as their reason for quitting.

2. Show your employees the impact of their efforts and reward good work

Caregiving can be a rewarding and fulfilling career, yet on a day to day basis, it can be hard for your staff to see the fruits of their labor or feel recognized for their hard work.

3. Be on the lookout for burnout

Caregiving is famously hard work. And for those who work in end-of-life care, the impact of work on their mental wellbeing can be profound.

There is evidence that employee burnout can lead to poor job performance and higher employee turnover. And in healthcare, it can also affect client health outcomes.

To beat burnout and increase caregiver retention, be on the lookout for:

  • High employee stress
  • Irritability
  • Poor work performance
  • Weak work-life balance

4. Foster a healthy work culture

One of the best ways to retain your workforce is to make your home care agency a place where they want to work. This begins with fostering a healthy work culture.

  • Establish core values that guide business and employment decisions and create a consistent employee experience.
  • Set clear expectations for work performance so employees know how they’ll be evaluated. This creates goals for your caregivers to strive for and shows them how to earn promotions and raises.
  • Establish conduct guidelines so employees know they’ll be expected to engage respectfully and supportively with their colleagues.
  • Bring your staff together in person to cultivate healthy working relationships, build team rapport, and encourage them to do good work.

Keep the pulse of your caregiver staff

The industry leaders at Home Care Marketing Pros can help you design employee retention programs that retain your best caregivers for longer, maintain workforce morale, and improve client outcomes. The same tech that powers client retention can power your caregiver retention programs too. Book a demo of our proprietary CareFunnels platform to learn more.

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