Leading your home care agency means making a lot of decisions. All of your choices, whether big decisions or small ones, make a difference in your agency. Unfortunately, most home care leaders tend to gloss over a major choice in their business: how their team is structured. Home care team structure can make your business run more – or less – smoothly. It can help with your caregiver recruitment and even contribute positively – or negatively – to staff retention.
If you’ve structured your team based on the home care agency down the street or on your past experiences, you could be missing out on a structure that is innovative, that inspires, and that empowers your team. Here’s how to make a home care team structure that works for you.
Create Buckets of Responsibility
Before you can structure your team, you need to understand what tasks happen on a regular basis throughout your agency. Start by developing “buckets of responsibility”, which will end up as your Departments. Remember, your buckets will be different during your startup phase and will flex throughout your agency’s tenure. Focus on the tasks that need to happen now.
Consider a Name Change
Next, name your buckets. Stick with names that are professional but also friendly. After all, your home care agency is rooted in relationships. You want your titles to reflect that as well. Can Human Resources become Team Engagement? Would Client Care sound better for your agency if it was named Personalized Service?
If you are struggling to find creative names, consider hosting a brainstorming session with your team. They will love being involved with decisions that directly affect their job, and you’ll love their fresh perspective.
Shift Your Focus
When possible, create your Departments around the two most important figures of your agency: the senior and the caregiver. If you can relate your team structure around these central figures, your agency will be person-centered from the foundation. You’ll be surprised at how much this small act can positively impact your decisions moving forward.
Create Caregiver Tiers
Most home care agencies only have one position for their caregiving staff: caregiver. This can leave care and interventions a bit uninspired, as the caregiver is not actively trying to “move up the corporate ladder”. Instead, create a structure that empowers caregivers to continue their education and inspire them to always be their best. Creating tiers throughout your caregiver department is the perfect way to accomplish this.
Consider adding titles like Caregiver, Lead Caregiver, and Mentor Caregiver. Each tier requires a promotion to attain and is given based on leadership qualities, client care, and ongoing education. This structure can also lead to increased caregiver retention by increasing their recognition throughout their tenure at your agency.
You can restructure your organizational chart any time you want to. While you don’t want to restructure too much, as it can create a culture of instability, you can restructure to promote positive change. For example, restructuring after you grow from a startup to an established agency is a prudent decision. Also, you can restructure your team as an energy boost to jumpstart a new initiative or direction for your agency.