Home care employees need an employer who understands – and anticipates – their needs. While each employee on your team has their own unique preferences and situations, one thing is certain: they all want to avoid burnout and the emotional, physical, and mental strain that comes with it. Developing ways to create an agency culture that focuses on decreasing burnout can quickly lead to increased employee retention. Here’s how to get it done, starting today.
Get to Know Your Staff
If you take a moment and be honest with yourself, how well do you really know your home care employees? It’s easy to lose a personal connection with your caregivers, especially if your agency struggles with retention. The constant revolving door of staff members can make getting to know them more difficult. To complicate matters further, your caregivers don’t work inside your agency office. Instead, they are scattered throughout your greater community, serving clients. This makes getting to know them downright hard.
However, you can’t develop policies to help avoid burnout if you don’t know your employees. Make it a priority to get to know your staff. You can add it to your weekly calendar to spend 1-hour making phone calls to check-in on employees or setting up small staff meet-ups where you have coffee with a group of 3-4 caregivers. You’ll slowly begin to get to know about your team, and how they feel appreciated as well as signs they are stressed out.
Encourage Vacation Time
Caregivers can avoid burnout if they take plenty of time away from their duties at work. Unfortunately, many healthcare employers can unintentionally (or intentionally) discourage taking time off. Choose to develop a comprehensive time-off policy that not only offers good vacation benefits, but that also encourages employees to actually take those well-deserved days off.
Listen for Signs of Distress
As you chat with your home care employees, tune your ear to hear signs of potential burnout or distress. For example, is one caregiver having some serious issues with a client or a particular “high maintenance” family member? Perhaps it is wise to decrease the caregiver’s stress by rotating them out of that home a few days per week. Sure, it takes some time for you to update your staff schedule, but it could be well worth it in the long run as your caregiver can experience some relief.
Have an Open-Door Policy
Your caregivers and other staff must feel comfortable with you in order to tell you when they are struggling. Make it well known that you are readily available to talk with your home care employees about stressful situations or difficult client interactions. Just be sure your time with your caregivers is not just a complaint session; choose to encourage them to be solutions-based and use your time together to validate their experience while brainstorming for realistic ways to make the situation better.
Start Exit Interviews
If your agency doesn’t already actively pursue exit interviews with outgoing staff members, consider starting today. An exit interview can give you insight into trends that could be leading to increased turnover, as well as give you the opportunity to end the working relationship cordially.
How are you going to take steps to avoid burnout today among your home care employees? You can learn more tips for developing retention-based adjustments to your agency practices by downloading our free guide, the Caregiver Retention Roadmap.
Your caregivers deserve to avoid burnout and feel their best at work and at home.
Article written by Haley Burress.
Hi, my name is Wendell Scott and I help Home Care Agencies who are experiencing high caregiver turnover rates, have trouble coordinating client care and feel frustrated with their team to easily increase efficiency and scale their Home Care business.
I’d like to share with you my free Caregiver Recruitment Engine™ framework. In it, are the tools to help you develop a system to easily attract & hire caregivers (aka a repeatable system for recruiting quality staff), so you can organize your process, reliably recruit staff and efficiently scale your home care team.
The end result:
Faster than ever.