It should come as no surprise that the senior care industry’s employee turnover rate stands at some of the highest healthcare industry levels – in between 60% and 80%. And from recent reporting, it appears that these numbers are only continuing to rise.
One of the big reasons behind this is the “silver tsunami.” Haven’t heard of it? It refers to the large number of Baby Boomers who are beginning to need extra care, which means there has been a huge increase in demand for talent in the senior care industry.
Current employees are carrying this extra burden, having to work the shifts or manage multiple people’s caseloads. As you can imagine, this puts an incredible amount of stress on individuals who already work in an emotionally, mentally, and physically taxing profession.
What can you do to lessen the burden, improve the job experience, and help retain senior living talent? Consider these three strategies:
Be thoughtful about onboarding
One of the reasons why employees do not last long is because the job is not what they had expected. You need to make sure that your new hires feel confident and prepared as they come onto the job. This can (and should) include prep before the first day – but it should not stop there. Make sure your new hire meets the whole team and knows who they should reach out to regarding specific issues. Beyond that, you should have regular check-ins to make sure that all of their questions and concerns can be addressed. This extra work upfront will save a lot of headaches in the future.
Offer caregivers what they want and need
Remember that everyone is different and that the benefits that matter to one person might mean little to another. Talk to each new hire about what they care about most: Maybe it is training programs, or childcare services, or perhaps flexible hours. Having this conversation will help each employee feel like they are getting the most out of their job and that their employer cares about them as an individual.
In terms of work programs, talk to employees about the tools or technology that would actually make their lives easier. Do not just go off of the latest trend or what the salesperson told you would be important. This is a way for you to involve your team and let them know that their feedback matters.
Stay connected and flexible
Before you create a retention plan, get feedback from your caregivers. And after you do have a plan in place, do not just forget about it. Continue talking to your team to find out what is working and what needs to be improved. Maybe the benefits that mattered at a particular time to a particular group of people are no longer relevant. These are what you need to stay on top of if you want to make sure that you create a long-living talent retention program.