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5 Reasons Staffing Can Be Attached To Leadership

LeadershipIn today’s world, good leadership makes a huge difference. This means poor management can cause turnover, poor morale, and decreased productivity.

Working With Interim Management Companies

Management methods makes a huge difference for staff. Here are five reasons to assess management of your organization.

1. Home Health/Hospice Responsibilities

Home health care and hospice are very different from other healthcare organizations. Nurses in homecare also function as amateur physical therapists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, and often clergy. That’s a lot of pressure for nurses. Therefore, effective management is important to help handle it.

2. Financial Success

Even though a passion for the mission is so important, clinical staff also need to make a solid living. Strong leadership gives employees a sense of security. Strong leadership equals agency success, which equals employee success.

3. Critical Thinking Skills

Nurses must provide care solutions that are unique to each patient in their own surroundings. This differs from the controlled environment of a hospital or SNF.  Management needs to promote critical and comprehensive thinking skills.  Then, nurses can properly assess and make the best decisions.

4. A Feeling Of Support

In the day-to-day requirements of home and hospice care, nurses can quickly become overwhelmed. If leadership functions in an environment of fear, employees will struggle. On the other hand, employees who feel supported are likely to thrive—and stick around.

5. Education And Preparedness

Many times, an employee’s performance comes down to training. Leaders offering education beyond the basics have better prepared employees. Hence, less turnover and top-notch client care results.

Making It Happen: Finding Interim Management Companies

Sometimes, this level of leadership can seem impossible. This is where interim management is key. Consultants can fill a void or help you find what’s missing in agency leadership.

At Kenyon HomeCare Consulting, we understand the value of effective leadership. Our interim management program has the tools you need to improve management skill.  Reach out to us today to learn more.

Key Elements To A Successful Wound Care Program In Homecare

Ok, so you invested in a CWCN or WOCN, but nothing really changed? Agencies often invest the money in a wound care program, but don’t see programs flourish. Here are a few reasons why you may not see outcomes and changes to your bottom dollar even with a wound care nurse on staff.

Wound Care Nurses Are Nurses First

Remember, having a  CWCN/ WOCN on staff doesn’t mean that nurse has EVER developed or implemented a program. This is a critical point. Administration needs to provide the tools to help do so. An Educational Director or someone in Quality Improvement can help with operational changes and data needed for success.

Time Is Not Allotted For The Program

It would be nice if you could see a program thrive while the wound care nurse makes 6 visits a day while taking call. This is not realistic if you want to see the program succeed. This nurse can’t be a full time staff nurse, run the program, and make it grow all. There simply is not enough time in the day. Allow your expert nurse to use her knowledge wisely. Now, that is easier said than done for small agencies with limited resources. However, consider growth potential when strategic relationships are made. That key contact is crucial for outside providers such as infectious disease practices, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities. It is a balance of time in the field and program follow through that sets up the win.

Ongoing Education Is Always Key

As previously stated, these nurses are experts in their field. They should be utilized as one. A good CWCN or WOCN nurse is constantly working to educate staff.  A good wound care team leader provides ongoing education including assessment, treatment options, and outcomes. To learn more about how your homecare organization can benefit from having wound care nurses and other specialists on-staff, feel free to contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today by calling 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form.

Strategic Partnerships Are Key to Patient Care

ICD-10 CodingThe changing face of the healthcare industry has many facets to explore, both unexpected and also quite complex. But the whole industry fits together and functions as a single whole, and ideally as a united system of strategic partnerships that put patient’s needs first.

Home health & hospice may seem like a totally separate branch of healthcare, because care is delivered in the patient’s home and not an institutional building. But in reality, home health functions largely through strategic partnerships with other providers.

Home Health’s Growth Is Based Upon Strategic Relationships

Even the largest hospitals rely on strategic partnerships to secure the best possible care for their patients. And so do small home health organizations, from startup support to accreditation and training to joining an ACO, no home health agency is born in a vacuum or exists in one.When diseases and conditions can be handled at home, this allows institutions to care for those that truly have to be there while home health works cares for the others.

And it is this very relationship with other providers that is causing the big boom in home health that we’ve seen in recent years. That, and the simple fact that the US (and world) population is aging and in ever-increasing need of chronic disease management and other in-home forms of care.

Specific Home-health Strategic Relationships and Their Benefits

Home health & hospice agencies are part of a healthcare network that work together towards the common overarching goal of high-quality, patient-driven care. This cooperation should lead to better outcomes, successful follow through, improved communication, and referrals for all concerned.

We have already touched on home care’s relationship with hospitals, but their strategic relationships do not end there. They also take patients from or recommend them to:

  • MD practices and outpatient clinics
  • Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs)
  • Wound care clinics
  • Assisted living facilities

Developing strong relationships across providers is imperative in the healthcare world today. Considering the increasing number of people that are cared for at home, this industry must be at the forefront in development and maintenance of strategic professional relationships.

Conclusion

The lesson to be learned is that each branch of the healthcare industry relies on each other to function and provide optimal care to its clients. Home health is no exception and is designed to have more interaction with other providers on a daily basis to successfully manage all aspects of care at home.

To learn more about how your home health organization can develop strategic relationships that benefit clients and agency alike, contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting by calling 206-721-5091 or filling out our online contact form.

Maintaining Ongoing Successful Partnerships With Doctors

doctor partnershipsForming and developing strategic partnerships with MD’s is key to success of today’s home health care agencies. In fact, competition is fierce in the arena of doctor-homehealth relationships. And the rapid growth of the homecare industry in recent years has created a situation in which doctors and homecare practitioners must work in harmony for the good of patients.

Why Must Doctors and Homecare Agencies “Partner Up?”

The fact is, many patients have a strong desire to stay at home and live active lives, rather than be confined to a hospital or nursing home. They would also prefer to avoid unnecessary trips to hospitals, MD offices, clinics, and other medical facilities when possible.

But there are many services that require a doctor’s oversight, approval, or prescription to be both legal and safe. Even when patients are cared for at home, they often need to be under the umbrella of a local physician’s office as well.

This means your home health agency needs to be on the same page with other providers, especially licensed physicians, and always have the lines of communication open. In fact, you need a designated “relationships manager” to coordinate all the details of your agency’s ongoing relationships with MD practices.

Managing Your Ongoing Partnerships With Doctors

To ensure you can nurture and hold onto valuable partnerships with local doctors once you get them started, you’ll need to appoint an official “go between.” There must be someone assigned to the task of managing this potentially complex relationship.

Here are some tasks that your MD practice relationship manager should regularly engage in:

  • Serve as the contact person between the doctor and your homecare agency, and at times meet personally with physicians.
  • Organize a step by step operational flow and ensure both ends are aware of, comfortable with, and are following that same “flow chart.”
  • Ensure that you are communicating to doctors your agency’s true capabilities and full capacity, and that you are delivering on every promise made to patients and doctors alike.
  • Be alert for problems that develop and be quickly troubleshoot them, so you cultivate ongoing growth and boosted referrals.
  • Make sure you are on the same page as doctors when it comes to ICD coding and documentation.
  • Develop and implement specific care-protocols with each MD practice. This will minimize calls to the MD and empower nurses to work more independently without any risk to the patient.

Whether you are just starting up a new home health agency, or you are simply trying to hone and perfect your growth strategy, managing well your MD relationships cannot be ignored. You need to make the relationship beneficial to your agency, to the MD practice, and to the patient.

To learn more or for a free consultation on optimizing your homecare growth and your bottom line, contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today by calling us at 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form.

Boosting the bottom line with specialty infusion services

Improving care with infusion nursesWhether you are just starting up a new home health agency or contemplating striking out in a new direction to expand you horizons (and boost your bottom line), adding specialty infusion services to your agency’s expertise will create a significant market differentiation.

Predictions are that demand for infusion specialty nurses will continue to rise at least till 2020, and probably well beyond, given the ongoing phenomenon of an “aging” US population.

The Place of Infusion Nursing in HomeCare

“Infusion nurse” can mean several things, both in the homecare industry and in the context of a hospital or clinic. It may be simply administering the most commonly used antibiotics by IV and monitoring patients for potential complications.

At the most basic level, then, infusion capability is needed for many of your homecare nurses, not just one or two, and yet, it doesn’t create a market advantage.

But when managing acute, complex or rare chronic diseases, you need nurses with more rigorous training and certification processes. Add immunoglobulin (IVIG) and chemo infusion capability, for example, and you capture a high-end niche market, which is always good for growth!

Hire nurses specially trained to administer specific drugs, who know how to properly monitor for specific potential side effects/reactions, and who can work directly with physicians and pharmacists to ensure top-level care and maximized efficiency.

Forming a Specialty Infusion Nurse Program

If you want to find new partners through your ACO or directly through communication with local specialty physicians, you need specialty infusion nurses on staff and a well developed program.

An attractive, effective infusion services program should focus on “individualized” care. Your nurses need to administer the drug correctly, closely monitor patients’ responses, recommend possible therapy, and educate patients and their families.

Your nurses should also be in a position to collaborate with local physicians and pharmacies to ensure optimal therapeutic effect and overall care. In addition, a well managed program will account for staff that always manages equipment needs in conjunction with the infusion company to ensure the patient is never without supplies and never misses a dose.

Educational pamphlets, booklets, flyers, and other printed materials for specific condition should be available to the agency as teaching tools. And you need to allow time for nurses to “customize” these materials as the apply to each specific patient.

Finally, it is essential to include protocols for measuring outcomes and progress, and for all ICD-10 and other medical reporting and record keeping purposes.

Marketing Your Infusion Services

Once you have hired infusion specialty nurses or certified existing nursing staff, and developed an infusion specialty program, you want to maximize your referrals and new patients.

When advertising or presenting your services to possible referral sources, be sure to stress your infusion services as “specialty” and then list the various types of specialty nurses and services below.

Approach specialty doctors like those involved in infectious disease, Rheumatology, genetics, internal medicine, oncology, and hematology. And also market to local hospitals and clinics that may have outpatients with special infusion needs but who risk infection/complications by constantly coming in to get them done.

Building a strong infusion specialty program is one of a number of ways to improve patient outcomes, gain new clients, and boost your reputation and your bottom line.

To learn more, contact Kenyon HomeCare Consulting today by calling 206-721-5091 or by filling out our online contact form.

Happy Employees Equal Happy Customers

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Did you know:  Happy Employees …Happy employees

  • are 43% more productive
  • are 86%  more creative
  • take 66% fewer sick days
  • have 51% less turnover
  • have 41% less accidents
  • bring 37% higher sales.

Happier employees = happier clients = a more successful home care company.

Recently I attended the National Speakers Association Convention – “Influence 2015” – in Washington DC.  This was one of our best conventions ever with some great general session speakers and very valuable breakout sessions.  I came away with some terrific ideas, tools, and techniques to continue growing our business at Leading Home Care.

Delivering Happiness

One of the most interesting general sessions was “Delivering Happiness” by Jenn Lim.

Jenn Lim - CEO of Delivering Happiness

Jenn Lim is the CEO and Chief Happiness Officer of Delivering Happiness,  a company she and Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) created to inspire happiness in work, community, and everyday life.  Do you know Zappos?  They are a leading seller of shoes online, and they have a huge distribution center here in Louisville just south of the UPS World Port air hub.

In 2005, Jenn created the first Culture Book for Zappos – now on its 7th edition – and has produced them ever since. In 2009, Zappos was sold to Amazon.com in a deal valued at $1.2 billion on the day of closing, and in 2011, Zappos was #6 on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. The Culture Book has become a global symbol of how companies can successfully create cultures based on happiness and be profitable at the same time.

In 2010, Jenn led the launch and management of Tony’s first book (Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose) which sold over 280,000 copies worldwide and hit #1 on numerous bestsellers list (including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today). It was voted one of the best business books in 2010 by NPR, Inc. Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, remained on the New York Times list for 27 weeks and has been published in over 17 countries/languages because of her efforts.

Employees are Disengaged

In her speech, Jenn told us that according the Gallup, 87% of  workers in America are disengaged.  We have certainly seen that in home care, and there are plenty of data to show the negative impact of disengaged employees.  What if we, in home care, could find ways to re-engage our caregivers and our office team members?  What if we could recruit and hire caregivers who bring a work ethic and an attitude than makes them more likely to engage?  What if we could recruit, select, develop, and retain happier employees?

Take a look at the bullets above and you will see some potential outcomes of hiring better caregivers.

What Makes Employees Happier?

According to Jenn and Tony Hsieh, there is a science of happiness that can help us grow happier workers.  The elements of this science suggest that workers are looking for:

  1. A sense of control – workers want more control in their daily lives, including their work life.
  2. A sense of progress – workers want to feel that they are making progress, and that they are growing in their personal and professional lives.
  3. Connectedness – workers want to belong.  They want to be connected with others.
  4. Vision / Meaning – workers want to see a desirable and possible future, and they want to do work that makes a difference.

Jenn told us that “Passion plus Purpose equals Business Profits.  Passion plus Purpose equals Personal Happiness and Pleasure”

Happier Caregivers

What would your home care company look like if you have happier caregivers who came to work with a sense of passion and purpose, who felt like they were in more control of their lives, who are connected to you and your office team, and who get meaning from caring for your clients?  If you would like to explore this, go to Amazon and order a copy of Delivering Happiness.  Study what worked for Zapppos.  Then explore how the Caregiver Quality Assurance program from Leading Home Care can help you recruit, select, train, and retain happier, more productive employees at all levels of your company.

StephenTweedphotoStephen Tweed is an internationally known health care and business strategist, award winning professional speaker, and published author. He is the CEO of Leading Home Care … a Tweed Jeffries company.  He can be reached at www.leadinghomecare.com.

This article first appeared as Happy Employees equal Happy Customers equal Successful Home Care Companies on the Leading Home Care blog posted .

 

 

Ideas to Increase Efficiency of Your On-boarding Process

One of the most important roles of leaders in home health care, hospice, and private duty home care is on-boarding new hires.  Our research shows that on-boarding is a critical element in employee satisfaction, performance, and retention.  When your new employees get off to the right start, when they can see your vision for the future, and when they are engaged with the company, they perform better and stay longer.

A recent article in Inc. Magazine online suggested 8 ideas to make your on-boarding process more efficient.  Let’s take a look at several of these ideas from The Young Entrepreneur Council and see how we can apply them to home care and hospice.Best Workplace words and stars in a trophy or prize awarded to t

1. Record the Foundational Materials

The biggest thing is to record the foundational training that repeats for each new employee. There’s no reason to have your company’s trainer do live training one-on-one or even in small groups when a video can do just as well. Transcribe these videos. Reading is still the fastest way to take in information, so organize your training library so that employees can go back through it multiple times at their convenience. Repetition is the mother of all learning, but repetition has to be done right–otherwise, it’s a waste of your company’s resources.

In home care, where you are hiring new caregivers every week, having a consistent message for all new hires is critical.  It’s easy and inexpensive to make a good quality video of your key messages.  Then every new hire hears the same message in the same context.

2.  Slow Down and Test Before You Hire

Hiring is difficult. The best answer is to slow down. If you try to take on too many people too quickly, you will inevitably hire people who are not in sync with your organization’s mission and values. People are the life force of any organization, and if you make a mistake it can cost you far more than if you slow down the process to find the right people.

At Caregiver Quality Assurance, we recognized a decade ago that recruiting is important, but selection is the key to having high quality employees.  The assessment tools at CQA measure attitudes, behavior, cognitive reasoning, and employee engagement.  By using these pre-employee assessments, you will have a much clearer understanding of the prospective employee when you sit down for a behavioral interview.

3.  Clearly Articulate Your Vision

Be very explicit about your company’s vision, values and culture. By doing this you’ll know that new team members align with your vision, and they’ll be able to contribute more quickly. You need to give new employees a good foundation based on your vision and then empower them to make decisions about how to achieve that vision.

One of the things we have learned from working with hundreds of home care CEOs is that you all have a story.  There’s a reason you chose to get into the home care business and your own story helped craft the vision for your company.  Share that vision with your team members, and encourage them to remind each other what we are all about.

4.  Train Your Employees to Train Others.

Time is the most important asset we have in our lives, and especially in the business world. Highly skilled employees can transfer their knowledge to new hires, expediting the process that it would normally take a new employee to get up to speed if they are only trained by management. Allowing new hires to “pick the brain” of senior employees is beneficial to both the employees and the company as a whole.

One bit of feedback we have received regularly from caregivers in home health, hospice, and private duty home care is how much they value their company’s preceptor or mentoring program. New employees appreciate being connected to an experienced worker who can show them the ropes, encourage them, and help them be more productive more quickly.

5. Develop a comprehensive On-Boarding Process Now!

Give every new employee a ramp-up period to get up to speed with your services, the market and the nuts and bolts of their specific role. You should also have comprehensive training materials ready for every employee you bring on.  Having a great training program also helps attract the best employees, as these are the ones who want to learn and grow along with your company.

As we have worked with leading companies in home care and hospice, one of the features of these leaders is their process for recruiting, selecting, training, and retaining high quality employees.
Going forward in the next decade, these will be the leadership competencies that will take your company into the market leader role in your local marketplace.  For more information on resources to help you on-board your new team members, visit Caregiver Quality Assurance and ask for a free 30 day trial.

StephenTweedphoto Stephen Tweed is an internationally known health care and business strategist, award winning professional speaker, and published author. He is the CEO of Leading Home Care … a Tweed Jeffries company.  He can be reached at www.leadinghomecare.com.

This article first appeared as Ideas for Making Your On-Boarding Process More Efficient at Leading Home Care blog on May 19, 2015.

 

 

Employee Engagement Equals Higher Home Care Agency Profitability

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It’s pretty clear that the quantity and quality of caregivers you have will determine your ability to grow your home care or hospice business.  Research at Leading Home Care and Caregiver Quality Assurance show that in 2015, the biggest barrier to growing your agency will be your ability to attract and retain high quality caregivers.

Gallup Employee EngagementA new report with ongoing research by the Gallup Organization shows a direct connection between employee engagement and company performance.  Between January 2013 and December 2014, Gallup interviewed 166,409 employed adults.  The results are quite startling, but not surprising for those of us in the home care industry who have faced low levels of employee engagement for years.

US Employee Engagement

% of Employees                            2013       2014

Engaged                                       29.6%     31.5%

Not Engaged                                 51.5%      51.0%

Actively Disengaged                       18.8%      17.5%

Gallup defines …

Engaged – Employees who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace.

Not Engaged – Employees who have essentially “checked out.”

Actively Disengaged – Employees who are not just unhappy at work; these employees undermine the accomplishments of their engaged co-workers.

Engagement Varies by Geography

The study was able to determine that the level of employee engagement varies by geography.  The states with the highest employee engagement were:

  • Montana – 39%
  • Mississippi – 37%
  • Louisiana – 36%

The states with the lowest level of engagement:

  • Connecticut – 21%
  • New York – 21%
  • Michigan – 21%

According to a report on the study in USA Today, the data show that businesses with engaged employees have a 22% higher profitability than other companies.

Caregiver Quality Assurance Measures Employee Engagement

The data from this study reinforces what we know about engagement in home care.  When employees are engaged with the company and with the job, they stay longer.Employee Engagement  Employee turnover goes down, client satisfaction goes up, client referrals and word of mouth marketing go up, and costs go down.  The result is a faster growing, more profitable home care company.

According to the 2015 Private Duty Benchmarking Study from Home Care Pulse, caregiver turnover took a huge leap this year from 53.2% in 2013 to 61.6% in 2014.  According to Gallup, work units in the top quartile for employee engagement have from 25% to 65% lower turnover than work units in the bottom quartile for employee engagement.  For all practical purposes, companies with high employee engagement have lower employee turnover.

The CQA pre-employment assessment shows graphically the extent to which a prospective caregiver believes they are engaged with the company and the job.  It’s important to explore this in your behavioral interview as we see some candidates exaggerating their level of engagement.  However, the assessment report gives you a sound basis for organizing your interview and getting at the real issues.  We encourage you to look more closely at this issue of employee engagement as you look for ways to improve caregiver retention in the coming year.  For a FREE 30 Day Trial of the Caregiver Quality Assurance pre-employment assessment, click the link or call Diane West at 502-339-2132.

 

StephenTweedphotoStephen Tweed is an internationally known health care and business strategist, award winning professional speaker, and published author. He is the CEO of Leading Home Care … a Tweed Jeffries company.  He can be reached at www.leadinghomecare.com.

This article first appeared as Businesses with Engaged Employees have 22% Higher Profitability at Leading Home Care blog on April 28, 2015.

 

Use Employee Referrals to Hire New Caregivers

According to the 2015 Private Duty Benchmarking Study from Home Care Pulse, the number one source of new caregivers for the 700 plus companies who responded to the survey was “internet – craigslist.org.  Number 2 was employee referrals.  This is consistent with the 2015 Private Duty Recruiting Study conducted by Leading Home Care and Caregiver Quality Assurance.  According to our study, 74.43% of agencies reported using their Employee Referral Program (ERP) to recruit high quality applicants.

While nearly three quarters of home care agencies have an employee referral program, not all of them find it effective.  As we studied this issue we discovered a number of factors that influence the effectiveness of your ERP.What Makes You Stand Out?

What is an ERP?

An Employee Referral Program is a systematic process where current employees of your home care company can refer family members, friends, or acquaintances as possible companions, caregivers or Certified Home Health Aides. Your program may also be tapped to recruit other key employees such as scheduling coordinators, bookkeepers, administrative assistants, or other key members of your home care office team.

A successful ERP in home care has four cornerstones:

  • Communicate regularly with your employees about your need for caregivers.
  • Provide an easy-to-use system for employees to make referrals.
  • Operate an efficient, effective selection and hiring process so it is easy for the referred job candidate to come to work for you.
  • Recognize and reward your employees for referring new caregivers.

Why Institute an ERP?

There are five primary reasons why you should consider starting an Employee Referral Program in your company:

  1. Low cost per hire. Referral programs cost $500 for exempt employees and $70 for non-exempt, versus $2,884 and $726 for print advertising, and even more for agencies and executive recruiting firms, according to the Employment Management Association’s cost-per-hire survey.
  2. High-quality hires. Employees are unlikely to recommend people who they think are unqualified or unreliable. Research conducted by Leading Home Care … a Tweed Jeffries company in 2015 showed that employee referrals are the third most effective method of finding high-quality candidates, after nursing schools, and faith-based recruiting.
  3. Decreased time in hiring. Employees are selling the company to the people they refer. Interviewers can spend their time evaluating a candidate’s background and qualifications. Employees also tend to recommend people who they know are ready to make a job change, which also speeds the hiring process.
  4. An opportunity to strengthen the bond with existing employees. Referral programs acknowledge and reinforce the company’s commitment to rewarding the individual for helping the company.
  5. Employee retention. An Ohio State University study shows that employees hired through referrals have a retention rate that’s 25 percent higher than that of employees hired through other methods.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recruit, select, train and retain quality caregivers.

This article first appeared as “Get More Caregivers with ERP” a Leading Home Care blog posted on June 23, 2015.

About the Author: Stephen Tweed is an internationally known health care and business strategist, award winning professional speaker, and published author. He is the CEO of Leading Home Care … a Tweed Jeffries company.  He can be reached at www.leadinghomecare.com.

5 Strategies Used to Build an Effective Home Care Retention Program

Are there days when you have clients to care for but no employees? Or, how about too many workers and not enough clients, causing you to lose employees? This is the never ending challenge of managing a home care organization. The cost of recruiting each aide is estimated between $1200 and $1500. Every time an aide leaves your organization, your investment walks out the door.

Agencies have employed numerous strategies to boost their retention program over the years. Bonuses, health insurance coverage, providing company vehicles or gas cards and earned paid vacation are just a few of these perks. For many agencies, the strategies are successful for a while – until the turnover rate begins to climb again. Human resource research tells us the most effective strategies for developing happy employees. And, happy employees means retained staff.

Hire, Train, Motivate and Retain 3d words beside a thinker to illustrate human resources practices to improve employee satisfaction and retention

Common Strategies of an Effective Home Care Retention Program

  1. Work Must be Meaningful. For most of us, meaningful work isn’t questioned. However, every employee doesn’t find every type of client or line of business meaningful. An individual who loves the routine care provided to a client recovering from a major illness is very different from those finding fulfillment caring for a long term dementia client. Because of these differences, an essential part of your home care retention program must include development of a caregiver profile for each business line. This strategy helps you avoid the mistake of asking staff to provide services that do not meet their criteria of a meaningful assignment.
  1. Employees Know They Are Appreciated. Showing appreciation should be easy. Unfortunately organizational life is busy and we often forget to say thank you. Signaling out and employee takes effort and must be established as a top priority. In agencies with a successful home care retention program, appreciation is the way of doing business. Staff are empowered to acknowledge the contributions of others. Gratitude is expressed with “thank you drawers” filled with inexpensive items such as movie tickets, gas cards, or gift certificates, which management can present to staff for going above and beyond their job responsibilities. Many agencies use quarterly staff meetings to recognize birthdays and work anniversaries. Accompanied with cards or small gifts such as a pin signifying the number of years worked, these small tokens produce a big return. One of most powerful forms of recognition is having the employee stand as client or coworker compliments are read.
  1. Welcoming Work Environment. Agencies with an effective home care retention program create a warm and welcoming workplace. To accomplish this goal, train receptionists and schedulers to listen to the needs of the field staff and offer encouragement and acceptance. Hire experienced managers that understand the difficulties that caregivers experience. Offer appropriate, and valued, suggestions for improvement and treat caregivers as important customers.
  1. Opportunity for growth and advancement. Although nurses and therapist have numerous opportunities for advancement, home care aides have little or no development opportunities. Addressing this issue prevents aide turnover and ensures your agency’s survival. Providing advanced disease specific education allows aides to gain vital knowledge that improves client care and accomplishes growth and advancement in their position.
  1. Develop Elite Status Aides. This home care retention program strategy is used for retention and is a powerful opportunity to show appreciation for tenured aides. Elite Aides, skilled in advanced chronic disease care, provides a powerful marketing tool to promote specialized care to agency customers. Elite status eligibility criteria differs between agencies and must meet the needs of your client caseload. Kenyon suggests only aides with at least 6 months tenure, a good attendance record, acceptance of work assignments, and demonstrated agency loyalty be considered. Business cards and name tags identify these chronic disease certified aides as an Elite aide.

Access Kenyon HomeCare Consulting and Chronic Disease University to learn more about available chronic disease courses and instructions for purchasing.  Please call Kenyon HomeCare at 206-721-509 with any questions.