Reading the title of this was a little depressing to be honest. When thinking of long term, someone normally thinks 10 or 20 years or more, right? These are the long-term employees who end up leaving because they retire. Today, we see long term look very different. Knowing this, you must consider how your recruitment and retention efforts need to change with the workforce climate. Let’s consider what needs to be different.
How Do You “Market” To Employees?
As one considers the home health and hospice industry, we have always spoken to additional benefits of being a team member. We aren’t out there able to compete with wages equivalent of inpatient facilities. So, let’s look at some of the ways the industry has historically sold itself to potential hires.
- Flexibility: Remember when this was the biggest selling factor for our industry? Moms could pick their kids up from school and work their patients around it. Now, we live in a world where a lot of clinical jobs have that type of flexibility. Many clinicians now want jobs that allow them hybrid positions where they can actually work at home most days.
- Less Documentation: Again, the documentation used to be pretty simple. Check lists with a small narrative. The staff checked each clinical intervention completed in accordance with a concise care plan. Then, they documented what exactly was taught or what exactly the wound looked like. Document the response to teaching and done. Now, the documentation is just as cumbersome as any other health care venue.
- Hefty Uniform Allowances: This was a great way to allow the employee to always have nice looking uniforms including shoes. It allowed the employee to have a benefit that was not taxed as a wage to cover the cost. Now, many agencies just eliminated uniforms and clinicians wear their own clothing. Bye Bye uniform allowance.
- Increased Paid Time Off: It was not uncommon for increased amounts of personal time or vacation to be offered. Agencies had happy employees that didn’t have to wait to use vacation and they had opportunities for more of it. Now, agencies can’t afford the extra time off for clinicians as everyone is scrambling to get patients covered. Employees don’t see “catch-up” days anymore.
Ok, So How Do Need To Recruit And Retain Today?
In order to retain employees today, you need to focus on the big 4: Training, Motivating, Rewarding, And Promoting. Here’s how to look at these important items in the recruitment and retention game.
- Training: This is still a big issue for many employees. We tend to throw our staff out on their own too soon. Make sure the orientation process is thorough to decrease anxiety in staff. Also, education to staff fits in here. It is an ongoing process. Just as we as administrators are energized by education, so are our employees. Keep the educational process moving and cater to those employees who want to learn and put the learning into everyday practice. These are your future leaders in the agency.
- Motivating: Ultimately, as a workforce, we are goal oriented. Make the goals for your employees something attainable and something they can get excited about accomplishing. Often times, we assume the employees know exactly why a certain goal is in place. Unfortunately, most employees think administration is only worried about money. Clinicians in home health and hospice are not motivated by money. Home health aides can make more money doing things not nearly as tough. Nurses can make more in the hospitals. Therefore, administration need to motivate towards meaningful goals that don’t look like they are only fiscally focused.
- Rewarding: How do you reward employees? Have you forgotten the power of the pen? Hand written notes letting the employee know they have met a goal are important. Your employees need to know they aren’t numbers in your organization. Monetary rewards are great to employees as a whole. Have you made a push on STAR rating improvements? If so, then get employees gas cards or gift certificates. Again, these types of incentives reward the employees without being a taxable wage. Acknowledge individuals on a company-wide basis in news lette.
- Promoting: Employees can become disengaged if they are not approached or considered for promotion. Don’t assume your employee wants to remain at the same level of the corporate ladder because they were satisfied with it 5 years ago. After years in different agencies, we know this is not the case. We hear employees say they were offered a promotion once, but it was during a time they could not take on additional responsibility (little children still at home, going through divorce, etc). These same employees voice discontent that once the situation changed, they were never again considered. They often leave the position for other companies that offer them a promotion in their job role. Also, promoting the employee doesn’t mean giving them 2 additional job titles with a little bump in pay. A job promotion really needs to be defined by a new role within the agency. Employees are not motivated by more work being piled on them. The need the challenge a new job role offers.
Let Kenyon Homecare Consulting Help!
At Kenyon Homecare Consulting, we can help with training, educating and helping to motivate employees. Give us a call today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how our consulting services and educational programs let employees know you are invested in them as much as you want them to be for you. Also, register for our free coding webinar on October 7th to make sure you don’t leave money on the table for the hard work you do.