Caregiver turnover is a serious concern for home care agency leaders. Just a few years ago, the caregiver turnover rate was above 80%, making home care executives list retention at the top of their priority list. While caregiver turnover rates depend on a variety of factors that can shift from city to city and market to market, one thing is certain: your agency must focus on retention in order to create an agency that lasts and has a reputation of stability in your area. So with that being said, let’s take a look at a few important factors that impact caregiver retention and how your agency can decrease turnover by empowering caregivers.
Why Caregivers Leave & How to Change That
Caregivers are a hot commodity in all markets, and most home care agency executives struggle to maintain a consistent staff roster. Caregivers leave for a variety of reasons, and most reasons are actually not tied to pay rate or benefits packages. While you should certainly offer competitive salary and benefits, you can have a leg-up on the competition in regards to keeping your staff by choosing to focus on creating a culture of empowerment and inspiration.
Empowered caregivers not only provide better care to clients, but they also feel important to their home care agency, which in part leads to less turnover for your agency. The key to empowerment and inspiration begins with education.
Unfortunately, most home care agencies do not have a comprehensive training plan for their organization. Creating a training plan for caregivers takes a lot of work that many executives simply do not have. However, when you commit the time to developing a training plan and policy for your agency, you are demonstrating you are dedicated to empowering your caregivers.
Home Care Agency Training Curriculum Checklist
Not sure how to develop a comprehensive curriculum for your team? That’s okay. Start with our basics checklist and then add on based on your state regulations, national best practices, and personal experience.
Your home care training plan should include, at a minimum:
A comprehensive orientation curriculum, for all new staff members upon hire, that covers basics like:
- Attendance policy
- Dress code policy
- Emergency policies when in a client’s home
- How to use the care plan
- How to report changes or questions to the agency
- Punching in/out
- Client and Caregiver Rights
- Communication standards in regards to teammates, family members, etc.
- Common diagnoses and standards of care
- How aging affects the body
- Dementia interventions
- Food preparation and best practices
- Quality of life and activities
Skills demonstration for caregivers prior to starting in the home, that can include skills like:
- Assisting with dressing, showering, and other ADLs
- Catheter care
- Transferring (bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to chair, etc.)
- Giving a bed bath
- Medication cueing
Monthly in-service training, for all staff members, that can include topics like:
- Client Rights
- Back Safety and Proper Transfers
- Safe Transportation
- Listening and Body Language
- Range of Motion Exercises
If you are like most home care executives, you might be wondering how you will develop a curriculum; and more importantly, how you will assure your team members are completing the classes in a timely fashion. After all, it can be difficult getting your caregivers out of their client homes and all together for a monthly meeting.
Fortunately, you can use technology to complement your caregiver training efforts. Your caregivers can get the education they need to feel empowered and inspired by simply logging on to the app or platform of your choice. Most platforms have the option of selecting topics for your caregivers or uploading your own personalized training modules, giving you the option of creating the best experience for your team.
Online training can be the best investment you make this year to decrease turnover. Here’s what you need to know about online training options for your agency and how it can improve retention rates.
Online Training Provides Consistent Messaging
There is nothing worse than having a new caregiver miss out on important information because your HR staff had to rush through orientation. When it comes to training your team, consistent messaging is crucial. Online training offers you the peace of mind to know that everyone is hearing the same thing, and is given the tools they need to succeed on the job.
Online training can also give you the opportunity to update information in real time so everyone hears the most current information. This can be especially helpful during times of the year when you update policies and procedures; you can rest assured that no one is missing critical information.
Online Training Provides Organized Onboarding
Speaking of orientation, your new caregivers can begin to feel under-appreciated if your onboarding process is disorganized or scattered. When you invest in online training technology, you can be sure your new team members are equipped with good information within a well-planned curriculum. The new caregivers will then feel your team is organized and acknowledge the importance of education.
Online Training Creates a Team Atmosphere
Online training isn’t just for orientation or new employees. In fact, regular monthly training sessions conducted online can create a team atmosphere among employees. This can be especially helpful in the home care industry, as our caregivers are often scattered around the community in client homes and not given the opportunity to feel like they are a part of a true team. Online training can not only provide the same information throughout your caregiver team, but can also increase conversation among team members based on topics covered.
Online Training Increases Client Care Standards
Your caregivers want to do a good job. After all, you wouldn’t have hired them if they didn’t have a passion for serving older adults. However, without the right training and ongoing skill reinforcement, your caregivers may feel underequipped to handle certain parts of client care. Online training can give them quick access to information and examples that they can put into practice immediately, immediately making them feel inspired and empowered in their caregiver role.
You can also use online training skill-specific modules as a part of your care plan. For example, if a caregiver is working with a client who has swallowing precautions, the caregiver can watch a quick online training video pre-programmed into the care plan that educates them on how to create a thickened cup of coffee for the client. The caregiver now knows how to perform the skill, feels confident and empowered, and the client is getting exceptional care.
Online Training Gives You Confidence to Work with For-Hire Staff
Home care agencies have started to work with independent contractor caregivers or agency staff, which can be stressful. How can you be sure an independent contractor who is helping you by picking up a few open shifts is still following your home care agency’s policies and procedures? Online training can give you that confidence by giving independent contractors the chance to learn from your online modules.
You can create online modules specific for independent contractors that cover basic topics like plan of care and interventions, as well as your agency-specific topics like communication, emergency response, or attendance.
Online Training Is for Everyone
Online training doesn’t just improve your caregiver retention. It can also improve your client relations and retention. Not only are your clients receiving better care from your empowered caregivers, but you can also create online modules for clients or family members to enjoy as well.
For example, family members may enjoy short videos (featuring you and your caregivers) highlighting topics like:
- Having a successful visit with someone living with dementia
- Communicating with your caregiver team
- Five activities to try during your next visit with your loved one
- Common questions and answers about taking your loved one out in their new wheelchair
- Benefits of respite care
Providing access to educational modules designed for clients and their family members not only leverages your agency as an industry leader, but also empowers them with reliable information that can make your relationship even better. Another bonus? Your family referrals will surge and your reputation will soar.
If your home care agency is not already using online training, now is the time to begin exploring your options. Online training is effective and relatively inexpensive, compared to the costs of hiring an education manager for your agency. This way, you can funnel your saved money into other budget lines that focus on caregiver retention.
At medflyt, we develop and design caregiver training modules that are engaging as well as informative. Call us today to learn more about our online training options that could suit your agency best.
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