Addressing the Caregiver Crisis: People, Path, Purpose

According to the 2017 Home Care Pulse Benchmarking Study, caregiver turnover is at an all-time high (67%). Indeed, staff shortages are the biggest challenge identified by home care leaders.

Home care is not alone

It’s an employees’ market. According to Symphony Talent, a general recruitment “talent acquisition” firm, voluntary resignations are high across all sectors. Moreover, one-third of all new employees end up leaving within six months. You can decide it’s a fickle workforce—which it may be. Or you can look to the experts in talent development and adapt their findings to home care.

It’s not JUST about pay

Home Care Pulse observed that turnover is highest in home care companies with pay rates below the 75th percentile. Put differently, turnover was LOWEST in those 25% of companies paying the most per hour.

Symphony Talent notes that pay and benefits are certainly high on the list of employee reasons to stay—or go. But a poor fit with the culture was cited by 56% of respondents as a key reason to leave.

You may not be able to offer your caregivers top dollar. But you certainly can cultivate what home care consultant Stephen Tweed calls a culture of excellence. This is a work environment that is appealing to A-list employees and attracts the brightest and most committed. Plus, pride in one’s work and a feeling of belonging, especially to a company with a good reputation among workers, can do a lot to help employees decide to stay.

As a “side” benefit, Home Care Pulse has discovered there is a strong correlation between happy employees and satisfied customers. Building a culture of excellence gives you a company that delivers top-notch, quality service. You might consider this a two-for-one in terms of an investment of your time and effort.

Developing your employer brand

You are likely well aware of your value proposition for customers (what distinguishes you from your competition). In an employee market, you are also now competing for staff. You need to think in terms of your employer value proposition. What makes you stand out as a preferred employer? What is your employer brand?

The 3 Ps: People, Path and Purpose

Talent development agency The Muse suggests that separate from finances, job seekers are evaluating potential employers based on 3 Ps:

  • People: What is the flavor of your team? Is it friendly and supportive?
  • Path: Is there room to grow? If not outright advancement, then do you support learning opportunities for professional development?
  • Purpose: How can employees take pride in their work? What is the meaning behind daily tasks? How does your company make a difference in people’s lives?

Recruiting for a solid fit is a great way to reduce turnover. Develop a culture of excellence, then project that culture to attract caregivers that are of higher caliber and in sync with your organization. Those who come to your doorstep will be the caregivers most likely to stay.

In subsequent blog posts we’ll talk about ways to project your employer brand by following the 3 Ps. It’s easier than you think!