In our previous blogpost, Addressing the Caregiver Crisis, we talked about the need to stand out as a great place to work. According to The Muse, an innovative talent development agency, employees are assessing your company based on the 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?
In this blogpost, we’re going to focus on the “People” part of the equation.
What do you do to celebrate your team?
Unlike an office job, your staff are often working with clients in isolation “out in the field.” There’s no water cooler or break room where employees can gather to talk, joke, share personal triumphs, or get support for a rough patch. How do you create a team feeling? A sense of belonging? Pride in working together? Consider these three simple solutions:
- Employee newsletter
- Quarterly gatherings
- Caregiver of the Month
How do you project that team spirit to future employees?
Millennials are now the largest labor force demographic. You want to have a strong presence in the places they visit! For instance, a study by TalentWorks indicates that 59% of job applicants will check you out on social media as a way to evaluate the fit so they can decide whether you are an organization they want to work for. Be sure you have a strong social media presence.
Post more than job openings on social media
If all you have is job postings on Facebook or LinkedIn, you are missing an opportunity. You may get a high quantity of applications, but they usually are from low-commitment job seekers. It’s an impulse application in a scattershot strategy. Even worse, those high-quality job seekers looking for more depth in their work will pass you by.
So in addition to job openings, be sure to
- post your Caregiver of the Month on social media;
- feature the Caregiver of the Month in your newsletter or company blog (to employees and to the public);
- celebrate milestones when a caregiver hits an anniversary or graduates from probationary status;
- share photos of quarterly gatherings on social media;
- let employees know that you welcome genuine Likes, Comments, and Shares. (That means you want to be sure there are posts that will be of interest to your staff!);
- encourage employees to write reviews on your Google My Business page. (This must be done from home—Google will not accept reviews from a work address—and it needs to be authentic, not coerced).
Spice up your online ads
Have you ever read through the ads on Indeed.com and MyCNA.com? Boring! One employer is the same as another. No wonder caregivers apply indiscriminately to as many as possible. Make your job descriptions stand out so the cream of the crop will focus on you:
- Talk about the team.
- Describe the team activities mentioned above.
- Use quotes from actual employees.
Top honors in authentic recruitment
Nothing speaks as loudly as a word-of-mouth recommendation. The gold standard of employee testimonials is an external review, such as that done by Home Care Pulse. If you are a fairly established company, you might consider a program of this nature that interviews employees anonymously so they can candidly share their experience. Their feedback gives you valuable information about employee concerns so you can identify ways to improve working conditions and reduce turnover. A positive review from a third party service also helps you broadcast your high standing with an Employer of Choice Award when you do, in fact, achieve a high level of employee satisfaction.
Another reason to become an Employer of Choice
Beyond the recruitment advantages, research shows a strong correlation between satisfied employees and satisfied customers. It only stands to reason: your caregivers are the front line for your business. If they aren’t happy, that will be reflected in their work with clients. Clients can feel if a caregiver is disgruntled, even if they don’t know the reason why. Conversely, clients enjoy a happy caregiver, which in turn makes the client happy about your service. And happy clients are more likely to tell others about you.
Just like authentic recruitment, an authentic word-of-mouth recommendation from one client to another is worth its weight in gold. Comments from satisfied customers are far more believable and effective than paid advertising strategies, and all they cost you is the price of delivering the highest quality care. That accomplishes two business goals in one fell swoop.
One way to slow turnover is to reward longevity. Create a milestone, especially for people in that vulnerable first-six-months window. Perhaps there’s a 90-day award of some kind. Celebrate this milestone, internally at least. Include it on a blogpost or in an employee newsletter.
Collect caregiver photos and testimonials
But where do you get the photo and information to write a blog? Create a corner of the office especially for taking photos. Have nice lighting in front (not behind them) and with color but not too distracting in the background. (Photographer’s tip: A look over the shoulder usually brings a smile that is less stiff and posed.) At their first milestone, take a special photo of them in professional attire, from the shoulders up (called a “head shot” or “portrait shot”).
Ask them a few casual questions and write down the answers:
- What brought you to caregiving?
- What do you love most about working with clients?
- What do you like in particular about working for our company?
- What are some of your hobbies or pastimes, things you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?
Save these answers and the photo. (Don’t forget to get a signed release.) Use the text and photo in marketing materials and for awards. Then when you are projecting your employer brand, celebrating that employee as a Caregiver of the Month, or sharing a special story, you will have everything you need to quickly and easily create a blogpost, a social media update, or a newsletter article.
Need help projecting the “People” side of your employer brand?
Whether or not you go as far as an Employer of Choice award, we can help you broadcast your strong team spirit. We have processes for easily collecting and retrieving caregiver information. Plus, we can help you celebrate your Caregiver of the Month in blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, e-newsletters, and print newsletters. If you’d like a leg up on projecting the People side of your employer brand, give us a call at 707-477-0700 (Pacific time).