Executive Education

Happy employees can drive success in the home health care industry

Success as a CEO ultimately hinges on your company’s employees. Keeping your top talent in place will help your business grow; the opposite can occur if you have to consistently replace staff members.

Employers often use traditional methods to recruit for vital positions, but finding new ways to retain employees can offer significant benefits for those in the home health care industry.

Home health care is one of the strongest employment sectors in the U.S., and that trend is expected to continue through 2024, increasing by some 38 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means there will be high demand for home health care aides and other employees in this sector. Businesses need to plan accordingly, and provide the most attractive job environment possible. This will ensure you can keep employees in place, reducing costly churn and regular turnover.

Finding and retaining talent

The most important factor in reducing employee turnover is finding the right talent for job opportunities. Recruiters and human resource departments need prospective employees who understand the core mission, vision and values of the organization.

A “fill positions first” mentality can lead to increased costs later when employees need to be replaced. Behavioral assessments and a focus on how a person fits into the team dynamic can be helpful in hiring the right candidate for your needs.

Recognizing employee contributions can help retain talent. A customized program that rewards your highest achievers will ensure commitment to your business and yield long-term sustainability.

Some studies show that increasing employee knowledge leads to more success, less turnover and can help create exceptional leaders within your own ranks.

Here are some other ways you can empower your employees and minimize staff turnover:

  1. Manage talent effectively

    Placing people in positions with a “sink or swim” mentality can have dire consequences. Proactively managing your employees allows you to find strengths and weaknesses and drive opportunities for success. Your staff is a commodity. Find ways to build on your investment in them by offering them ways to advance their skills and knowledge.
  2. Create goals

    Employees have a tendency to leave positions when they feel advancement within the company is not an option. Create goals for your employees, offer them paths to reach them, and reward them when they do. You will find internal candidates who can take on new responsibilities and lead new business initiatives.
  3. Recruit internally

    Company leaders can retain employee loyalty by highlighting the efforts of exceptional staff members. You can keep your best and brightest on the team by offering higher positions within the company based on merit and ability.
  4. Offer continuing education

    Employees who are given the opportunity to grow their skill sets can be deployed to different roles within your business. Offering continuing-education programs allows for better management of existing talent, minimizing the need for new hiring.
  5. Provide employees flexibility

    Home health care workers are often providing care for their own family members. A lack of schedule flexibility is often cited as a reason why employees leave positions. Companies that offer the ability for “flex” time to take care of their family needs can greatly reduce turnover.
  6. Understand your employees

    Depending on the size of your business, it may not be feasible to have personal knowledge of your employees’ You can understand “pain points” for your workers using internal surveys, human resource outreach and engagement. This knowledge can serve as a guide for how best to meet the needs of your workers — thus driving higher retention rates.
  7. Promote staff well-being

    Managing the well-being of your staff goes beyond financial compensation. Promoting the importance of work-life balance will keep your employees energized and focused on company goals. Help your workers find ways to stay in touch with their needs beyond work.

There is a growing concern about the well-being and development of health care workers in the U.S. to meet future demand. Many organizations are finding new ways to retain existing staff while recruiting the right fits for their business. CEOs and their companies need to embrace new ways to keep their best employees.

Not every business faces these staffing crises, but devoting time and money to manage staff turnover can hinder the growth of any company. Use internal resources to increase employee retention rates. Making your employees feel valued and an important component of success can offer outstanding results for the future.

FirstLight Home Care, incorporating many of the programs mentioned above, has maintained an average caregiver turnover rate of 15.5 percent, while the turnover rate for caregivers in the United States has reached an average of 61 percent. The ability to retain staff has helped drive success.

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Bill McPherson
Bill McPherson is the executive director of franchise development at FirstLight Home Care, which is a top rated non-medical home care provider with a network of offices that provides 93,000 hours per week in care for more than 4,300 clients in over 33 states.