If you’re looking to improve caregiver retention, or even keep it stable at your facility, it’s important to understand the factors that cause caregivers to stay or leave. Facility operators can avoid this by knowing what leads to caregiver burnout, and factors in caregiver job satisfaction. Facility operators should ensure their employees have the right tools to provide the best level of care, and support and training. If you are not at the forefront of employee job satisfaction, you are at risk of losing staff and not providing an appropriate level of care to residents/patients.
Caregivers Provide the Most Amount of Care
The caregiver could be considered the most important part of a person’s care team. They are with your resident/patients 24/7 and see first-hand to their health. As such, it is crucial that caregiver staff feel valued and feel like what they do makes a positive difference in their lives.
Caregivers also need to be able to take pride in their work–to know that they are doing something worthwhile for their patients and families. If a caregiver feels that their job satisfaction isn’t what it should be, they will likely quit or look for another position elsewhere.
Why Do Caregivers Quit?
According to a study published on PubMed, the job satisfaction of in-home elderly caregivers is negatively associated with their burnout levels. This means that unhappy staff are more likely to burnout, leading to higher staff churn. The study found that gender, age, marital status, how they earned the job, relation with clients, social insurance, and work experience are significantly associated with the job satisfaction of in-home elderly caregivers (Rong et al, 2022).
So what can facility owners and leaders do to keep their staff engaged and employed? The Rong et al, 2022 study also found that training and working conditions have little significant effect on the job satisfaction of in-home elderly caregivers. Unfortunately, providing extra training might not contribute much to caregiver staff retention. Ultimately, it comes down to keeping staff excited about their job. Caregivers are happiest when they can provide the best level of care for their patients/ residents. As a facility owner/operator, be sure to meet your staff’s needs with the necessary tools so that they can provide a high standard of care.
Caregiver Retention and Job Satisfaction
One of the elements that helps any facility provide better care is consistency of care through lower churn rates of caregivers. If you are in the senior living, assisted living space, employee retention may or may not be at the top of your mind. But with the increasing job market competition and the lack of caregivers in the market, it’s vital to keep your staff engaged, happy, and motivated. Here are some tips for general employee satisfaction.
A Modest 65.2%
Many senior living facilities are suffering in caregiver retention over the past 5 years, especially due to COVID-19. Integracare CEO, Lee Grunberg united with AlayaCare to analyze caregiver retention rates through these crucial predictors to caregiver job satisfaction: total shifts, length of shifts and travel logistics. Grunberg focused on reducing churn to as one of the elements to providing better care. Their study found that caregiver turnover rates hovered at 65.2%. This is moderately stable, but is still a high turnover rate which can ultimately disrupt patient care. Their efforts also found that younger employees tend to leave at a far higher turnover rate (Home Healthcare News).
Take Time to Know Your Caregivers, Not Just the Residents They Care For
The best way to make sure your caregivers are happy is to take the time to get to know each one. This can be done in several ways:
- Understand their situation and needs. If you have a new caregiver, spend some time getting acquainted with them before any work begins. Take note of tools or specifics the caregiver might need when caring for a person–from specific clothing requirements, all the way down through knowing where everything is located within the unit.
- Understand which caregivers have strengths where others may lack those same strengths; try not just hiring based solely upon qualifications but rather look at whether there are other factors involved such as personality type too – it could make all the difference in their job satisfaction!
Offer Additional Technologies and Tools to Caregivers to Make Their Job Easier
Providing caregivers with the right tools and training can greatly improve their job satisfaction.
- Smart home automation technology is one way to do this. For example, if you’re a caregiver who monitors your elderly parent’s health from afar, there are mobile apps that can help you keep an eye on things. These apps may include features like GPS tracking and reminders for medications (or even just food) or alerts for critical events like heart failure or a fall. Smart home automation is the most innovative step towards increasing job satisfaction in caregivers. Older facility operators might be wary of technology. However, smart home automation companies are held to high standards and take patient care extremely seriously. Make sure to do your research and talk with representatives of a smart home automation company first.
- Another way to improve job satisfaction is through supervisor support: if your supervisor understands what it means for you to be working as a caregiver, then they’ll be more likely to offer guidance when needed and make sure that everything runs smoothly overall
Caregivers are Satisfied When They’re Given the Opportunity to Make a Difference in Other People’s Lives Every Day
The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that many family caregivers report positive experiences from caregiving. These include a sense of giving back to someone who has cared for them, the satisfaction of knowing that their loved one is getting excellent care, personal growth and increased meaning and purpose in one’s life (Beach et al, 2000).
- If a caregiver for seniors is starting to feel like the job is getting the best of them, simply take some time to reassess priorities and the care plan. You may be able to improve caregiver job satisfaction by focusing on what makes being a caregiver so rewarding in the first place: helping others.
- When caregivers are given opportunities to make a difference in senior adults’ lives every day, they thrive. They have deep knowledge about their residents and know the most about them–and this can lead to better caregiving outcomes. For example, if a resident has fallen several times recently while trying to get out of bed or into their wheelchair, the caregiver knows exactly what needs fixing so that it doesn’t happen again (and maybe even why).
Most caregivers want to do a good job and make a difference in the lives of their patients. They want to know that their efforts are appreciated and valued by their employer. Implementing these 3 strategies- taking time to know your caregivers, providing them with top-of-the-line tools, and helping them make a difference at your company- will increase caregiver retention and job satisfaction and decrease caregiver churn. You can ensure that your caregiver staff feel valued and supported so they can be as satisfied with their jobs as possible.