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Retaining the Right Caregivers

By Stephen Tweed 

“Are You Trying to Retain the Right Employees?”

This is the title of an article in the Harvard Business Review (Harvard Business Review, October 21, 2021) that highlights some research on employee retention.  The authors make an interesting point:

“Rather than relying heavily on one-time incentives that are at best a knee-jerk reaction to keep bodies in seats, organizations need to take a hard look at how to identify and create engaged, enthusiastic employees. They should allow “reluctant stayers” to leave and focus on creating workplaces where “enthusiastic stayers” want to stay and thrive.”

This line caused me to ask, “What is a reluctant stayer, and what is an enthusiastic stayer?”  The authors identified four types of employees:

  • Enthusiastic Leavers – those employees who intended to leave their employment, and then actually left. – 16%
  • Reluctant Leavers – those who intended to stay in the organization, but actually left – 4%
  • Enthusiastic Stayers – those employees who intended to stay, and actually stayed – 38%
  • Reluctant Stayers – Those who intended to leave, but actually stayed – 42%

The percentages after each category represent the % of people in two organizations studied by the authors.

Where do Your Caregivers Fit?

Reading this article caused me to look at our caregivers and ask, what would these percentages look like for them?

  • How many of your caregivers intended to leave your company and then actually left?
  • How many intended to stay but then left?
  • How many intended to stay, and then actually have stayed?
  • How many intended to leave, but then stayed?

My guess is that most home care CEOs don’t know the answer to these questions.  Probably, because we didn’t know the questions.

What do you know about your Best Caregivers?

At the Home Care CEO Forum, we have done two studies of “Best Caregivers”.  The results have given us a much better picture of the best caregivers in our industry, what they look like, where they came from, and why they stay.  You can learn a lot from your best caregivers that can help you attract, select, train, and retain other caregivers.  There are a number of ways to learn about your best caregivers:

  • Surveys – you can conduct an online survey of your best caregivers
  • Interviews – you can conduct one-on-one interviews of your best caregivers
  • Focus Groups – you can lead small group discussions with your best caregivers

Using a combination of these three ideas, you can learn a lot about why your best caregivers were attracted to your company, why they stay, what they like about working here, and what they wish you would do differently.

Conducting Stay Interviews

One idea that came out of our Caregiver Quality Assurance Mastermind Group is conducting “Stay Interviews”.

We’ve found that it is very difficult to conduct exit interviews after a caregiver leaves.  As a result, we don’t have much data on what causes caregivers to leave.  However, our CQA Mastermind Members have found that it is quite easy and effective to conduct Stay Interviews.  Call 10% of your caregivers each month and ask them a series of questions about why they stay, what they like about your company, and what you could do differently.  Gather this information and build it into your Caregiver Retention System.

Consider Joining a Home Care CEO Mastermind Group

If you would like to have regular conversation with leaders in other home care companies that are similar in size to your company, and who don’t compete with you, consider becoming a member of a Home Care CEO Mastermind Group, or a Caregiver Quality Assurance Mastermind Group.  There’s no better way to get new ideas and insights on how to grow your business and get ready for the future.

 

 

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