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Without direct care providers/direct support professionals, the agencies Direct Care Innovations supports wouldn’t exist. Therefore, neither would we. When DSPs succeed, grow and climb the ladder in the Intellectual/Developmental Disability (IDD) world, their agencies do, too. For this reason, we take the opportunity to review the DSP staffing deficit and identify ways to help our clients retain direct service providers.

5 Ways to Retain Direct Service Providers

1. Hire the Right Team Members

Staffing shortages and crises can prompt organizations to go for rapid hiring, but this may result in a high turnover as you hire the wrong people. People who aren’t suited for the position don’t stay. Vet your prospects carefully to ensure they are suitable for the organization and capable of handling the job. This applies to managed care organizations, government agencies, Medicaid and Medicare agencies, and self-directed care.

2. Treat DSPs Like Team Members

Employees who are “in the trenches” understand program needs and clients personally. As decisions are made, seek their input and listen when they offer recommendations. Additionally, invite them to join a team that includes management and the Executive Staff. Finally, inquire into their ideas, take action, and involve them in agency changes and updates where feasible. This helps you retain direct service professionals.

3. Provide Continuing Education

One way to supplement wages is to provide continuing education. Allow DSPs to pursue certifications, degrees, and other opportunities that help them grow and develop. It’s a win-win for both the DSP and the agency.

4. Lead Well

To retain direct care professionals, you must lead well. Do your DSPs know where your agency’s money comes from? Does your team have a good understanding of how your finances work? Do you include them in decisions? What can you do to be more open as changes and updates are made? Provide reporting and communicate about staffing levels, how funding works, goals, and efforts to assist employees in their roles.

5. Provide Growth Opportunities

Let DSPs know about openings for advancement. Encourage them to view their position as a long-term career opportunity with growth and stability. Then, create incentives to remain within the agency. For instance, add milestone bonuses, host regular luncheons with leadership, or offer lunch and learn sessions. You might also consider hosting Q&A sessions with former DSPs who have transitioned into agency leadership.

DSPs need appreciation and respect. These important staff members should participate in agency directives and seek opportunities to grow. To help you retain direct service professionals, DCI is committed to furthering its efforts to provide business management software that allows DSPs and the agencies they work for to operate efficiently and effectively. Check out our system features and call (480) 295-3307 to learn how to help your organization. 

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