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6 Key Factors That Can Improve Healthcare Employee Retention

As our population continues to age, there will be a consistent and upward-trending need for home healthcare workers. Unfortunately, the current workforce crisis may add to the ever-increasing need for direct care employees. If high turnover rates are not effectively addressed, comprehensive care for the elderly and individuals living with developmental and intellectual disabilities will remain on a downward trajectory.

A study conducted by the Institute for the Future of Aging Services (IFAS) found that healthcare workers respond well and are less likely to leave their current positions when their overall working conditions are improved. Direct Care Innovations would like to share six key factors discovered during the study that can improve employee retention for healthcare agencies.

6 Key Factors that Can Improve Healthcare Employee Retention

1. Quality Pay & Benefits

Quality pay and improved benefits are major factors in providing a satisfactory workplace for in-home healthcare employees. Specific improvements that encourage employee loyalty include higher wages, paid time off, pensions or retirement plans, employee-sponsored healthcare coverage, and general job satisfaction.

2. Professional Training & Education

Many industry experts believe that training and education for healthcare staff are inadequate and contribute to employee turnover. In their study, the IFAS found that poor training, ineffective job orientation, and insufficient educational development negatively influenced overall professional fulfillment. Employees who received high-quality training and education that was specific to their particular job (hospitals, hospice agencies, and in-home care) were more likely to be happy with their job and remain in their current position. 

3. Personal Care for Employees

Home healthcare providers that embraced a culture of personal care for their employees experienced greater retention rates compared to agencies that did not make employee care a priority. In addition to employee care, organizations that focused on employee empowerment, dignity and respect, self-determination, and purposeful living not only reduced staff turnover but also decreased business costs and improved outcomes between clients and patients.

4. Better Management & Job Design Practices

The IFAS study also found that employee retention increased for agencies with quality management and job design practices. Exceptional leaders within home healthcare organizations were more likely to recognize and value employees, listen and consider employee feedback, and display respectful attitudes and behavior towards healthcare workers. 

Flexible job design practices also considered how the workplace affected employee performance and satisfaction. Management followed staffing ratios that did not overwhelm direct care workers, resulting in satisfactory care for clients. Other practices, such as improving supervisor training and developing positive supervisor-employee relationships, also improved staff retention.

5. Room for Career Advancement

Other reasons that motivated healthcare employees to leave their jobs included a lack of advancement opportunities and patient work overload. This was found to be true whether direct care employees worked for in-home care agencies or skilled nursing facilities. On the other hand, organizations that provided soft-skills training and peer mentoring programs increased employee retention rates.  

6. Cultural Excellence

Cultural excellence, also known as cultural competence, demonstrated by healthcare employers directly affected employee turnover. With almost half of the nation’s healthcare workers being of a racial or ethnic minority, the ability to interact positively and relate to people from different cultures is essential to increasing direct care worker retention. If employees do not feel understood or valued, they are more likely to move on to an employer that makes them feel respected and appreciated.

DCI Helps You Improve Home Healthcare Employee Retention

If your agency struggles with employee retention for any of the reasons above, DCI can help address those pain points with our healthcare billing software and customized business management platform. We address issues such as training and compliance, scheduling and shift trading, electronic visit verification, and payroll time and attendance. Contact us at (480) 295-3307 or request a sales demo today.

Source: “Improving Employee Retention in Home Health, Hospice, and Home Care.” Web article. Medcom. 20 Dec. 2019. Web. 01 Jun. 2023

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