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Knowing how to retain care staff for your business has never been more crucial. Increasing demand for carers combined with falling applicant numbers mean there are more vacancies than ever before, which can spell trouble for those working in the healthcare sector. So what are the key areas to focus on to ensure employers are retaining care staff?
Supporting career development makes people feel valued and builds loyalty. It also means that staff are constantly learning and developing, so that new skills are being bought into the workforce. Staff training can take on many guises, from coaching, seminars, team development days and external courses. Ensure that there is open dialogue with employees so that they can share their career aspirations and you can work to achieve them, and they are less likely to be looking elsewhere for job opportunities.
Workplace culture is the personality and character of your organisation, and it plays a vital role in the overall performance and satisfaction of employees. It can be shaped by your organisation’s traditions, style of interactions, attitudes, values and behaviours.
A workplace culture is often shaped by the attitudes and mindset of senior staff, so make sure that people are leading by example. This can be ensuring that senior staff abide by the same rules as those they manage, taking steps to reduce stress and boost employee wellbeing, encouraging a good work life balance, being open to challenges from the wider workforce, and being open to discussions around flexible working and streamlining cumbersome processes and procedures.
Exit interviews are an excellent opportunity to get an honest account of why someone is moving on. Even simple answers such as wanting to spend more time with family can indicate that working hours are inflexible, or there was pressure to reply to work messages whilst they were off the clock and at home. It’s important to gauge whether departing employees felt their mental health was prioritised.
People tend to be open and honest in exit interviews, but make sure all staff are regularly having catch ups and appraisals so that any issues can be raised and dealt with before people reach the point of leaving. Bi-monthly supervision sessions and a regular ‘pulse check’ survey that goes out to all staff is a great way of tracking the mood of a workforce and any major issues.
Burnout rates amongst social care staff is increasingly being addressed as a major sector-wide issue, so taking immediate steps to address this is essential. Factors such as job insecurity, money worries and a bad work life balance can have a hugely detrimental effect on the mental health and wellbeing of employees and lead people to potentially look elsewhere for work. Combat this by putting practices and support networks in place to promote a culture of openness and address issues quickly.
It’s a simple fact that happy employees are less likely to look elsewhere for work. By creating an environment where people are celebrated for their achievements – both big and small – builds a robust team who are constantly striving to achieve more. In the health and social care sector it’s important that people build trust and rapport with their carers, so having a happy team who feel celebrated means lower staff turnover and a higher quality of care delivered.
There may be limitations to how much you can realistically pay care staff, but there are plenty of other incentives that entice staff to stay as well as promoting person-centred care which focuses on the needs of individuals. Offer flexible working conditions so that their job fits around their other responsibilities, and provide financial help for things like travel costs, DBS certificates and healthcare.
If you are struggling to retain care staff for your business, Safehands have been working with quality care staff for more than 20 years. We can supply temporary care staff and permanent care staffing solutions, as well as offering managed recruitment services. We have highly skilled and vetted staff available, and are ready to answer your care needs.
Safehands provide a tailored service, simply submit a requirement and we can help with your hiring needs today.