- Posted by Lisa
- June 9, 2020
Caregiver recruitment & retention has been an industry-wide issue for companies providing home-based non-medical care services long before the novel coronavirus began spreading throughout the United States.
Home care organizations in the US already have challenges in recruiting and retaining caregivers before the COVID-19 outbreak. The global pandemic has made the situation worse thus the industry is currently navigating several new workforce hindrances.
Besides the number of people seeking care increasing every week, agencies have both previous and new issues to deal with the challenges surrounding quality care delivery.
As per industry experts, home care and healthcare are built to serve people in the toughest times when no one else could. It is perhaps the right time to improve recruitment along with the implementation of clever strategies to deliver the highest level of care to the elderly.
Areas Demanding Attention during the Pandemic
Since the country is fighting a battle against the crisis and caregivers being one of the frontline warriors, new areas are demanding the attention of recruiters.
Whether it is adequate compensation or ensuring the safety of the caregivers, recruiters should ensure they leave no stone unturned in improving their recruitment and minimizing the caregiver churn rates.
Although, business owners, while fighting an uphill battle, need to consider the other underlying factors that may impact quality care delivery to the seniors.
Here are the basic aspects that should be addressed by agency owners:
Caregivers that are already spending long hours delivering quality care for the elderly are expecting fair compensation against their hard work and several risk factors including getting infected by COVID-19.
On the other hand, agencies seeking ways to retain caregivers should remember the importance of incentives and monetary benefits for their dedicated employees.
Praising their hard work and commitment towards their job is extremely important as well. Agencies should also consider their needs apart from the compensation they’re getting for delivering care and support.
Another crucial aspect is the flexibility of the job. Caregivers are already working day and night shifts with the number of duty hours significantly increasing every week.
Agencies must plan care delivery in a way that doesn’t burden an individual, which may further lead to issues related to caregivers, including burnout.
No home care organization should ever want to lose their skilled resources in this crucial time just because of inadequate management of daily shifts.
One should provide enough flexibility to the caregivers so that they can deliver their best even during long hours of the shift without any hassle.
Reinforce Adequate Safety Measures
With the significant increase in the outbreak across the country, many skilled caregivers are hesitant to perform their duties just because of the risk involved during traveling and delivering care.
One cannot ignore the importance of safety for the frontline warriors during the pandemic, which is perhaps one of the biggest aspects that agencies must focus on.
Acquiring skilled resources by promising an adequate supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is crucial today as we all know about the overall status of the demand & supply of gloves, hand sanitizers, and facial masks in the US.
The demand is increasing day by day and more companies are stepping into the manufacturing of masks and PPE kits to meet the ever-increasing demand.
Reassure them regarding your preparation to fight against COVID-19 and remind them that you are ready for dealing with an emergency along with zero compromises regarding their safety.
If a home care organization reassures their current and potential employees that they can keep their caregivers safe, it can be a game-changer in improving caregiver retention & recruitment.
Another great way for home care agencies to ensure the safety of their caregivers is by harnessing the latest technology that helps in screening COVID-19 suspects.
Home care giants in the United States have already adopted smart home care software that helps agencies to screen their caregivers before they begin their shift.
A smart mobile app screens the caregivers before they clock-in to their shift to minimize the risk of contamination for both the caregivers and clients.
The suspected caregiver is not allowed to clock-in through the app and a notification regarding the same is sent immediately to the agency owner via SMS/email. This helps in quickly analyzing the overall health of the caregivers and to determine whether they are fit for duty or not.
Technology can play a crucial role in enhancing the safety of the employees while they are working hard enough to ensure quality care and support for the seniors at their place.
Agencies should find ways that can drive productivity and ensure safety for their dedicated employees during the crisis.
Moving forward, remote technologies can be quite beneficial in ensuring quality care for the ones with basic care needs.
From a worker’s perspective, remote care delivery can be the best option for the ones that only require guidance, support, and help in daily chores, which can be managed from a remote location.
This again saves a lot of time and effort of the caregivers and eventually mitigates any chance of contamination during travel or while delivering care.
Here are some ways technology can be leveraged by home care agencies during the pandemic:
- Caregiver screening
- Remote care delivery
- Online caregiver interviewing and hiring
- Remote patient monitoring
- Video conferencing and meetings
Appreciating their Work
Showing appreciation for all their hard work can be the perfect way to build long-lasting relationships with your skilled resources.
Whether it is your caregivers or other employees walking the extra mile to meet the current challenges, everyone deserves appreciation.
Organizing frequent appreciation programs for your workers can do wonders for building trust and making your team realize that you are concerned about them and their hard work is thriving success for the organization.
Also, daily encouraging your team and helping them in their non-work related issues can be a great way to retain your dedicated employees.
As a part of the recruiting and retaining strategy during the pandemic, agencies need to work more on safety during the shifts and overall flexibility of the job.
This will not only build trust but would surely lend a hand in enhancing the productivity of workers as they are reassured from the agency’s end regarding their preparation to fight against COVID-19.
Supporting caregivers with their non-work issues can help to reassert the organization’s dedication to them. That along with adequate steps to manage their safety can be a great way to ensure that your skilled resources stay with your company for a longer period.