Headshot of Lance Slatton

Having supports in place to support caregivers’ physical and mental health are key for both retention and work satisfaction. Without this, home care companies are facing an ever-greater loss as the mass exodus from the workforce continues. To properly support caregivers in the home care industry, there are a few different approaches to consider.

Comprehensive benefits packages

Many home care workers find themselves facing demanding and emotionally taxing responsibilities, which means employers need to offer benefits that address their needs. This includes health insurance, mental health support, flexibility, and access to wellness programs.

Flexible scheduling and paid time off should also be included in all caregivers’ benefits packages. Work-life balance, especially within the United States, is severely lacking, and is the reason behind 29% of people considering quitting their jobs.

Caregivers juggle countless responsibilities, including work-life balance. Offering flexibility in scheduling and the ability to take time off are important for maintaining this balance. Any company that acknowledges and accommodates this need is gaining the upper hand by demonstrating to their caregivers that they are valued and heard.

Targeted training and professional development

Home care companies that invest in the professional development of their caregivers are successfully able to enhance job satisfaction and performance, as their staff feels confident in their abilities. Offering specialized training programs can equip caregivers with the skills needed to provide high-quality care, boosting their confidence and sense of accomplishment. Naturally, this benefits the caregivers, but it also contributes to the quality of care provided by the company in general.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

Maya Angelou

Recognition and appreciation

Acknowledging the hard work and dedication of caregivers helps to maintain a positive work culture, which is a huge proponent of employee retention. Home care companies should consider implementing recognition programs to highlight the achievements of their staff. This might be as simple as employee of the month awards, shout-outs during team meetings, or other forms of acknowledgment that celebrate the contributions of caregivers.

Beyond formal recognition programs, creating a culture of appreciation helps motivate employees and keeps them satisfied with their current position. Providing a platform for caregivers to share their experiences, ideas and concerns helps build a sense of community and demonstrates that their voices are valued. This open dialogue can also uncover potential issues before they become major concerns, contributing to a more supportive work environment in general.

Offering competitive compensation for retention

Competitive compensation is a fundamental factor in retaining skilled caregivers. The home care industry often faces challenges in offering competitive wages, but companies that prioritize fair and competitive pay demonstrate their commitment to their staff. Adequate compensation attracts qualified individuals to the industry and also reduces turnover rates by retaining experienced caregivers. Companies should also consider exploring creative ways to enhance compensation packages, such as performance-based bonuses or profit-sharing programs.

Employee Assistance Programs

EAPs offer confidential counseling services and assistance for personal challenges that are likely to affect job performance. Many employers offer EAPs but are not actively sharing the benefits with employees, meaning that they are far underutilized. According to a recent survey by the CDC, 14.5% of caregivers reported experiencing 14 or more mentally unhealthy days in the past month. This means that for nearly 50% of the month, caregivers were struggling. This statistic should be alarming for companies and cause for immediate action. Educating staff on the perks of using their EAP benefits can help entice them to take advantage and begin getting the support they need.

Final thoughts

The home care industry faces unprecedented challenges in terms of staffing and retention, exacerbated by broader employment shortages across various sectors. To navigate these challenges successfully, home care companies need to prioritize the well-being of their caregivers. By taking the steps to do so, home care companies can attract skilled caregivers and retain them, ultimately enhancing the quality of care provided to those who depend on their services.

Lance A. Slatton is a senior case manager at Enriched Life Home Care Services in Livonia, MI. He is also host of the podcast All Home Care Matters, a podcast and YouTube channel. The channel earned the YouTube Creator Award for surpassing 100,000 subscribers. By subscribing to the show, you will gain access to a wealth of information and tips that can help you provide the best possible care for your loved one. Find it on Apple podcasts or YouTube at @AllHomeCareMatters.