Home care employees work tirelessly to provide quality care for patients in need — a job that often does not receive its righteous praise. In New York, 74% of seniors and people with disabilities are unable to retain home care workers in 2021 according to a report by the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York. With the ongoing shortage of healthcare employees impacting our communities, the essential care that patients need has become challenging to come by. As healthcare and home care employers alike look to improve hiring and retention, it’s important to reflect on the needs of our employees and care for them as they care for their patients.

It’s on employers to provide adequate workplace flexibility and benefits that support their home care employees, both personally and professionally. At All Heart Homecare, we strive to do just that. Here are a few ways employers can support their home care employees more effectively:

  1. Encourage workplace flexibility. A major factor that home care employers face is the ability to fill shifts. Consider enhancing your workplace flexibility by allowing employees to work shifts that best suit their schedules. Working Monday through Friday between 9 to 5 doesn’t work for everyone. In fact, research shows that 58% of healthcare workers would be willing to take a pay cut for more flexible work hours. Schedule flexibility can widen the talent pool while allowing employees to maintain their side gigs and other priorities.
  1. Provide employee benefits that support your home care employees both inside and outside the workplace. This is an essential way to show your employees that you care for them both personally and professionally. Consider implementing cost-free employee benefits such as on-demand pay, which can alleviate financial stress by allowing your employees to access their pay as they earn it. At All Heart Homecare, we’ve seen many of our employees utilize this benefit through our partnership with DailyPay. Other great benefits include extra paid time off, commuter reimbursement and educational reimbursement.
  1. Boost the employee experience. Research shows a direct link between patient experience and employee engagement. A great way to improve the experience of patients is by improving the experience of employees. Consider hosting events that bring teams together including holiday parties, monthly events for regional teams, and wellness days.

While these are just a few examples, they can certainly drive change and stability in the workplace ultimately boosting hiring efforts and employee retention at an organization. Above all, listen to your employees’ needs and take action. Home care employees need to know that their employer is there for them and acting on their needs.

Karina Takhmazyan is director of human resources at All Heart Homecare.