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Supporting Carers and Improving Staff Retention in the Care Industry

23/05/2019



In an ideal world we would retain 100% of our staff and have minimal recruitment and training costs, however Social Care is facing an industry wide struggle with retention, with Skills for Care reporting a 30.7% turnover rate in 2018. Social care is a demanding job and it is important your staff are supported to carry out their roles successfully. Research has discovered that company culture, working environment and pay are the top 3 factors in staff satisfaction. Here are our top tips to support your carers and improve retention…


1.    360 Feedback

It is vital to offer your staff the opportunity to provide open and honest feedback anonymously. 360 feedback is a model that allows staff to anonymously report any issues with their roles, the way they work and ways they feel management could support them better in their roles. This feedback is then reviewed regularly to assess progress in any highlighted areas, and is a great way to improve communication and working style within your teams.

2.    Training Opportunities

Giving staff the opportunity to develop is vital not only for their job satisfaction but will improve the standard of care they are able to provide. If you can’t afford to send your whole team on courses there is funding available for you to take advantage of. Visit https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Learning-development/Funding/Workforce-Development-Fund/Workforce-Development-Fund.aspx for more information. 

“Investing in learning and development, embedding the values of their organisation and celebrating the organisation’s and individual achievements (94%, 92% and 86% respectively)"

3.    Celebrate Achievement

It is just as important to take notice of positive examples of care and celebrate staff achievements as it is to highlight any problems with care when striving for outstanding care quality. Rewarding examples of the excellent care quality clearly marks the standards you are aiming to achieve and ensures your staff feel valued for the work they do.

4.    Give your staff the tools they need to do their jobs well

Care staff ultimately need to do their jobs safely and efficiently so they can complete calls in full and on time. Giving them the time, they need to care is vital so they don’t feel rushed, so they can feel confident in the care they have provided and not worry about human error stemming from complicated processes or a lack of time. Using an electronic call monitoring software ensures staff have clear instructions and access to all the information they need, so they can feel confident they know exactly what is required, and save vital time on completing paperwork. Most ECM software’s report issues in real time which adds an important support element from their head office should they face any problems. 

5.    Time management.

One of the main issues reported by care staff is a lack of time to carry out care. This causes stress as they report feeling dissatisfied with the care they have provided; they are carrying out calls under pressure to make it to their next visit on time and can lead to further issues such as staff skipping break times to make up time. This is further problematic for clients as it leads to late calls and poor care quality. Using a software that allocates travel time and allocating longer calls if staff report needing it is vital to ensure staff and clients are happy. 

6.    Give rotas in advance and try to maintain consistency.

Giving rotas in advance gives your employees a chance to plan their childcare or life in general! Short notice can make maintaining a work life balance difficult and increase stress. Maintaining consistency in your workers hours and call routes will also help them establish a good routine and in turn improve their quality of life outside of work.

7.    Respect days off.

It can be tempting to send a quick text regarding shift changes or asking a question about a previous call but it is important to resist unless it truly cannot wait. Receiving texts from work during your own time can make it difficult to truly switch off and enjoy some down time, and staff will be much happier and refreshed if they can enjoy a proper break.

8.    Consider payment structures, benefits and incentives.

Whether that be offering above minimum wage, or an option of salary sacrifice schemes to help their work life balance, such as purchasing extra annual leave days, childcare vouchers, discounts with local businesses, flexible shift patterns or free meal provisions. Speak to your staff and find out how you can help them enjoy a good work life balance. 

9.    Have a health and well-being policy.

Support your team by ensuring they have access to resources to support their physical and mental health and well-being. Let them know what support is available and how to access it.

10. Learn from leavers.

Utilise exit interviews with leavers to establish the strong and weak points of your company culture, management and working style. Find out reasons for leaving, whether or not they are staying in the industry and vitally, any ways you can improve.


“Involving colleagues in decision making, paying above local minimum wage rates, giving staff additional responsibilities and using CQC reports as a catalyst for change had also successfully impacted upon staff retention for seven-eight in ten employees “
For more tips visit:

https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Recruitment-retention/Recruitment-and-retention.aspx


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