Much of home care marketing involves using content to showcase how your agency helps seniors and family caregivers in need of support at home. After all, targeting clients is essential for a growing business. Agencies should nurture and give thanks throughout the year for new leads and existing clients alike. However, as we think about being thankful this time of year, there is a demographic that shouldn’t be neglected — caregivers.
The need for in-home care services is on the rise, but, unfortunately, so is the need for caregivers. This critical need has many agencies scrambling to find ways to better recruit and retain a quality team. Allocating some marketing efforts toward showing gratitude can go a long way. Successful home care agencies know how to demonstrate their values and show support and appreciation for caregivers. The result is improved recruitment and retention.
How Can You Improve Caregiver Recruitment and Retention?
Offering more money is often the top consideration when caregiver recruitment and retention are flagging. It’s a fine idea if it’s something that your agency can financially swing. However, most small agencies are tightly budgeted as is, and there is no guarantee that more money equals increased loyalty. A home care agency’s care has to extend beyond its clients if it wants to create a grateful and welcoming environment for caregivers. Your care staff is the heart of your business and should receive just as much care and consideration. This Thanksgiving season, consider the following tips for showing gratitude for your caregivers.
- Make the recruitment process welcoming. Too often caregivers are filling out long applications, taking part in dull interviews, and either not hearing back or being rushed at lightspeed into orientation. None of this feels welcoming. It doesn’t even feel as though the agency cares about the process or the caregivers themselves, only that they have bodies to fill the positions. Just as you take time and effort to decorate your home and set the table for a welcoming family gathering, so should you create a pleasant space for potential new employees. Little things like offering refreshments during the interview and making sure you are fully present (phones and devices put away) can send the message that you care. Preparing beforehand so that you can speak to the person’s resume and experience shows you’ve done your homework too.
- Prepare new caregivers well. Once a new caregiver is on board, it can be tempting to get them out and into clients’ homes right away. But in order to feel secure and grounded in their new role, they need to be prepared. After all, you wouldn’t start cooking your Thanksgiving feast without your trusted recipes, right? You need a plan. A thorough caregiver orientation should set caregivers up for success by giving them everything they need to perform their jobs properly — employee handbook, comprehensive overview of systems and processes unique to your agency, a clear explanation of to whom they should report, etc. And don’t leave the welcoming environment at the recruitment phase. Carry it through with a goodie bag or special “welcome to the team” gift.
- Be mindful of your caregivers’ time and potential for burnout. If you are a home care agency with an abundance of hours just waiting for caregivers to snatch up,getting caregivers right to work and in a groove with clients is important. But it is equally important to be mindful of caregiver burnout and its potential to drive caregivers away from your agency (or the industry entirely). Think of it as that overfull feeling you get after eating too many helpings. Those extra hours sound great at first, but are they something your single-mom caregiver will regret later after missing out on too many school functions? Are you noticing a change in mood from certain staff members? Talk regularly with caregivers about how to maintain a healthy work-life balance and assure them that you are open to helping them alleviate burnout however you can.
- Recognize their hard work and achievements. Who doesn’t love topping off a hearty meal with a big, sweet slice of pie? We crave a bit of sweetness after all that effort. For your caregivers, the “pie” is a compliment or recognition for their hard work. Employees who receive regular recognition are more likely to be engaged in their jobs and the company culture. They are also less likely to leave. Make sure to highlight work anniversaries, birthdays, and other milestones. If a caregiver has gotten through to a particularly difficult client, acknowledge that as well. Share positive client feedback whenever you receive it. And never miss a chance to just say thank you for how they contribute to your company.
Caregiver recruitment and retention can feel like an ongoing and downright thankless task. However, with the right marketing and an attitude of gratitude, your agency can set the table for caregiver success. For more information on how corecubed’s team of home care marketing experts can give your caregiver recruitment and retention efforts a boost, contact us today!