Investing in Your Staff’s Future

June 13, 2016 | Paige Nelson

The leading issue with long-term care facilities is staff retention, and with this growing issue, analysts and the federal government are investigating the leading causes of this problem.

Employee Dissatisfaction:

Common system and environmental issues.

  • Insufficiencies in benefits and pay: Caregivers believe their hard work is not being reciprocated in compensation.
  • Poor staffing: According to Eleanor S. McConnell’s study, in a typical LTC facility, the only registered nurse on staff is the director of nursing (DON). Facilities face the challenge of finding appropriate staff members who have experience with the clinical and social complexities of long- term care.
  • Lack of role clarity or low sense of control over job performance: With lack of direction of how to perform one’s day-to-day duties, one begins to question his or her performance. Feeling Undervalued.
  • Work schedule is not meeting employee needs or expectations: Many employees working in facilities like yours are continuing their education, which brings fluctuating schedules and little control over one’s work schedule.
  • Lack of appreciation: One of the leading issues in LTC facilities is the absence of employee recognition programs.
  • High self-esteem (underappreciation): You have learned, prepared, and shown your skill set, but why does it come off as egotistical to your coworkers?
  • Age and experience: Remember when you were a new employee and others had already attained partners for their daily tasks? New employees are leaving the LTC community because there is a disconnect between those of different experience levels.

Help retain employees:

Interest is key.

  • Attract employees for whom it is an occupation of choice: When interviewing new hires, ask them why they have chosen LTC. What skills are they looking to gain during their time at your facility?
  • Encourage retention through opportunities for professional growth: Discuss opportunities with your employees to form programs that will strengthen their capabilities through seminars, employee meetings, and informational bulletin boards.
  • Clearly communicate expectations and performance objectives: In interviews, discuss your company’s expectations and business goals so candidates understand your business.

Plan for the future.

  • Teach supervisors coaching techniques: Those who are moving up the chain of command should have pre-assessments and workshops created for them to work towards future leadership positions.
  • Involve employees in decision-making: Use your employees to gage how new processes will be accepted.
  • Celebrate employee achievements: Provide quarterly celebrations for both individuals and groups who have gone above and beyond.
  • Build teams and increase coworker support: It sounds corny, but ice breakers work. Have bi- annual employee training days and create team building activities through the day.

Paige Nelson

Before working for Smart-Fill, Paige worked for medical equipment companies and IT departments. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading and trying out new restaurants.

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