The care sector is seemingly in a constant uphill battle with staff recruitment and retention, with high staff turnover rates and skill gap issues frequently reported within the industry. Whilst it is easy to focus on the negative side of care, it is vital to remember there are millions of dedicated and passionate carers in the UK who deliver exceptional care to residents and patients across the nation.
The 3 phases of staff retention
Author of Saving Social Care, Neil Eastwood, says there are three phases of managing staff retention in care.
Phase 1: Offer accepted
Within the care industry, a timeline between accepting a job offer and starting a new role is considerably longer than in other sectors. This wait time is due to the compliance checks required from care staff. Statistics from a care home show that care homes lose 50% of their employees before they start as some new employees may also be applying for other roles outside the sector where they can start immediately. Try and minimise the risk of staff leaving before they’ve started by implementing the below strategies.
Ensure that your hiring team are in regular contact with the new employee, send them a welcome pack and invite them to staff training days and onboarding sessions. These steps will help keep your care home at the front of their mind whilst they wait for their compliance checks.
Phase 2: The first 90 days
A new employee's first three months with your company are crucial for retaining their services. To make their onboarding experience as positive as possible, ensure that they are supported in their role and have access to training, whether this is e-learning or in person.
Highlight that you are passionate about their personal and professional development. A way to show this is by designating them with a mentor or buddy, where they can build a relationship and receive guidance from a trusted staff member.
Ensure you do not overwhelm them with their workload in the first few weeks. Work with your hiring team to outline a realistic onboarding plan for new employees. As a nice touch, reach out to this new team member on their first day to welcome them to the team. Do this as a phone call, a simple text or in person. To highlight your dedication to their development, organise a training session within 3 months, this reinforces their commitment to your business and vice versa.
Phase 3: Long term
Some team members may stay with you as “lifers”, but often, it is not realistic to expect everyone to remain long-term. Their reasons for leaving may not have anything to do with your care home but personal choices, e.g., travelling, moving or career changes.
However, you can foster a positive culture that encourages staff to stay as long as possible. Two ways to do this are through employee recognition and appreciation. As employees remain within your care home and you monitor their progress with other team members, residents/patients and their roles, you may identify opportunities for them to develop.
Try to keep lines of communication open and transparent between team members and management. They may want to develop experience in additional services or roles, and you can organise training sessions to support this. Investing in individual team members' needs and goals is crucial in securing a relationship of retention with them that will satisfy your long-term recruitment strategy.
Futureproof your recruitment and retainment strategy with digital technologies
Choosing the right technology to support your recruitment and retention strategy for your care home can be overwhelming. Our team at Locate a Locum are here to support you:
- Identify the pain points in your staff recruitment, managing leave requests and streamlining payroll.
- Explain how our industry-leading workforce management solution, can help alleviate these issues.
- Show you how user-friendly our platform really is, with our online live demo.
- Ask us questions - whatever worries or concerns you may have, let us know! We work closely with our clients and development team to ensure that the platform meets your needs.
Once you’ve decided to move forward with Locate a Locum we will hand you over to our dedicated onboarding team who will assist you in launching our solution within your care home. You will then be passed to our customer success team who will offer ongoing support to you and your team to ensure you receive the maximum benefits from the platform.
Get in contact
Locate a Locum has been designed to support care home recruitment and retention strategies. Get in contact with us here to book a demo of our platform. Our workforce management platform is being used by care homes nationwide. You can view our client testimonials here.