I love my clients. Helping home care agencies, home health, and hospice organizations service more patients is the most rewarding work I have ever done!
Home Care Sales has done such a great job at helping organizations grow that we create a new problem. Not enough staff.
Not enough staff can be caused by 2 different problems.
- Recruiting Process not producing candidates.
- Losing current employees
Today’s blog post is about retention. I just got done working on a brand-new recruiting and retention program for Home Care Sales Mastermind clients, and I spent hours reading and practicing strategies at my own organization.
Fact: Replacing a minimum-wage-earning employee costs the average business about $3500 every time it happens.
On average, a retail business replaces 59% of its workforce each year. Many home health, private duty, and hospice organizations have a 59% workforce turnover in aides each year. Companies can’t afford this level of employee turnover.
Retention really comes down to 5 key responsibilities of management plus one shot at making a great first impression for a total of 6 responsibilities. When a company handles these 6 responsibilities well, employees stay with the company longer.
Management needs to provide employees with:
- Thorough orientation to the job at the start and continued opportunities to learn.
- Consistent communication every day.
- Respectful discipline and fair treatment when they make any mistakes.
- Sincere recognition when they do something exceptional
- An annual performance evaluation that offers a clear path to future professional growth.
- And my final recommendation is a First day that makes a great impression.
Today I want to share with you just a few strategies that can help you retain the staff that you just spent tons of money and time onboarding. I am going to just share a few that I absolutely love and that I’ve been able to implement.
1. WOW them on their first day!
Announce them to the entire company with a Welcome To The Family Poster. We use a chalkboard, and when a new employee enters our agency, they see a welcome message and their name on the chalkboard. We also like to continue to WOW them with lunch on their first day with their manager whenever possible.
We also send to each new employee (at about day 21) a goodie box of snacks. Just when they think we forgot about them we sneak in this surprise, and folks just love it.
We send it to their homes where their family gets to see how much we appreciate them. Employees love to tell their friends and family about their first day, and how great they felt. This is a wonderful (and proven) recruiting tool!
2. Provide them with a mentor!
Many agencies I’ve worked with (and even my own) use an amazing preceptorship program. We team up each new employee with a buddy. This buddy is an outstanding employee who has proven themselves and is respected by all. We pay them a small preceptorship bonus, and they are trained on how they will preceptor new employees.
I will share with you that all the new employees love having someone on the inside. The preceptor reaches out daily for the first week and just offers to answer any questions and be a great resource.
We love that the preceptor is a peer and can give the new member policy and procedure guidance. We also like the preceptor to take the new employee to lunch the first week. When we interviewed new employees to ask them how to rate our orientation system, we score extremely high in satisfaction. We attribute this incredible success to using the preceptorship program.
3. Employee Newsletters!
Newsletters can take a lot of work and they never make everyone happy… but when you ask employees what is important, they love communication. When we do our annual interview with our staff, we ask them what is one thing that we do that you love about working at our company. The answer that receives over 80% or higher scoring, is our employee newsletter. It is basic.
Our newsletter includes the following:
- New Employee’s names, titles, and a few sentences about them.
- Employee Anniversary’s, Birthdays, and special employee news (births, graduations, and celebrations)
- Monthly Health Observance information
- Crossword Puzzle about key terms related to the holiday, Unique Selling Point, or monthly health observance
- News about new things going on at the agency.
- Opportunities to join the company!
4. Annual Agency Report:
We call our annual report, the State of the Organization. We have an annual meeting, usually a holiday party, that we take about 15 min to deliver the highlights of the company in-person. We also mail this annual report to each employee’s home. We cover quite a bit in this report.
Here are just a few of the highlights:
- Patients Serviced and report on year-over-year growth
- Insurance contracts accepted
- Employee Survey results
- Performance Improvement Project
- Complaints and Resolutions
- Annual Goals and progress towards hitting them
- Survey results
- New Contracts, technology, learning opportunities
- Any changes coming for the upcoming year
Employees love being in the know! When they can share information about the company they feel like an insider! They feel like they are part of the company and that makes them feel a sense of belonging to the organization.
I hope all of you are doing a great job of retaining your staff. I really do.
Just remember: other organizations will be trying to get your best employees to join their team. You need to act now to keep them!
Small things, such as a monthly thank you email or a moment of recognition can make your staff hang up on a recruiter trying to win them over. Whenever the unemployment rate is below 6% headhunters are quite active.
Beat them at their game by keeping your staff loyal to you!
If you would like to read more about my agency and its culture, you can download my first book: The Five Steps To Sales Success to Grow your Private Duty, Home Health, and Hospice Organization at www.homecaresales.com/book.
If you prefer a printed copy you can find it from the link below.
Cheryl Peltekis, RN “The Solutionist”