There is no question that caregiver recruitment and retention is the number one priority of many home care agencies across North America. Critical to staff retention at any organization is employee engagement. According to Gallup, 52% of voluntarily exiting employees said their manager or organization could have done something to prevent them from leaving their jobs.
Engagement is especially critical for caregivers who work remotely from team members and must balance a long list of practical tasks while offering personalized emotional support.
So how can you connect with caregivers in the field to support them in their roles and to build a connection to your organization? We asked home care managers to share some ways they are using technology to get their caregivers engaged. Here are 7 actionable tips they shared:
Tip #1 - Establish a "virtual" roundtable for caregivers
What better way to encourage engagement than to give the mic to the caregivers to ask questions and share their experiences.
“Every month we host a roundtable for the whole team where we ask our caregivers to share any challenges, issues, or questions. It allows not only our office staff but other caregivers to share their own experiences, strategies, and support. It’s turned out to be our most requested meeting.”
Tracy Steuckrath, Visiting Angels Sacramento, CA
Tip #2 - Collect and share content that delights
Thinking outside of the box and sharing delighters that a caregiver can use in both their work life and personal life helps encourage participation.
“We like to collect recipes for things like smoothies or ideas for breakfast and lunch. We then have daily posts for caregivers for use in their personal life as well as at a client's home.”
Debbie Singh, Visiting Angels Fresno, CA
Tip #3 - Centralize and share company announcements
Sharing news that impacts the whole team should be a standard communication practice. If you also share this news from a single destination where everyone can view and comment, then the team gets the benefit of learning and celebrating with one another.
“We use SparxConnect for all company updates and we are getting positive feedback. It also helps to drive the adoption of the technology. Our most recent announcement of a staff raise was posted and the positive reactions were there for all to see.”
Mike Norfield, Visiting Angels Lynchburg, VA
Tip #4 - Acknowledge personal milestones
When building a culture where the staff cares about one another, be sure to encourage the sharing of personal milestones and reminders or tips that support the team in their personal life.
"In SparxConnect, we have a team circle where we also post information that has nothing to do with the business. For example, every month we give a shout-out to each caregivers' birthday, and everyone joins in and wishes Happy Birthday. This is one simple way to remind everyone we are a team."
Kelly Stewart, Excellcare - Toronto, Canada
Tip #5 - Check on staff wellness with quick surveys
Not every survey needs to be a formal NPS or satisfaction survey. It only takes a few minutes to get a pulse on the health of your staff and identify where to focus your attention.
"We use the survey feature in SparxConnect to learn about caregivers' lives and experiences. When we ask questions like 'What brought you joy today?' we learn what matters and then we share the responses in a post as a way to instill a sense of community and drive engagement between the caregivers and the office."
Tracy Steuckrath, Visiting Angels Sacramento, CA
Tip #6 - Create a "Meet the Staff" page
Creating a staff page with pictures and introductions for every single member of the organization is one of the simplest ways to create a sense of community. This is especially useful for caregivers in the field who can now “put a face to the name”, as they often only meet other colleagues once during onboarding.
"Caregivers are often the lone rangers of a home care agency, but with SparxConnect, we are offering a dedicated space where they can not only connect with the office staff but other caregivers. It helps them to build relationships and feel like a team."
Ariel Castillo, Right at Home Albuquerque, NM
Tip #7 - Recognize dedication to their role
Leveraging the data provided through SparxConnect, management can highlight their most active and engaged staff. This can come in many forms, including a special mention at a staff meeting or a contest with prizes for each post, engagement, or moment of joy caregivers share.
"With SparxConnect, we have been able to see examples of our caregivers going above and beyond with our clients, and while we can recognize that in real-time with a like and comment within the platform, we also leverage the data within the dashboard to highlight and celebrate their great work."
Kim Eckermann, Right at Home Northwest Houston, TX
As you know, getting caregivers engaged and seeing results doesn't happen overnight. However, if you believe that investing in your staff is a priority, then don't wait. The best investment strategy includes starting early, as the longer you invest, the greater your chance for growth.
If you'd like to see how SparxConnect can help you reduce the distance between your office and care providers, and improve caregiver engagement, send us a message.
About the author: Rachel Kuschmierz
As a Customer Success Manager for SparxConnect, Rachel brings 11 years of caregiving to the forefront of all conversations she has with our customers. She loves working alongside organizations to help them achieve their goals and support their caregivers in providing exceptional care experiences for everyone involved.