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Retaining Home Healthcare Employees during COVID-19

Over the past several months, COVID-19 has swept through the healthcare system. As a healthcare business owner, it brings both opportunities and challenges in retaining home healthcare employees.

To grow your home healthcare business, you must have resources available to increase your patient load – namely, employees! To strengthen your employee roster, you need to focus on retaining home healthcare employees.

Retaining Home Healthcare Employees

As important as filling your pipeline and being able to quickly recruit quality employees tends to be, it is just as important to reduce employee turnover by keeping your current employees motivated and engaged. As an industry, home healthcare turnover ranges from 40% to 67%, annually. By keeping your business’s turnover low, you will reduce your costs and allow your business to grow more quickly.

Here are some ways to maintain employees and reduce turnaround.

Be Aware of Common Complaints

Work to address the most common complaints from employees who leave. As an industry, these complaints are generally around poor communication, hours and scheduling, pay and benefits, training (or lack thereof), lack of recognition, rude office staff, and the lack of openness to new ideas or feedback. Use exit interviews and anonymous employee satisfaction surveys to find your business’s particular areas of opportunity for improvement.

Once you gather information on areas within your business that can be improved upon, develop an action plan around even just one. Then, communicate and implement the changes. Demonstrating change based on employee feedback is incredibly motivational and will help reduce your turnover rate.

Be Mindful of Professional Office Relationships

Develop friendly, yet professional, relationships with your employees, and encourage them to develop friendships amongst each other. Offices with employees who have strong friends at work have much lower turnover rates. Especially encourage friendly relationships between the office staff and clinical staff.

If you can, host periodic happy hours or other team events at the corporate office to encourage new relationships to develop. Be sure these events do not include mandatory attendance requirements, for this tends to have the opposite effect.

Be Willing to Integrate New Programs

Integrate an employee recognition program within your business, rewarding employees for perfect attendance, paperwork completion, or client satisfaction. To get the most out of your employee recognition program, it is best to use non-cash rewards.

Studies have shown that any cash payments are psychologically grouped in with wages, and not perceived as an extra incentive or reward – i.e., they are more likely to be spent on bills, not fun items that motivates repeat behavior. Therefore, to maximize the value of your referral program, choose to provide non-cash rewards, such as PTO time, special parking places, or even gift cards.

If a current employee does leave, try to end the relationship on a positive note. Prior employees can be a great recruitment pipeline for the future as well.

Once you have developed an organized recruitment process to develop a recruitment pipeline as well as a process for immediate openings, and have addressed existing employee retention, you will be able to grow your business more quickly and become more profitable.

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