When it comes to your net worth as a home care agency, caregivers should be seen as your most valuable asset. They represent the heart and soul of your agency. They are the service you are selling. How they treat clients, their appearance, their timeliness and efficiency reflects back on your homecare agency. Great caregivers help grow your agency. Bad ones, poorly-trained ones, non-caring ones can sink it.
Word of mouth and referrals go a long way in this business. A bad experience with one caregiver can do more damage than great experiences with several. It’s not always the caregivers fault, and there are several things home care agencies can do to make certain caregivers join your team fully equipped to handle the challenges of working in home care. And, how the home care agency treats the caregiver, can also help create an atmosphere where a caregiver wants to shine.
The best home care agencies offer career lattices to train and retain the best caregivers, to build a strong foundation and reputation. Placing the necessary importance on caregivers as your top asset should include ongoing training as well as certification opportunities, as well as valuing caregiver input and insights gleaned from their hands-on, on-the-job experience. Being a part of the care team, and feeling like an important part of the care team is essential to having a caregiver who feels fulfilled on the job, and having a caregiver who is working FOR the agency and not just working.
For at least the last decade, the home care industry has faced a shortage of compassionate, skilled and qualified caregivers, and that shortage will continue to grow as more and more Boomers live well into old age. In some older research AARP found that by 2030, the United States will need between 5.7 million to 6.6 million caregivers. At the time that AARP Bulletin article was written in 2007, there were just 1.7 million paid caregivers, caring for 40 percent of people age 60 plus. All signs point to the finding and keeping of good caregivers as a task that will only get harder.
Again, training and retaining the best caregivers remains crucial to your bottom line. Your agency should be a human resources business first and foremost. Your agency should be in recruitment mode each and every day, and with each and every staff member. Check out the webinar on systems and methods to find and keep the best caregivers that we presented June 2 and is housed on our events page. The idea is to hone in on how to make sure your caregivers come to work every day happy, focused, and ready to represent your agency to the best of their capabilities. The Private Duty Benchmark Study declared 2015 the “Year of the Caregiver,” because of the need to target efforts on finding, hiring and retaining the best. Also, check out our Private Duty Business Manual Recruitment and Retention Module for sale on MarketHomeCare for step by step information on how to best find and keep good caregivers.
If you are really serious about being the best you can be, then you need a marketing partner who can help you market to the caregiver pool as well as the potential client and referral pool. At corecubed, our MOST program offers exclusive, members-only webcasts designed to help you grow your business, from how to apply social media to marketing your homecare business to how to train your staff. And how to keep it.