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Tackling care home staff turnover with training and career growth

Jacqui White, group operations director of White’s Training, discusses the benefits of employers offering more training courses to care workers in times of crisis.

Due to persistent workforce problems over the last two years, employers and providers of social care have had to adopt a range of strategies to help retain and support their staff.

However, staff retention continues to be at an all-time low in the sector. 

After reports suggesting that many care workers have considered quitting over the last year, as well as suffering from the aftereffects of working on the frontline during a pandemic, the home care industry is facing staff turnover like never before.

More than 65% of home care providers are experiencing more staff quitting their jobs than before the pandemic, with low pay and Covid burnout blamed for worsening the care recruitment crisis.

Staff who work in care homes provide care and support to society’s frailest and most vulnerable people. At all times, care home providers must have enough qualified, competent, professional, and experienced workers to meet the needs of the people who use the service. Nonetheless, attracting, recruiting, and retaining employees is a constant challenge.

Retention reality

While home care organisations vary in size, service users, staff demographics, and even location, there is no one-size-fits-all method for ensuring employee retention. However, there are a number of key areas that could be improved, including communication and culture, as well as providing professional training opportunities.

While home care organisations vary in size, service users, staff demographics, and even location, there is no one-size-fits-all method for ensuring employee retention. However, there are a number of key areas that could be improved, including communication and culture, as well as providing professional training opportunities.

Investing in employee retention is critical to any company’s success. It promotes high-quality care continuity, a positive workplace culture, employee well-being, time and cost savings and positive Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings. Employers with a turnover of less than 10% reported that their main activities contributing to staff retention were:

• Investing in learning and development (94%)
• Embedding the values of their organisation (92%)
• Celebrating the organisation’s and individual achievements (86%)
• Involving colleagues in decision making (81%)

people sitting on chair in front of table while holding pens during daytime

Unfulfilled means unsuccessful

According to a recent study by Total Jobs and Care UK, nearly one-third of social care workers want to leave the industry totally within the space of five years. Whilst 59% of the audience believed that if their company appreciated them more, it would have boosted their enthusiasm and career within the sector.
In any job, a little gratitude goes a long way, but it goes even further when the job is physically and emotionally draining. It’s natural that employees who know they’re doing well, increase their productivity and enthusiasm. Whether it’s a simple call, an email or an integrated compliment form in a care management system – positive feedback pays off.

Continuing career paths

There are a number of reasons why the care home industry has difficulty recruiting and retaining staff. Long and unsociable hours with low pay and unclear career progression being some of them, where staff see no future within their current position or company.

Providing employees with the opportunity for personal or professional growth can positively contribute to keeping staff onboard. This could include anything such as giving employees the opportunity to get new qualifications or developing leaders and managers to show what career development looks like.

Having a care qualification or ongoing training can make carers: feel their profession is more valued and higher status, feel more competent, capable and confident in their role and more likely to stay in social care with their current employer.

A training programme can improve the integration of new team members and give management and care workers the opportunity to get to know one another better and strengthen team harmony. Research indicates that staff are 58% more likely to stay 3 years if there is a structured onboarding programme.

Benefit your business

As the industry looks towards a more stable future for employees working in the care sector, we are here to advise and support employers’ next steps. White’s Training provides a variety of courses for home carers from Dementia and Parkinson’s Awareness to positive behaviour support.

These courses are a part of White’s Training Centre of Excellence and are currently delivered virtually, face-to-face or via e-learning. We are also able to help support your in-house training plan by offering our Train the Trainer courses and on-going support.

Employers who embrace training courses demonstrate their dedication to their employees’ self-worth and value. Offering this as a business makes it more enticing to carers looking for future positions.

For more information on carer training click here.

Photo Credit – Dylan Gillis

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