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How to keep your carers motivated through Christmas
with care training

Keeping your carers motivated throughout Christmas

Christmas is a very busy period for everyone, but as a homecare agency it is especially stressful. Care is a 24 hour service that you need to deliver through the festive period, which ultimately means asking your carers to forego family and friends and instead go to work. Unsurprisingly this often leads to increased sickness rates and resignations. So how do you keep your carers motivated enough to stay with you during the Christmas period and indeed beyond? And how can care training possibly help?

First off, you need to understand how your carers feel.

How do your staff feel?

Can you honestly say that all of your staff are completely satisfied? Are they fully engaged in their care training and their role? Do they have excellent attendance levels?

If the answers to those questions leave you feeling anxious about the effectiveness of your agency, you’re not alone. The homecare industry is facing some serious issues today, which the festive period only highlights.

Staff turnover in homecare is at an all-time high in the UK reaching a dizzying 30%. The constant need to recruit new staff is costly to say the least, with estimates putting it at on average £30k to replace just one employee.  Additional information on Australia's aged care workforce statistics here. Can your agency afford to keep spending?

Probably not. That’s why it is time to shift focus onto how best to retain your existing staff. That leads us onto the next question you need to know the answer to, why are they leaving?

Why is this happening?

Homecare work is challenging. Long hours are exacerbated by high sickness rates, meaning your care workers are often carrying a higher workload to cover for absent colleagues, more so during the holiday season. Already feeling overstretched and under pressure, they have to bare the responsibility of someone else’s welfare; should something go wrong, they will be held culpable. Add to all of this a lack of feedback and feeling of support from mentors, coaches and managers and it isn’t surprising that so many care workers leave the profession.

They are out there in the field, working remotely, often in isolation. Headquarters can often feel a million miles away for care workers and with so many service users to visit, there is little time to get back to headquarters for regular coaching sessions with mentors and managers. It becomes all too easy to become disenfranchised.

Meanwhile at said headquarters, managers are equally as busy trying to keep track of countless care workers, plug gaps caused by worker sickness, and meet growing demands for care services. The end result is that feedback and evaluation drop further and further down the priority list and there are serious consequences for everyone involved.

What is the impact on carers?

A feedback famine, namely a vacuum that occurs when staff do not receive enough regular, informal and ongoing feedback in their role. It can result in:

  • Uncertainty around role aims and goals
  • Not understanding duties and responsibilities
  • Being unaware of their own strengths and equally, weaknesses
  • A negative impact on others in the same team/agency
  • Poor habits that negatively impact quality of care

All of these factors can result in disengaged, disempowered and demotivated staff.

Now you know how detrimental the fallout from a feedback famine is, it is time to do something about it.

Make your staff want to stay

Psychology Today reports that workers are motivated by 3 key factors: security, identity, and stimulation.

Security – Let’s face it, the financial compensation of being a homecare worker is not the highlight of the role. Learning about colleagues calling in sick regularly, complaining about their roles and eventually leaving does not help forge feelings of security either.

Identity – Humans are social by nature, and the need to connect with other humans is important. Within a care role, providing a means to connect with others is critical, yet often carers are left to their own devices with no easy way to make regular contact with management or other members of the team. Carers may be left feeling disconnected and inadequate, without a true understanding of their role within the agency.

Stimulation – People look for challenging opportunities in life to promote personal growth and increase their knowledge and skill bases. Training for carers can often be in the territory of text-based e-learning or involve reading reams of policy paperwork, which can result in disengagement for even the most enthusiastic of employees.

All 3 of these factors are threatened in the care industry. Learning how to address these issues is key to making your staff want to stay.

Feedback is the solution

When it comes to management tools, feedback comes at minimal cost and provides some of the most powerful help possible, yet it remains woefully underused.

The numbers speak for themselves:

Feedback, of course, goes both ways. Managers who receive and take on board feedback from their employees see significant gains in productivity and profitability.

A solution as simple as feedback can increase staff engagement, motivating your care workers to do better, which ultimately improves their performance and confidence. As competency levels rise, your agency excels.

So it really does pay to put feedback at the forefront of your homecare workers’ learning and development.

Want to find out more?

Turn your feedback famine into a feedback feast by getting on board with On.Board.  Why not take a tour of its suite of features; not just the feedback tools but its intuitive and customisable interface, media options, comprehensive reporting and much more.

Book a totally free, no-obligation demo and prepare to harness the power of feedback.

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