Respect Outweighs Wages for Home Health Worker Satisfaction

Home heath workers report higher levels of satisfaction with their jobs when they feel respected and valued by their superiors and the agency as a whole, while hourly wage doesn’t necessarily denote workplace satisfaction, according to a survey analysis published late last week.

The research aims to pinpoint factors that influence a home health worker’s job satisfaction and whether they affect his or her decision to resign. Its analysis was authored by Social & Scientific Systems, Inc. in conjunction with provider association LeadingAge.

Specifically, the analysis hones in on the extent to which compensation positively correlates with job satisfaction and negatively correlates with intent to leave; how job stressors or demands associate with job satisfaction and result in intent to leave; and the ways a supportive workplace leads to job satisfaction and lessens an employee’s intent to leave.

“It is critical to address workforce retention because these problems will probably be exacerbated in the future,” the report stated. “Understanding the determinants of turnover will help policymakers, agencies, workers, clients and their families to modify, to the extent possible, specific policy-level, workplace-level and worker-level factors that will support a more stable, quality home health workforce.”

Overall, the report indicates that home health workers who are dissatisfied with their jobs have greater intentions to leave. This held particularly true when considering agency structure and policy, as workers employed by for-profit chain-owned agencies are more than twice as likely to intend to leave their jobs as those working for non-profit or other organizations.

Analysis of the research finds that supervisors who show respect for home health workers and organizations that value their employees significantly impact overall job satisfaction. While this might seem obvious, some other findings are less intuitive: The report also suggests those with higher wages have lesser odds of being extremely satisfied with their work.

Another indicator of home health worker satisfaction is a work environment where employees are encouraged to discuss patient care with family, according to the report.

Written by Kourtney Liepelt