Recruitment and retention are top of mind for the home health industry, with staffing needs emerging as an increasingly dire concern.
Given the constant stream of studies and statistics released about today’s labor market, it’s no wonder why. Disengagement among employees is a pressing issue across all industries, and a majority-millennial workforce is changing the way organizations structure their work environments. Home health is far from immune to these realities, meaning providers must shift their approaches if they want to attract top talent and combat caregiver turnover.
Home health providers looking to reduce turnover may find it beneficial to focus son better engagement, which is one of the top focus areas as identified by Sodexo in its 2016 Workplace Trends report. One of those trends relates strongly to the home health sector: employee engagement through recognition and gender-balanced teams to boost business performance. Sodexo is a dining, facilities management and quality of life services company working with clients in several industries, including education, energy and resources, health care, senior living and more.
The company’s annual report provides details on trends, including everything from health lifestyle initiatives in the workplace to office layout designs for facilitating teamwork and communication. While not every trend is equally applicable to the home health industry, its ideas regarding employee engagement are likely to resonate.
Rules of Engagement
Only 29% of millennials are engaged in the workplace, meaning less than one-third are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their job and company, according to a recent Gallup report consisting of information from various of the consulting firm’s databases. That means most millennials aren’t engaged, so they lead the pack as the least engaged generation.
Since millennials represent the largest segment of the overall workforce, this proves especially troubling. Staving off disengagement requires all hands on deck, regardless of how things have run in the past, according to Sodexo.
“Perhaps the persistently low employee engagement scores of the past decade or so can be attributed to the fact that employee engagement has traditionally been the responsibility of human resources, even though engagement can be impacted by every department in an organization,” the Sodexo report states. “Seen from this broad vantage point, employee engagement becomes a core business strategy, as opposed to an HR function.”
There are two key areas organizations should focus on to improve employee engagement and business performance, according to Sodexo. These are improving quality of life for workers and reaching every employee in an organization.
In home health, the importance of engaging employees supersedes simply paying them more. Caregivers prize good working environments, work schedules that match their lifestyles and a company’s reputation when selecting a place to work.
Still, competitive pay remains vital for staff retention, especially as wage pressures rise.
Other recommendations in the report include:
Written by Kourtney Liepelt