Over the years, in-home care providers have been forced to become increasingly creative when it comes to retention. One company, Royal Care, has been able to accomplish this in the hyper-competitive New York market, thanks to a unique caregiver perks program.
Founded in 1995, Royal Care is an in-home care agency that provides professional nursing care, geriatric care, physical therapy, rehabilitation services, occupational therapy, personal care and housekeeping services. The company’s New York locations include Brooklyn, Flushing, Jamaica, Nassau and the Bronx.
The company employs over 5,000 people and serves approximately 5,000 patients per month — many of whom are Medicaid beneficiaries.
To reward and retain workers, Royal Care has built a robust perks program that gives caregivers access to top manicurists, hairstylists, makeup artists, salon specialists and more. All of the services are provided at Royal Care’s brick-and-mortar Brooklyn-based “perks facility.”
The program was first established in 2016. The goal is to not only retain caregivers more effectively, but also to emphasize “self-care” among its workforce, which is predominantly made up of women, people of color and individuals from immigrant communities.
“It’s not just a perks facility,” Josh Klein, founder and CEO of Royal Care, told Home Health Care News. “It’s about taking a workforce that is [primarily] women and elevating them — making them feel a certain way.”
For caregivers — who may not want to spend any additional income on services that are often viewed as luxuries — this became a way to still experience these aesthetic services through their work, according to Klein.
In addition to the aforementioned services, the facility also features snacks, beverages, a certified in-house nutritionist, ESL classes, advanced home care training and various technology classes.
A facility like the one Royal Care operates may be uncommon in the home-based care space, but as Klein points out, for years, startups and tech companies have been pushing the envelope when it comes to providing its workers perks that fall outside of traditional employee benefits.
For example, Google campuses offer its employees free gourmet food and the opportunity for free sessions with a masseuse, as well as access to fitness and tech classes.
Klein doesn’t believe that attractive benefits should only be limited to specific careers or people with an executive title.
“I tried to equate it to the big fancy tech companies — the Googles of the world,” he said. “Google has campuses that pamper every single tech executive … people that make a quarter of a million dollars and above. That company sees a need for pampering and caring for their employees … so imagine what it means for a caregiver that makes a lot less than a quarter of a million dollars.”
The company has seen success with the facility and has plans to roll out a second location in the Bronx — slated to open by December. The new facility will offer continuing education programs focused on career advancement, nutritional classes, meditation and yoga, and a wellness café.
In terms of return on investment, Royal Care is open about the fact that the company has put in millions to get these facilities up and running. For Royal Care, the return on investment comes in the form of retention, especially in a market as competitive as New York.
“Our turnover is less than anyone else in almost any industry,” Klein said. “Our retention rate is above 90%.”
As providers continue to combat the COVID-19 emergency, retaining caregivers will be more crucial than ever, according to Klein.
“Caregivers care about their work. They have big hearts. They wanted to do something as an essential employee,” he said. “As a company, you have to care for them, too.”