Finding a care worker is one thing, but when it comes to keeping them, it’s a completely different kettle of fish altogether.
In fact, the turnover rate in social care (in particular) stands at a staggering 25%, compared to a UK average for all jobs of 15%.
Interestingly, the figure is higher in the private care sector and among home care workers, with around 300,000 staff leaving their jobs every year.
So, what are the reasons behind the worrying turnover rate? Is it the roles and responsibilities of the job itself?
According to a fascinating piece published by The Guardian, employers are at fault for the poor staff retention rates – ugh oh!
With this in mind, let’s explore some of the biggest pet peeves of care workers and offer some practical solutions to keep your team of care workers happy.
There’s been a lot of talk about zero-hours contracts over the past few years, with some UK professionals wanting them abolished.
The underlining issue is that they don’t guarantee an employee a minimum amount of work, which can create the same uncertainty experienced by a self-employed professional.
In the care industry, about a third of care workers are on zero-hours contracts.
Despite the average hourly pay being around £7.99, professionals working in the industry feel like this isn’t enough to cope with the high demands of the job.
For instance, if a home care worker is required to spend longer than 20 minutes visiting a patient, it messes up their schedule for the rest of the day.
This not only leaves another person waiting, but it means one of them might have to have their visit cut short.
And when you throw in other factors like traffic, any top care worker who chooses to stick to their allocated visiting time will end up chewing into their own personal time.
As a result, the £7.99 average hourly rate starts to work out as £4 something per hour due to all of the unpaid time spent going from house to house.
This leaves care workers feeling frustrated, undervalued and overworked.
Well, managing the number of patients booked in can help home care workers, while a quality pay package will certainly go a long way.
Zero-hours contracts can also be deemed as a way of employers having all of the power.
If possible, try to give your employees set times and working hours to keep them happy.
A lack of training
Another care worker frustration is a lack of training.
Whether you’re hiring someone on a temporary or permanent basis, providing the right training will go a long way in improving staff retention.
According to research, two out of three UK workers have admitted that they’ve changed job because of a lack of training and development opportunities.
Giving care workers a more comprehensive training experience will also benefit your patients as well.
However, trying to squeeze in extra on-site shadowing, interactive learning programmes and classes isn’t always feasible if your company is up against it.
So, it’s important to establish whether the care worker feels like they need more training before starting the work or not.
Having an open and honest chat with them at the start will make them feel comfortable and give you the information you need to be a better employer.
As well as having an initial chat, think about introducing a questionnaire for all new employees to fill out.
This can consist of relevant skill-related questions which will help you understand what areas care workers specialise in and others they need assisting with.
You can find more inspiration on how to provide further training in our previous post.
A lack of support
In some cases, some clients and patients can undermine your care workers, making them feel frustrated and angry.
According to a professional in the industry, one of the biggest challenges of their job is remaining level-headed.
It’s not easy for them to fix every situation and fulfil every task of the client or patient.
As a company, you must recognise this and offer ongoing support.
Holding weekly counselling meetings with every care worker will make them feel like they have time to vent their frustrations and get the guidance they need.
Similarly, you should remember to incentivise their work and give them praise whenever possible so that everyone feels valued.
No time for meals
Another common pet peeve of care workers is their inability to find time to eat properly.
While a patient’s care is often perceived as the priority, if your care workers aren’t functioning properly, they won’t be able to provide a quality service.
When you’re drawing up the weekly shift timetable, try factoring in these elements.
Also, think about providing healthy snacks on-site to keep the spirits and energy levels up.
Food is life, after all!
Addressing all of these pet peeves will go a long way in improving your staff retention rates and improving their experience with your company.
You’ll also save a lot of money on recruiting too! For the best results, start by talking to your current employees and getting their feedback on how you run the company. This will enable you to prioritise the key areas that need addressing.
If you need a hand finding your next care worker, then get in touch with us today.