Act now to retain staff

The only surprising thing about the causes of poor staff retention
in social care, highlighted in the report to launch Community
Care
‘s Care in the Capital Week, is how obvious they are – and
how little has been done.

Social care professionals understand that their independent
judgement must somehow coexist alongside the impact of resource
constraints on services and of performance management on
organisations. They appreciate that managing this co-existence is
no easy task. But in any industry, if professionals feel their
judgement and skill consistently lose out to those other
considerations, they feel undervalued and decide enough is
enough.

The impact of structural change and uncertainty is another
significant factor which adds an intolerable burden to already
stressful jobs.

Last year, the Audit Commission’s report Recruitment and
Retention: A Public Service Workforce for the 21st Centur
y
made clear that the loss of staff results from “push” factors, not
“pull” factors. In other words, a combination of factors
originating both locally and with central government is driving
people away.

We know the problem. We have even made a good start on knowing what
to do about it – though it isn’t easy. So let’s do it.

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