How to keep care staff happy: investment, involvement and keeping an eye on morale

If you keep your care staff happy, you’ll reap the rewards of minimal employee turnover and continuity of care for clients

Care worker helping older person with mobility
Copyright: iStock

In 2018, the staff turnover rate in the social care industry was 30.7%. With 67% of hires coming from within the industry, it’s clear that care workers are still committed to their profession (despite issues with pay and job security that affect many).

So what’s behind the numbers? It appears that a mixture of shortcomings – mismatched values, personality types, poor monitoring of employee satisfaction – all contribute to high turnover.

Make sure candidates are a good fit before they start

It’s a good idea to make sure candidates share your way of thinking before they join. Your recruiting process should be built around your core values, to make sure the right candidates are drawn to your vacancies.

Conduct personality tests at the first application stage. This will help you spot inappropriate applicants and identify qualities that may positively or negatively affect your existing staff.

Look at the whole picture

A 2017 Skills for Care study identified approaches that were effective in keeping/holding care workers – a unified approach that incorporates a mixture of investment in development, integration of values, personal responsibility and better pay worked best:

“The majority of employers [saw] a positive impact on staff retention as a result of investing in learning and development, embedding the values of their organisation and celebrating the organisation’s and individual achievements (94%, 92% and 86% respectively). Involving colleagues in decision making, paying above local minimum wage rates, giving staff additional responsibilities and using CQC reports as a catalyst for change had also successfully impacted upon staff retention for seven-eight in ten employees.”

Monitor happiness

Try to regularly check up on your employee’s happiness levels. This can be done face to face – such as in review meetings – but also through quick
in-office surveys or tests. An advantage of the remote approach is that, when employees have the option to leave honest comments in an anonymous setting, they are far more likely to be honest.

Equally important is actually taking the feedback on board! It’s hard to scan through negative comments, but facing up to uncomfortable truths now can save a lot of money later when it comes to turnover.

If you keep your care staff happy, you’ll reap the rewards of minimal employee turnover and continuity of care for clients.

To find out more about employee retention and how to keep staff happy, access our guide today.

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