Assisted living facilities have always had high staff turnover rates, based in part on low-paying wages and long hours. Staff turnover is incredibly costly in multiple ways, including replacing an employee and indirect costs like lost productivity and inadequate staffing. Now, senior care centers are having to worry about staffing in a post-COVID world.
Senior care centers are worried about long-term staffing due to the stigma around the coronavirus. Last February, the first wave of the virus gained global attention as it made landfall at an assisted living facility (ALF) in Washington state. While vaccines are available and public confidence is arguably rising in the government’s ability to contain the virus, senior care centers still have to think about minimizing staff turnover and include it as part of their ALF risk management plans.
Reducing Staff Turnover at ALF’s
It’s clear that minimizing employee turnover is a smart risk management strategy. It helps keep employees on board and limits the loss of productivity and money over time. Here are some ways to achieve that:
Hire the Right Staff
Before clients in the industry worry about retention, they must hire the person who is the best fit for the role. In addition to specific job requirements, ALF’s should look for staff who have the right nurturing natures to see past the challenges of the physical demands and sometimes unreasonable family expectations of patients.
Then, once they are brought on board, the ALF should offer an effective onboarding process and hands-on training. This training should include working with a mentor, ensuring there are 30-60-90-day checkpoints, and opportunities to continue learning.
Offer Competitive Wages and Benefits
Most of the positions in an ALF carry relatively lower wages. It’s not unusual for low-wage earning people to look for a new job if there is no possibility for raises, bonuses, or advancement by a certain point. Retaining frontline workers who are the face and heart of an ALF is even more challenging given the projected increase in demand for them.
So, what can ALF’s do about it? A combination of higher wages, healthcare benefits, advancement, education opportunities, and paid time off can significantly affect improved retention. ALF’s should keep these in mind when hiring new staff.
Create a Culture of Support
No matter what the position or type of business, a primary reason why employees depart their role at an ALF is the problematic relationship they had with their supervisors. Improving the relationship between staff and management can make a significant difference and may include defining and discussing the company’s mission and values, demonstrating respect for employee’s concerns, offering further training, creating well-defined job descriptions and career paths, and maintaining adequate staffing levels to ensure current staff has all the help it needs.
Many other programs can be put in place, but the assisted living community can use these necessary steps to encourage and support employees.
About Connected Risk Solutions
At Connected Risk Solutions, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.