Long-term care is a very noble industry. It’s one of those areas that people enter as a vocation. After all, caring for other people, especially the elderly and those with special needs is no easy feat. Unsurprisingly, and also very, unfortunately, it’s also one of those industries with a high employee turnover rate. In fact, according to one study, it’s costing the long-term care industry billions of dollars every single year.
Don’t let your facility be a part of this statistic. After all, there are ways to improve your workforce’s job satisfaction. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what we are going to share with you in this article today. Let’s get started!
1. Provide a Comfortable and Positive Workspace
Long-term care facilities such as nursing homes are usually designed and equipped to provide the best care and comfort possible. However, these amenities are usually geared towards the people that they care for, not the care providers. Hence, there are different ways in order to provide better work conditions for your health aides:
- Improve ventilation. Nothing provides greater discomfort than a work facility that doesn’t have proper air ventilation. What’s worse is that it lowers the indoor air quality of the establishment as well. That puts your health aides’ healths at risk, and the health of the people that they care for as well. There are various ways to improve the property’s air ventilation. In fact, just installing tower fans can already provide a significant change.
- Improve lighting. Here’s another factor that plays a vital role in your employees’ productivity and performance. An article published by the University of North Carolina even points out warmer light provides more comfort, brighter light promotes more focus and alertness, and finally, colder light even reduces fatigue.
- Provide recreational spaces. Finally, give your employees space where they can relax, especially during really hectic, tiring, and frustrating days. You can also use this space as a venue to provide appropriate supplies that take their personal needs into account.
2. Offer Career Development, Training, or Education Opportunities
At the very least, our federal government requires health aides to undergo 75 hours of initial training. This requirement varies according to your state. In fact, there are proposals for those hours of training to be raised to 120 hours and that the aide should undergo and pass an actual demonstration first before they are given their certification. This is your responsibility as an employer.
But beyond that, did you know that the quality of the training provided and offering further educational opportunities towards better career development significantly affects an employee’s job satisfaction rating?
We understand why some employers are adamant to provide advanced training courses. They are an investment and there’s a possibility of that training going to waste should the employee decide to leave their employment in the future. What they don’t realize, though, is that quality training builds employee loyalty and can actually lessen their expenses in the long run. After all, the longer an employee stays, the fewer resources you’ll spend on interviews and initial training, the shorter it will be until the new employee reaches the target productivity, and the better person-centered care you’ll be able to provide.
3. Pick the Right Unit Supervisor and the Executive Administrator
Here’s another factor that can pull down your long-term care facility’s job satisfaction rating: the lack of leadership. Having a unit supervisor and an executive administrator will not only provide guidance and improve teamwork, but the existence of these positions itself will give your health aides the possibility of career advancement.
If you already have established upper management, make sure that they are communicating with their subordinates appropriately. They should focus on providing constructive feedback, positive reinforcement, and gratitude for everyone’s hard work.
4. Use Rewards and Recognition
Finally, as we have mentioned above, being a health aide is a vocation. It takes a great heart to pursue a career in this line of work, but unfortunately, ample rewards and recognition are very rare and far between.
Boost your employees’ morale and build a more empowering work culture by recognizing their efforts and giving the recognition that they deserve. While a certificate or a plaque will be appreciated, consider providing better pay and benefits as well.
To Sum Up
We completely understand that most (if not all) of the recommendations we have shared above involve a lot of money, effort, and commitment. However, this is what it takes to provide better care not just for your employees but for the people that your facility provides care for as well. These steps will also allow you to reap better rewards in the long-run. After all, a happier and healthier long-term care provider will also provide a better quality of service, and isn’t that what any facility envisions and strives for?