Employee training is critical to the success of any home health business. And a structured training program goes beyond a few sessions during the employee’s first day or first week. Rather, continuous training throughout each employee’s time at your home health agency will not only ensure your clients are treated with the best care possible, but will also help keep employees engaged.
Does your home health business have a comprehensive training program in place? Whether you already have a training program and are looking for ways to improve it, or don’t have a formal training program, we’ve pulled together some best practices below.
Digitally Onboard Employees Before Day 1
Rather than waiting until the employee’s first day to begin onboarding, you can start the process as soon as a new employee signs an offer letter. By partnering with a hiring and talent management provider, you can implement paperless onboarding, which includes reading and signing the employee handbook, filling out direct deposit information for automated payroll, completing tax forms, and filling out benefits paperwork.
When employees complete much of the onboarding process ahead of time – including reading through the employee handbook – your new hires can be up to speed on the company policies, core values and more when they walk in on the first day. Digital onboarding also means employees won’t have to sit in the HR office filling out paperwork on the first day, leaving more time to get started with training right away.
Maintain a Training Manual
Build out an employee training manual – and update it as needed – so you can repeat the same training process with each new employee. In the manual, in addition to general information about the company and work culture, make sure to outline all tasks employees can or cannot perform. Stay up to speed on any state licensing regulations so you can ensure a home health aide doesn’t perform tasks that only certified nursing assistants can legally perform, for example.
Other important things to include in your employee training manual are: general policies and procedures, best practices for communication with patients, standards for infection prevention, an overview of the general health needs of your client base, what to do in the event of an emergency, client care guidelines, client nutrition guidelines, and an overview of the technology used at your home health agency, among other information.
Set up a Shadowing Schedule
Instead of sending a new employee to a client’s home on their own during the first week, implement a shadowing schedule so new employees can see firsthand how veteran employees interact with patients. After a shadowing session – or several – give new employees the opportunity to ask as many questions as they might need before they venture off on their own. This will ensure your employees have a complete understanding of their day-to-day responsibilities and how to provide top-notch care.
Create Recurring Training Sessions
Training isn’t complete once employees start visiting home health clients on their own. Continuous training is key to the success of your home health agency, especially given ever-changing regulations and certification requirements, and new technology you might implement at your business. Set up all company training sessions either as-needed or on a recurring basis, such as quarterly. This will keep all employees updated on the latest changes in your home health agency, as well as any updates to regulations or the home health industry as a whole.
Reimburse for Additional Training and Certification
Some employees at your home health business might be truly passionate about their careers or want to take on more responsibilities, so they’ll opt for outside training or certification to expand their skill sets. If this is the case, make sure your home health business has a process in place to reimburse employees for outside training. You might not have the budget for unlimited reimbursement, but consider offering each employee a set amount per year. Highlight training and certification reimbursement on your career site and in job descriptions, so you can attract quality candidates who are looking to make a career out of working in home health.
Your employees are your home health agency’s main source of competitive advantage. Top home health businesses understand the importance of building great teams through effective hiring, training and talent management. For more information on how to hire top employees at your home health business, download our eBook, “3 Hiring Challenges in Home Health and How to Overcome Them.”