The pandemic may be over, but the primary effect of caregiver burnout is still lingering in the healthcare industry. Employee churn is a major pain point for nursing facilities across the nation — and it is only gaining attention with the proposed federal staffing mandate.
Burnout and subsequent churn has several different implications for nursing homes. For starters, this trend financially impacts facilities as understaffed locations will be forced to turn away potential new clients. As you well know, the ability to meet patient needs and a nursing home’s census directly influence a senior care facility’s quality rating from the government, which in turn reduces government funding.
Given these repercussions, it is table stakes for nursing facilities to face caregiver churn head-on in the rest of 2023 and beyond. Read on to learn three ways you can manage churn at your facility.
3 ways to mitigate caregiver churn
At the end of the day, the more people on your team the less demands and responsibilities per person on your team and the better quality of care you can give to patients. When you’re understaffed, every aspect of your facility feels the stress.
Streamline your HR processes
How your employees perceive their hiring experience sets the stage for their expectations of your facility and ultimately impacts how long they see themselves with you. If you have a disconnected or otherwise clunky hiring process, you’re not giving candidates a great first impression.
One way you can manage this is by using an applicant tracking system (ATS) to streamline your HR processes. With the right technology on your side, you can manage regular and sponsored posts on job boards, candidate communication, and onboarding — all in one place. For you, this means that everything you need to make a hiring decision is at your fingertips in one easy to use interface. Plus, with the right system, you can seamlessly sync sensitive personal information between leading HR and HRIS systems to eliminate room for human error. So long as the candidate has entered their information correctly, integrations enable you to enact easier processes like document collection or run background checks. When you make starting a new job easier, you increase the likelihood that your new hire will stay longer.
Proactively hire with data-backed decisions
The best business decisions are made with data — and can help you establish a proactive recruiting strategy that continuously pumps new talent into your facility. When you understand the motivations of your employees (both current and potential), you can actually offer these workers what they want and need from an employer. In our 2023 State of Healthcare Hiring Report, we surveyed the average healthcare job seeker to come up with six defining characteristics facilities like yours can use to attract, hire, and retain better talent; we’d suggest starting your research there to update your people policies. For many, flexible schedules and career growth are enough to make them pick one employer over another, so be sure to closely see if there’s any way you can incorporate these policies at your facility.
Beyond using data to better position your nursing facility to potential candidates and enhance the working lives of your staff, you can even use HR metrics to improve your likelihood of hiring the right talent that will stay at your facility. After all, you’re hiring new talent to give your hardest workers a break and ease the burnout they’re facing from an increased workload and patient needs. You should use insights and analytics available to you to refine your recruiting process to only focus on sources that drive the best quality candidates to your roles; if you can hire more workers of better caliber, you’ll automatically ease caregiver burnout simply with more caregivers on the floor. Simply put, the more talent you can hire the less stressed out your current workforce will be.
Treat people well
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, treat your people right. It should go without saying that your caregivers are the lifeblood of your nursing facility; they’re the ones who anticipate and meet the needs of your patients to directly impact the quality of care your organization is known for. Burnout often occurs when people feel taken for granted, so make extra effort to express your gratitude. Tell your workers one on one how much you appreciate them and the difference that having them at your facility makes.
We’ve found that nurses and caregivers are looking for a place to professionally call their home, somewhere they can grow in their careers and feel stable. As part of your efforts to make your staff feel fairly compensated for their time and dedication, make sure you give your team the opportunity to grow professionally whether that’s through continuing education funds, networking events with other nursing facilities, or a mentoring program to pair up senior and junior members of your team.
Looking to the future
Addressing the caregiver churn at your nursing facility pays off in the long run, for you, your patients, and your employees. You’ll be able to curb the burnout that occurs due to an understaffed rotation, too many demands from patients, and improve the overall employee experience if you can nip this in the bud. Addressing burnout, however, starts at the very beginning of your hiring process, before an application is submitted. Start with the basics to build your best team yet and be sure to check in periodically with your staff to gauge how they’re currently doing to proactively address burnout before it becomes too late.
See how much better hiring can be with an ATS built for healthcare. Connect with our team to schedule a demo!