The turnover rate of adult social care staff was 28.5 per cent in 2020/21, which is the equivalent of around 410,000 people leaving their job throughout the year.
Vacancy rates in social care have also been increasing over recent years, reaching an all-time high of 10.7 per cent in 2021/22. The growing population of older people in the UK is putting more demand on the sector; and this coupled with unfilled posts throughout adult social care, could have a negative impact on both work experience for staff and care outcomes for service users.
Care business management technology can give your organisation the tools to put retention plans in action whilst having consistent visibility and control over how these choices are impacting the success of your service.
So, what can care organisations do to mitigate the problems faced by having low staff retention? In this article, we’ll be having a look at some top tips for improving staff retention.
Top five tips for staff retention in social care
1. Have a comprehensive onboarding plan
Introduce your new starers with a well-planned onboarding process. Findings suggest that retention rates increase by 82 per cent in companies that have a robust onboarding plan. It’s therefore a good idea to have a comprehensive plan when introducing new hires into your organisation.
For example, you could; Welcome new hires before day one, make onboarding seamless (don’t focus on paperwork), communicate your organisation’s culture & values, and assign mentors and conduct regular check-ins.
2. Be approachable
Empower your staff to come forward and discuss challenges, successes, and opportunities they encounter during their working day. Open communication helps build strong connections with employees and includes them in their work environment.
According to Skills for Care, 81 per cent of employers surveyed said that involving colleagues in decision-making was one of the main reasons for their turnover rate being less than 10 per cent.
You can also promote your staffs’ skill sets. Make yourself aware of your staff members’ strengths and qualifications so they can help support others in their team, but also so you can work with them to use those skills to develop further with your organisation.
3. Extend your employee benefits
Introduce additional or innovative employee benefits and make sure new starters and long serving staff are aware of them. A government survey published in June 2022 stated, ‘employers interviewed said that care work was undervalued compared to other sectors and that care workers often were just as skilled as workers in other sectors.’
The report also found that many care workers were leaving their jobs to move into similar NHS roles because of better pay and benefits received in the NHS. Where possible, make arrangements that are flexible to their needs, whether giving opportunities to work remotely or arranging shifts in line with their personal commitments.
Other ideas for employee benefits may include employee development initiatives, training courses, rotational roles that allow staff develop news skills, company culture and values and well as a refer-a-friend incentive scheme.
4. Culture is important
Employees are increasingly seeking meaningful workplace experiences in an organisation whose values align with their own and whose purpose they can fully support.
73 per cent of employees will not stay in an organisation unless its values aligned with their own, according to a Glassdoor survey.
Supporting the welfare of all care-facing and other support staff is one of the most powerful ingredients of a successful retention strategy. Having frequent check-ins with staff to be aware of any struggles they’re facing or that may be affecting their work will help to reduce staff attrition. Small and frequent interventions can provide staff with coping strategies to help them through tough times.
5. Learning and Development
Most care providers strive to empower their clients and deliver personalised care. The same principle applies to care staff, who also want to feel empowered through a personalised career development plan. This involves understanding their aspirations and offering them relevant learning and development opportunities. Research conducted by Randstad found that only 34 per cent of social care staff are happy with their career prospects.
Give new starters ongoing learning and development opportunities so they retain their skills as well as build on what they already know. All care providers must provide training for multiple areas. These include Health and Safety, Manual Handling, Infection Control and Equality, Diversity and Human Rights just to name a few.
Could your organisation offer other opportunities to help improve staff retention? Plans such as on-site, off-site and online training, mentoring programmes, and ways to nominate individuals or teams for industry awards.
This blog has outlined five hints and tips for employee retention in the care sector. For more ideas, register here to watch our webinar on staff retention: Staff Retention Top Tips for the Care Sector
Take a look at our care business management solution Advanced Care Cloud to find out exactly how it can enhance your care processes.