When you’re running a home care business, it can be tricky to keep your staff happy. It’s a demanding job, and it’s easy for morale to become low and for good employees to start considering working elsewhere.
It’s not always easy to keep your team happy, particularly if budget is an issue! Money isn’t everything, though. Provided that people are earning enough money to support themselves, keeping them happy and motivated can be enough to keep them around for many years to come.
Happy employees are also more likely to provide a better service, so not only will you keep them around for longer, but your clients will benefit, too.
Read on to find out some effective ways that you can look after your staff without having to spend a fortune.
This is a big one. People need to feel as though they are getting enough time to spend with family and friends and to do the things that they love. If they don’t, then no matter how great their job is, pretty soon morale will start to suffer.
Some important ways that you can help employees to improve their work-life balance are:
- Allowing flexible working. Everyone’s needs are different. Some people need to come in late so that they can drop the kids off at school. Others like to start work early and finish work early because that’s how they feel the most productive. If you allow flexible working, you will find that your team is happier and more productive than if you dictate when they must work.
- Encouraging self-care. People who prioritize self-care, whether that’s by exercising regularly, eating healthily, or by seeing a therapist tend to be happier and more productive. This is great news for you as their employer. See if you can find ways to encourage staff to make healthier choices by allowing them time for self-care and making it clear that it’s something that you as an employer advocate for.
- Regularly discuss work-life balance. Make time to actively encourage your employees to take advantage of things like flexible working, vacation days, and parental leave. People can sometimes worry that they will look bad by utilizing these benefits, so it’s up to you to enforce the message that you want them to be used.
People get a good deal more satisfaction out of their work if they feel that they know what they are doing and that they are doing a good job. Good quality training is essential if you want to provide a good service to your clients and help your staff to feel as though they are really having a positive impact.
With practical work like care, it can be difficult to get training right. Often, training in the classroom won’t adequately reflect what home care assistants actually come against on a daily basis, and training carried out on the job can lack the depth of information that’s required.
CareAcademy offers a way to train staff that’s specifically tailored for carers. All of their materials are readily available online and designed to be accessed on a mobile device. This means that your staff essentially have expert guidance in their pocket with them while they are working and can work through the training at their own pace and when it’s convenient to them.
It’s important to take the time to set realistic and achievable career goals with your home care assistants and to support them in achieving those goals. If people feel as though they are working towards long-term goals and that you are supporting them, this will make them feel motivated and happy in their work.
Some tips for setting good career goals are:
- Make them specific. Saying something like “I want to be rich and successful” is all well and good, but how do you actually know when you’ve achieved it if you’ve never defined what you mean by “rich” or “successful”? To one person, success might mean getting lots of family time, whereas to another, it might mean buying a yacht. Encourage your staff to set specific goals.
- Make them measurable. You need to have a way of knowing when you’ve reached your goal.
- Be positive. Rather than saying something like “I don’t want to work in a job I hate,” say, “I want to work in a job that is meaningful to me.” A positive goal is something you can actually work towards, and you’ll feel happier about it.
- Be realistic. Everyone wants to be a Hollywood star, but for a lot of us, that’s possibly not realistic! Set a goal that you can actually reach.
- Break big goals down into smaller ones. It’s important to be able to achieve goals within shorter time frames, as this will increase your momentum - rather than working towards an enormous goal at some way off future date.
- Take actions towards your goals. If your employee has a goal, help them to decide on an action that will help get them closer to it.
- Encourage flexibility. It’s important to allow room for the discovery of new passions and ambitions as you embark on your career journey.
Showing your employees that you appreciate them can go a really long way! People are generally loyal to a person rather than an organization, so if they feel that you as their manager appreciate them, this will inspire a sense of loyalty.
You can show appreciation in a number of incredibly simple ways. Often a “thank you” for a job well done will go a long way, and it’s surprising how many managers overlook this!
If you hear a compliment about one of your employees, then be sure to follow it up with them. Let them know what’s been said and that you really appreciate their hard work.
It’s also a good idea to show them that you care about them as a person, not just an employee. If you can, make time to have a coffee and a chat with your employees periodically. Not as a formal review or meeting, but just as the opportunity for two people to talk. Try to take an interest in their lives, too, and offer support any way that you can. For example, if someone expresses an interest in taking a class outside of work, then you can let them know how work might support them in that.
Always be open in your communication with employees. This doesn’t mean telling them absolutely everything, of course, but it does mean being sure that they are made aware of everything that they need to know to do their job well, and that might affect them in the future.