February 12, 2024

How to retain your care team

Table of contents

Did you know that the turnover rate of directly employed staff working in adult social care was 28.3% in 2022/23, equivalent to approximately 390,000 leavers over the year? (Skills for Care).

The challenge of retaining a dedicated and skilled care team in a care agency cannot be underestimated. A high turnover rate among your care professionals not only impacts the quality of care you deliver but also incurs substantial costs in recruitment and training for the business.  

To ensure that your care team remains motivated and engaged, this article offers a comprehensive set of actionable strategies, tailored to the unique needs of domiciliary care businesses.

Nurturing a Supportive Workplace Culture

Neglecting to foster a supportive workplace culture risks low morale, reduced job satisfaction, and ultimately, higher turnover rates. Care professionals who feel undervalued are more likely to seek opportunities elsewhere, resulting in disruptions to your care team and potentially lower quality of care to those who need it most.

The heart of staff retention lies in cultivating a positive work environment where your care professionals feel valued and inspired. Here's how to make it a reality:

  • Foster Open Communication: Kick-start today by establishing open communication channels within your team. Utilise accessible digital platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams, where care professionals can seamlessly share information and offer feedback in real-time. Or send out an anonymous survey to your team to gain some insights on what they like about the business, and what they would improve.
  • Implement Recognition Programmes: Recognition matters! Begin by initiating a recognition programme, this could be on paper, or you could employ a user-friendly employee recognition software such as Bonusly. Recognising and rewarding outstanding performance can work wonders in boosting morale.
  • Promote Professional Development: Offer immediate opportunities for professional growth and development. Provide access to digital training modules, webinars, or online courses that your care professionals can delve into at their convenience. There are many educational platforms out there, have a quick Google or check out Florence or Blue Stream Academy.
  • Embrace Team-building Activities: While planning future in-person team-building activities, you can start fostering a sense of camaraderie today by simply sending personalised thank-you notes to your care team members. Small gestures can go a long way in building team spirit.

First step: Establish a dedicated communication channel on a platform like Slack to encourage open dialogue among your care professionals. Simultaneously, launch a monthly recognition programme to recognise and reward outstanding performance.

Read also - Care Worker Skills: Ensuring Quality Domiciliary Care in the UK

Offering Competitive Pay and Benefits

Failure to offer competitive pay and benefits can lead to care professionals seeking opportunities with better compensation elsewhere. High turnover resulting from this can disrupt care continuity, leaving care recipients with inconsistent support.

Here's how you can make sure your care professionals feel adequately rewarded:

  • Conduct Market Research: Take the first step by conducting market research to gauge your pay rates against industry benchmarks. You can start by using online tools such as Glassdoor or Payscale to gain insights.
  • Flexible Scheduling: Immediate action can be taken by introducing flexible scheduling options to accommodate the diverse needs of your care team. Begin by crafting shift schedules that align with your team’s preferences.
  • Bonuses and Incentives: As an instant incentive, consider offering bonuses for taking on extra shifts or for outstanding performance.
  • Digital Payroll and HR Software: Embrace digital payroll and HR software like Gusto or QuickBooks Payroll to ensure precise and punctual compensation management.

First Step: Launch your journey by delving into market research to understand the competitiveness of your pay rates. If you can’t afford to pay your care professionals more at the moment, perhaps an evaluation of the benefits you offer could help. The following guide by Globacare suggests 10 of the best employee benefits in 2023.

Always wanted to know if your agency is spending in the right places?

Try Birdie's Homecare Agency Cost Benchmarking Tool to see if you're spending more, less or the same than the average on everything from per-hour pay to travel time, if your profit margins per hour of care are beating your competitors and exactly where you need to make savings or efficiencies in order to improve the health of your business. Try for free today.

Investment in Continuous Learning

Neglecting continuous learning can lead to care professionals becoming stagnant in their skills, this can lead to boredom and a sense of feeling stuck in their careers. This not only affects the quality of care but may also result in disengagement, as care professionals seek opportunities for growth elsewhere.

Continuous learning is the cornerstone of equipping your care professionals with the skills needed to provide top-tier care. Here's how you can get started today:

  • Create an Online Learning Hub: Establish an online learning portal or employ a Learning Management System (LMS) like Moodle, TalentLMS or Florence. Populate it with a diverse range of digital training materials and resources - or buy a package with a whole host of health and social care courses to choose from!
  • Encourage Certifications: Motivate your care professionals to embark on certification journeys or engage in specialised training courses, whether they are offered digitally or in-person. Top tip: give ‘study time’ to your team so they can spend some of their working hours on developing skills.
  • Host Workshops and Seminars: In the immediate term, you can plan for in-person seminars and workshops to provide hands-on learning experiences and opportunities for face-to-face interactions.

First Step: Invest in an online learning portal with a selection of training materials, and encourage your care team to explore certifications or workshops that align with their professional development goals.

Article continues below this video

Birdie spoke to real Care Professionals at Alina Homecare to see how they find using Birdie:

Streamlining Administrative Tasks

Failure to streamline administrative tasks can lead to burnout among care professionals, as they spend more time on paperwork than on care delivery, this can lead to decreased job satisfaction and an increased risk of staff turnover.

Efficiency in administrative tasks can significantly ease the workload on your care professionals. Here's how you can streamline these processes:

  • Implement Digital Care Management Systems: Consider the adoption of digital care management systems like AlayaCare or Birdie, which efficiently track care recipient information.
  • Leverage Scheduling Software: Utilise scheduling software to automate staff allocation, reducing administrative burdens.
  • Automate Billing and Invoicing: Implement digital solutions to streamline billing and invoicing processes, saving time and reducing errors.
  • Manual Organisation: Start today by creating daily task lists and utilising physical calendars to ensure efficient task management. Simplify processes to liberate time for your care professionals.

First Step: Explore digital care management systems and scheduling software to streamline administrative tasks. Get some demos booked in and see how tech can help you retain your staff.

Read also - Top 8 Digital Care Management Systems

Encouraging Feedback and Engagement

Neglecting to encourage feedback and engagement can lead to unresolved issues within your care team. Care professionals may become disengaged and demotivated, ultimately seeking employment where their concerns are acknowledged and addressed.

Feedback is the lifeblood of improvement and team retention. Here's how you can actively foster an environment of open communication:

  • Digital Survey Tools: Waste no time in utilising digital survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to collect anonymous feedback from your care professionals. This empowers them to express thoughts and concerns without hesitation - but remember, don’t let these suggestions and thoughts build up! Let the team know they’ve been heard, and inform them of the actions you’re taking to improve, this is encouraging and reassures the team their feedback hasn’t fallen on deaf ears.
  • Embrace Open-Door Policies: Right away, establish open-door policies, encouraging care professionals to discuss concerns directly with management. Show your commitment to valuing their feedback, be it through digital or in-person channels.

First Step: Initiate a digital feedback system using tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to gather information from your team on what they like, and what they don’t like so much. Templates can be found online for this use case, don’t be afraid to copy! Simultaneously, cultivate a culture of open communication by attentively listening to feedback and taking prompt actions.

Read also - How to recruit domiciliary care professionals

Retaining your care team in the UK's domiciliary care sector is vital for the success of your care business. By nurturing a supportive workplace culture, offering competitive compensation, investing in continuous learning, streamlining administrative tasks by adopting technology platforms, and encouraging feedback and engagement from your teams, you can ensure your care professionals remain motivated and committed.

Your care team's dedication is the linchpin of your business's success and the quality of care you deliver. Begin implementing these strategies today to create an environment where care professionals flourish, and your business thrives tomorrow.

Want to read more articles like this?

Join Birdie's community with our monthly newsletter! Each month we’ll bring you valuable content and essential knowledge, from business growth strategies to mastering the art of team recruitment and retention.

Simply hit the button below, and complete a quick form, see you soon!


Let us show you how birdie can help

You're the expert. You deserve home healthcare technology that motivates your team and helps you grow.

Join our mailing list

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.