Prioritizing Caregiver Well-Being: Strategies for Staff Retention

In today’s labor market, supporting team well-being is an essential part of any organization’s staff retention strategy.

Average staff turnover in assisted living communities is approaching 50% annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics –- and still rising. In addition to the disruption in resident care, the average cost of replacing a lost employee can run as high as 25% of annual compensation.

Not surprisingly, many facilities react to the situation by concentrating on the hiring process. However, in today’s labor market, equal attention should be paid to supporting team well-being as part of an organization’s staff retention strategy.

Preparing for Growing Staffing Challenges

Born between 1946-1964, Baby Boomers are currently between 58 and 76 years of age. Those who are 65 or older will be doubling by 2060 to about 95 million people. Experts project that this will increase the need for additional caregivers by about a million workers over the next five years alone. The labor force is only expected to increase by about 14% during that period, so available workers will continue to be in short supply.

Labor-intensive, low-paying work; irregular hours; low opportunity for advancement; and job burnout fuel staff turnover. As of November 30, 2021, roughly 1,802,000 job openings existed in the U.S. healthcare and social assistance sector, up from 1,234,000 one year earlier on November 30, 2020, according to U.S. Chamber.com. With so much opportunity, it’s very easy for workers to change employers.

Employee Retention Strategies that Prioritize Well-Being

Employee well-being involves more than just providing a pleasant place to work. Employees want to feel safe and secure financially, physically, and emotionally. If you can help them achieve these goals, it stands to reason that they will be less likely to seek other employment. While some of these ideas may seem expensive, they may be much more affordable than reacting to the ongoing labor churn that many care facilities are experiencing.

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