Unlocking Caregiver Potential: Strategies to Maximize 90-Day Retention Despite the Crisis


Caregiver turnover in the home care industry hit an all-time high, approximately 81.6% in 2018. This means that for every one-hundred caregivers working in home care, around 82 quit or are laid off.

But the real question is- how can home care agency leaders grow their business with the most recruiting effort when everything will replace the churn of turnover?

Studies show that around 81% of turnover happens in the initial 90 days of employment. If you can reduce your 90-day turnover, chances are excellent for you to use more of those caregivers you’re hiring to serve newer clients.

The very first 90 days of the new caregiver during their tenure are the most important. It’s because 3/5th of the caregiver turnover happens in the first three months.

Retaining caregivers starts with the recruiting process and continues the minute they walk out of the door. To bring caregivers to speed up and establish new caregivers for immense success. The employee experience during the first three months needs careful consideration of details, utmost attention, and mentorship.

10 Ways to Retain Caregivers through the First 90 Days

Unfortunately, the United States is experiencing a caregiver crisis. While there are 4 million providers, the number of workers providing direct care still needs to be increased to meet the demand.

Approximately 18 million care professionals will be needed worldwide by 2023.

– World Health Organization

Eyeing this number, home care agencies must find ways to retain caregivers.

  • Curate a Rigorous Recruiting Process:

    An effective caregiver retention strategy begins with a rigorous recruiting process. The chances of losing caregivers may be excellent because the hiring process may fail to produce the best candidates.

    When designing your recruitment process, make sure to consider the following:

    • If your roles and responsibilities are clear. Does your job title and description reflect the clarity?
    • Is there an agreement and documentation on the ideal candidate criteria?
    • Do leaders and hiring managers agree upon relevant and appropriate questions for prospective caregivers?
    • Do interviewees have an understanding of how they’re being scored and evaluated?
    • Do all parties find involvement in the hiring process, and are they trained to identify the right caregivers?
    • Are managers well trained on performance evaluation, DEI, unconscious bias, and mentorship?
  • Accurately Interview Caregivers:

    Retain caregivers by presenting an accurate picture of the home care agency and job profile.

    Around 43% of employees say their job differs from what they believed it would be during the hiring process.

    – Jobvite

    Never lose your caregivers just because you failed to communicate your expectations.

  • Establish Realistic Expectations:

    Talking of expectations, are you asking new employees to exceed expectations and go the extra mile in their three months? Well, know that you’re doing it all wrong!

    You can retain caregivers only when you set realistic expectations for their contributions and performance.

  • Prioritize Training:

    When hiring a new caregiver, many families think the interview and reference-checking process is sufficient to ensure a caregiver is a good fit. However, there must be much more to that- training new caregivers.

    Everyone needs training, especially those responsible for ensuring someone else’s well-being. Ongoing education helps new caregivers learn the maxims of handling specific situations where they don’t have much experience or those that involve special needs. The training may include information on activities of daily living, which may need apt training.

    Additionally, allow your new employees to train for career development, like care modalities and new licensures.

    With this training, caregivers in new positions may feel prepared for their duties.

  • Achieve Set Goals Together:

    Empower caregivers by offering them something to work towards by laying clear and achievable milestones across their first 30, 60, and 90 days. After successfully achieving goals for the first three months, set goals further into the future.

    The agency predetermines some goals, like the caregiver may have to take on a certain number of new clients or complete a specific caregiver training course. The caregiver may also establish goals for themselves, like designing new elderly care plans and enhancing communication skills.

  • Give New Caregivers a Mentor:

    Assign new caregivers a mentor within the agency. Make sure it’s someone they may approach with questions in any form- big or small.

    Ensure the mentor isn’t a boss or direct manager so that in-home caregivers are comfortable asking questions without embarrassment or being considered silly.

  • Re-onboard New Caregivers:

    It’s crucial to consider how much information new hires are handed over in the initial weeks of their joining. Absorbing and retaining so much information for a caregiver is difficult, so agency owners must organize regular reorientation check-ins to make information stick.

    Ask new caregivers how they’re doing to improve their satisfaction. Is it the role they thought it would be? Is the feedback from the manager clear? Are they well aware of their current goals? Are the avenues for career advancement clear?

    Remind the caregivers of the available benefits when staying with your agency for a long time.

  • Provide an Easy Way to Escalate Problems:

    Your new hires need to be comfortable in bringing problems to the attention of their manager. All you’ve to do is build a relationship where they confidentially and privately raise issues in the organization, like the people operations leader or HR manager through a home care employee management software.

  • Gather Feedback:

    After 90 days of hiring the caregivers, check with them. Gather the necessary feedback by asking questions like:

    • What’s working and what isn’t?
    • How can you, as an agency owner, improve the workplace?
    • Do they feel they possess the right skills and knowledge?
    • Is the manager providing the requisite support they need? Are your co-workers welcoming and helpful?
    • How do you feel about client and caregiver relationships?
    • Do you feel physically, mentally, and emotionally safe in your jobs?
    • How do you feel about the client-caregiver relationships?
  • Make your Caregiver Feel Appreciated:

    Research shows that good employees will stay in touch with you when they feel they’re doing meaningful work, appreciated, and valued.

    Specifically, the best in-home caregivers want to feel more valued by their managers, clients, and business management. You can keep new caregivers after 90 days by having a system to stay in touch with them. Make time to learn about them as a person and help them feel that they’re valued members of the home care team.

    Despite your agency’s best efforts, some caregivers would leave in the first three months. This holds good for every business in every industry. However, as your caregivers decide to go, conducting a friendly, non-confrontational exit interview is best to understand their reasons for leaving.

    Knowing their pain points may help convince them to stay in the organization.

Improve 90-day Retention & Grow your Home Care Business

Larger companies focusing on improving their 90-day caregiver retention foresee measurable improvements in company growth. Several positive things happen when focusing on improving 90-day retention. You’ll have more caregivers available for accepting new clients and recruiting efforts, resulting in more caregivers.

Happier caregivers lead to happier clients who, when satisfied, will want to work with the same caregiver, leading to continuity of care. Non-medical schedulers, too, experience less burnout because working with experienced caregivers makes their job easier.

Additionally, with business growth, you will have fewer missed shifts because of staff shortages, making business more profitable.

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Related blog posts:

7 Exemplary Ways for Agencies to Build Stronger Client-Caregiver Connections
Competing for Quality Caregivers- What’s the Way to Success in Highly Competitive Space?

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