The quality of home health employees management that a nurse, therapist or aide receives is critical to employee retention. The reasons home health workers leave their jobs has more to do with management and supervision not the job itself.
It is not enough that the supervisor is well-liked or a nice person. Starting with clear expectations of the employee, the supervisor has a critical role to play in retention.
1. Establish specific responsibilities for each job description and make sure the employee understands them...
Establish a complete job description for each job type in your agency. Include the responsibilities of each job. View a few sample responsibilities for a home health aide –
Home Health Aide Responsibilities
- Supports patients by providing housekeeping and laundry services; shopping for food and other household requirements; preparing and serving meals and snacks; running errands.
- Assists patients by providing personal services, such as, bathing, dressing, and grooming.
- Helps patients care for themselves by teaching use of cane or walker, special utensils to eat, special techniques and equipment for personal hygiene.
- Helps family members care for the patient by teaching appropriate ways to lift, turn, and re-position the patient; advising on nutrition, cleanliness, and housekeeping.
- Records patient information by making entries in the patient journal; notifying nursing supervisor of changing or unusual conditions.
2. Establish how responsibilities will be measured and share that with the employee.
Job descriptions include exactly what is expected of the employee and how the expectation is measured.
- Home Health Aide documents all tasks performed for the patient in the progress note.
- Progress notes are submitted on the day the visit was performed.
3. Establish how often a performance review is conducted. Share a template of the performance review with the employee.
A review of the employee’s job performance will be completed every 6 months. The employee will be evaluated based on adherence to the job description.
4. Conduct regularly-scheduled meetings with staff.
A meeting of all home health aides will take place the first Monday of every month. The meeting will include (not limited to…) new and changed policies and procedures, patient care protocols, training policies.
5. Make workers feel rewarded, recognized and appreciated.
Telephone, email, text or talk in person to each worker regularly (monthly) and acknowledge something they’ve done – submitting progress notes on time, picking up an extra shift, a patient’s compliment, thoroughness of documentation…anything the employee has done recently that would create an opportunity to contact them.
6. Apply rules & compensation fairly and equitably.
The perception of fairness and equitable treatment is important in employee retention…treat all employees the same.
7. Allow the opportunity to freely voice an opinion.
The ability of the worker to speak his or her mind freely within the Agency is a key factor in employee retention. Does your Agency solicit ideas and provide an environment in which people are comfortable providing feedback? If so, employees offer ideas, feel free to criticize and commit to continuous improvement. If not, workers bite their tongues or find themselves constantly in trouble - until they leave.