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Looking Ahead: 4 Senior Living & LTC HR Trends For Success In 2018

employee engagementAs 2017 nears its end, long-term care and senior living organizations are making plans for 2018—examining what worked, what needs work and what can be scrapped in the upcoming year. Employee engagement was a hot topic in 2017 and this focus on employee-centric initiatives will continue into 2018.

A new year represents a clean slate for HR departments, and with that in mind, here are some of the top trends you’ll see in 2018.

  1. An Increase In Performance Feedback

One of the biggest challenges senior care organizations face is implementing a successful feedback loop. Many use the outdated methods for collecting staff feedback—like the annual survey—or the once per year performance appraisal and only offer more frequent feedback when an employee has done something wrong.

Today’s workers want to both give and receive regular feedback, so doing so only once a year will no longer cut it. In 2018, organizations will continue to revamp their feedback loop to include more open lines of communication and praise for good performance. 

You’ll also likely see a rise in organizations using staff feedback to improve processes. Doing so lets staff know they have a voice to affect positive change, creates engagement and makes your community a better place to work.

  1. More Individualized Workplace Programs

A singular approach simply doesn’t work anymore since the workforce currently consists of four different generations. Plus, every employee has a distinct set of strengths and weaknesses, in addition to varying ambitions.

Recognizing this reality, HR departments can tailor  work programs and career development to suit individual needs and talents. Individualized approaches may include shorter trainings or onboarding programs, more time spent with a mentor or being tasked with work that may put someone on a management trajectory.

  1. Flexible Work Schedules

This trend will gain traction as we continue to face an industry-wide workforce shortage and high turnover in 2018.

Many caregivers, such as nurses and other hourly employees, work hours outside of the traditional 9 to 5. And many of these workers are juggling other jobs, taking care of their families, etc. and find it difficult to maintain work-life balance.

With such full plates, providers have found that offering flexible schedules to this group is a huge differentiator for attracting and retaining talent. In the new year, expect to see many providers offering shorter shifts and working with staff to accommodate scheduling preferences that work with their lifestyle.

Many senior care providers will make the scheduling process even more convenient by giving staff 24/7 access to them via their mobile device. Using a mobile scheduling app means employees can check when they work at any time, as well as swap shifts, request PTO and pick up shifts.

Organizations that offer flexible scheduling and easy, convenient access to schedules will see satisfied employees that are more likely to stick around.

  1. Professional Development Opportunities

Millennials have very different work ambitions and career goals than older generations. One such change is their drive to further advance their career, and they appreciate if their employer opens the door to such opportunities.

In 2018, many LTC and senior living organizations will offer employees professional development courses to expand skillsets that will make them better at their current job and put them on the path to career advancement. These courses can be especially beneficial for nurse aides, registered nurses and similar caregiver positions to help them learn new ways to better care for residents.

With 2018 on the horizon, HR trends continue to emerge and evolve. Senior care organizations can remain relevant by adapting and staying up to date on the latest industry best practices. Creating better workplace communication with an open forum for feedback, offering opportunities for career advancement and fostering work-life balance for employees are a few steps in the right direction, given the reality of today’s tough labor environment.

Learn how partnering with OnShift can help you meet your 2018 organizational goals. 

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