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5 Predictors Of Employee Turnover In Long-Term Care & Senior Living

December 8, 2017 | Peter Corless

employee turnover in long-term careGone are the days of employees staying with a single employer for 30-plus years. In fact, today’s mostly millennial workforce is more likely than any other generation to “job hop,” according to a Gallup report. The report also revealed that this group is the least engaged in their current job, with six in 10 people open to new job opportunities.

Why is this the case? While there isn’t one definite answer, some key predictors can alert leadership and human resources departments as to why employees tend to turn over. And these high turnover rates are a cause of concern in long-term care and senior living due to the impending workforce shortage that these industries face.

High turnover rates are also a huge drain in terms of time, money and resources, so it’s only understandable when leadership is asked to boost employee engagement. Higher engagement levels lead to better retention rates and workplace performance.

By identifying the common causes of employee turnover, leadership and HR departments can devise new plans of action to reduce this costly problem.

Here are 5 signs that employees are likely to turn over.

  1. Little To No Job Satisfaction

A job is often referred to as ‘work’, but that doesn’t mean people can’t enjoy what they do for a living. For many people, their job provides daily challenges that when met, provide a sense of satisfaction that inspires them to tackle the next challenge.

Particularly in senior care, satisfaction often comes from creating bonds with residents and helping them achieve the best quality of life possible. It’s when people don’t find this sense of satisfaction in helping others or are discouraged by the often tough nature of the job, that they are likely to look for new opportunities.

Job satisfaction within this profession is also directly related to how employers treat their employees. Employees are more likely to remain with an organization if they receive the appropriate training, there are opportunities for professional growth, good working conditions, decent pay and benefits.

Employers who show staff that they are committed to their work-life balance and personal well-being with flexible scheduling can get a leg up on those who don’t work with employees to learn and honor their preferences.

  1. Frequent Call-Offs Or Showing Up Late

Consistently showing up late for a shift, or calling off, are cause for concern. While emergencies and unexpected situations arise, workers who are consistently late or call off are likely disengaged and on their way out the door.

While it’s easy for a manager to simply let this person go, an effort should still be made to identify the reasons for their tardiness. Perhaps an employee isn’t getting the job satisfaction he or she expected. Or, possibly, someone was not assigned to the shift times they requested when they were hired.

Staff scheduling software that lets employees set their work preferences and pick up open shifts alleviates scheduler stress and gives employees more control in the process.

Whatever the issue for tardiness and call-offs, it’s worth taking the time to dig into the problem and devise a plan that addresses both the employee’s and organization’s needs to prevent turnover.

  1. Low Pay

Regardless of an employee’s starting wage, HR departments should still keep tabs on hourly wages and salaries and specifically, when someone last received a raise. If it’s been more than a year since the last pay raise, it’s very likely an employee will begin searching for a new career opportunity.

Every organization should have policies in place that inform workers when salary or hourly rate reviews will occur. While raises may not always be granted, employees will at least know managers are willing to consider the option.

Since senior care margins are tight, providers can combat wage pressures by offering workplace perks like discounted lunches, access to earned but unpaid wages between paychecks and rewards and recognition for going above and beyond.

Want more ideas for perks you can offer? Click here to get 32 employee-approved ones.

  1. Internal Dysfunctions

Disagreements are bound to occur in any workplace, but serious internal dysfunctions can accelerate employee turnover rates. LTC and senior living workers are more likely to stay with an employer if they have a strong relationship with their manager and feel that he or she understands their daily challenges and triumphs.

Leadership that is out of touch can cause employees to leave in high numbers. Ideally, this information should be collected via employee feedback using stay interviews and regular pulse surveys to help leadership identify and correct internal issues.

  1. Individual Needs Aren’t Being Met

This predictor is a personal one. Sometimes, an employee may feel his or her needs aren’t being met. Not everyone has the same career goals and some desire more opportunity for career advancement than others.

Organizations needn’t tailor their policies to meet the needs of every single employee, but they should analyze stay and exit interview data, as well as employee feedback gathered using quick and easy surveys, to see if there are any trends. For example, numerous departing workers may cite the lack of individual personal development as a reason for leaving.

Workers come and go in any workplace, but high turnover rates, especially in senior care, are cause for concern as the profession continues to battle a workforce shortage. Therefore, knowing the predictive signs of employee turnover is useful for revealing shortfalls in a company’s internal policies that can then be reworked to boost workplace culture and retention.

Learn how managers are a key contributor of employee turnover & crucial for employee engagement in our latest whitepaper.

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About Peter Corless

Peter Corless is Executive Vice President of Enterprise Development for OnShift. Peter is a recognized HR leader in post-acute care and is well-known for his achievements at some of the country’s largest post-acute care organizations, including Kindred Healthcare and Genesis HealthCare. As an experienced, chief administrative and human resources officer within these organizations, he developed strategies that reduced turnover, improved recruiting and hiring strategies, and reduced labor costs.

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