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Must-Have Senior Care Employee Perks & Programs To Drive Retention In 2022

January 6, 2022 | Cari Rosenberger

According to our recent Workforce 360 Survey, 96% of senior care providers are facing staffing shortages. Continuously challenged by rising turnover and difficulties finding and hiring qualified candidates, the impact of these shortages are felt across the organization with nearly a third of respondents indicating they have had to limit admissions or move-ins due to staffing challenges.

With growing competition for talent and rising levels of stress and burnout among the senior care workforce, providers are looking for new ways to best support and retain staff. Here are some of the must-have senior care employee perks and programs organizations are betting on to drive engagement, boost retention and cultivate a stable workforce.

Employee Rewards & Recognition Program

Nearly 80% of senior care providers recognize burnout as the most critical personal challenge facing caregivers and hourly employees. Because of this, it’s essential to make sure employees feel recognized and rewarded for all the hard work and amazing care they provide their residents.

Employee engagement software can help automate rewards based on key behaviors such as punching in and out on time, not calling off and years of service. Through this automation, you can ensure reward points are granted in an equitable, systematic way. OnShift also allows you to award points based on any criteria you’d like—whether it’s recognition for going above and beyond for a resident or lending a helping hand to a fellow staff member.

The rewards you provide don’t have to be complex. Here are some ideas for how you can reward your employees no matter your budget.

Bonus Pay

Sign-on bonuses are an old tactic in senior care and have recently made a big comeback due to growing hiring challenges. Today, more providers have reverted to offering retention bonuses, which are paid out after a pre-determined period such as after the first 90 days of employment when turnover rates are at their highest.

Beyond these one-time bonuses, providers are offering added financial incentives for individual shifts. Many providers find offering an additional $1-2 for a weekend shift or a hard-to-fill night shift can go a long way in reducing scheduling gaps. It also allows employees to earn additional wages.

Tuition Assistance

Career development is a top priority for today’s workforce. Tuition assistance is a great perk that will make your organization more attractive to prospective hires and provide added incentives for employees to stay long-term.

Today’s senior care employees want to know their employer is invested in them and their development. Offering assistance to advance their education, and accordingly, their career, provides an added incentive to not only remain with your organization while they're in school but well beyond.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives

DEI, or Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, has become a priority for many senior care providers. In fact, 50% of providers are placing a high level of priority on DEI at their organization.

While every program is structured differently, at its core, these initiatives seek to create a workplace where every employee feels like they belong and are valued. And they achieve this by promoting the representation and participation of people across various ages, races and ethnicities, genders, cultures and sexual orientations.

When implemented, DEI programs can improve every facet of the organization including hiring practices, employee engagement and retention efforts, and operational processes.

Earned Wage Access

The majority of senior care providers believe pay increases could most significantly improve employee retention. However, for many, this is not a financial reality. That’s when you have to consider that it’s not just the amount you are paid that’s important for employees, but how you’re paid.

Earned wage access is one of the top growing perks for hourly employees both in and outside the healthcare industry. What is earned wage access? It’s the ability to instantly access wages as soon as you’ve earned them. And for those living paycheck to paycheck, having access to funds when you need them can be a lifesaver.


Over $140M in earned wages were accessed via OnShift Wallet, our financial wellness software, in 2021. These funds were used to pay for things like groceries and rent. In addition, with instant access to wages, employees are able avoid costly interest rates, late fees and payday loans. Employees can access their wages directly from the OnShift mobile app—the funds they take are automatically deducted from their next paycheck.

More Flexible Scheduling

Many senior care employees are working multiple jobs and juggling additional family responsibilities. Because of this, flexible scheduling is a must if you want to keep your employees satisfied and engaged.

Collaborate with your staff to better understand their availability and what types of shifts work best for them—whether it’s 4-hour, 8-hour or 12-hour shifts. Having this information at the ready can allow you to make best-fit schedules that meet the need of your residents and your organization.

Further ensure your staff can find a better work-life balance by giving them visibility into when they’re scheduled at least 4 weeks in advance, as well as any additional shifts that may be available. OnShift ensures employees have access to this information right on their mobile device—making it simple for them to see when they’re scheduled next and where they can help fill in any gaps.

Want to learn more about how OnShift can help bring some of these perks to life at your organization?


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About Cari Rosenberger

Cari Rosenberger is a Senior Portfolio Marketing Manager at OnShift.

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