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Employee Survey Best Practices That Senior Care Providers Can Implement Today

April 1, 2020 | Tommy Marzella

Employee Survey Best Practices Senior Care Providers Can Implement TodayFeeling heard and valued is a basic human need. According to SHRM research, 64% of people agreed that “leaders making decisions without seeking input” was their biggest problem. Today’s workforce wants a voice and those employers that don’t give it to them will see a decline in employee performance and lower retention rates.

But the benefits realized from collecting staff feedback are two-fold. Not only do they boost engagement, but they offer management an inside look at what employees are experiencing in the day to day. And many providers we work with have been able to make numerous process improvements within their organizations as a result.   

Plus, given the COVID-19 crisis, where employees are working longer hours and harder than ever to care for residents, keeping tabs on their wellbeing and addressing concerns as they arise is increasingly important.  

Here are a few of the ways that our customers are seeing success in surveying staff. 

Use Quick, Mobile Surveys 

The easiest way to reach your employees is on their mobile devices. Pulse surveys are sent straight to employees’ phones post-shift and ask them to rate their day using a five-point emoticon scale. Staff can also provide additional details in an optional comment. To avoid survey fatigue, our customers send pulse surveys on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.  

Encourage Elaboration 

Open-ended questions can be a gold mine for understanding the struggles and triumphs of your employees. Many providers have received valuable feedback in the optional comment section of our pulse surveys. In fact, when given the option to elaborate, 55% of OnShift Engage pulse survey respondents leave a comment.  

Follow Up Fast 

The data the pulse surveys collect give management a snapshot of satisfaction levels across communities and departments so they can quickly get to the bottom of the problem and take action. That said, it’s crucial to address problems that are brought to light as quickly as possible. The same goes for employees who leave comments about ongoing issues. Not reaching out fast sends the message that staff feedback is not valued nor taken seriously. This makes staff less likely to participate in future surveys and hinders employee engagement. Even if you are unable to provide a solution quickly, let employees know you are working to address their concern.

Reward Feedback 

One of the easiest ways to encourage employees to respond to your surveys is by rewarding them for doing so. This not only shows employees how much your organization values their opinions, but also helps create a more consistent flow of feedback to help make improvements and reduce employee turnover. OnShift Engage automatically distributes reward points to employees when they complete a survey, which can later be redeemed for a reward as designated by their community. 

Allow Anonymity 

Employees may be more comfortable responding to some surveys if they can do so anonymously. However, we’ve found that offering the option to remain anonymous is merely a courtesy, as 72% of employees that take our pulse surveys choose to identify themselves. Still, you don't want to miss out on what the other 28% of employees have to share. Having the option to remain anonymous ensures organizations get a full picture of staff satisfaction.

Monitor New Hires

40% of total employee turnover in senior care happens during the first 90 days, so providers need to pay close attention to new employees. And surveying them is a great way to do so. The New Hire Surveys in OnShift Engage allows providers to send automated surveys to employees throughout their first 90 days so they can share feedback quickly and easily. The insight provided can help organizations refine their training and onboarding programs for future new hire success. 

Conversely, one provider told us that they were experiencing some turnover among their more tenured employees. They were able to use the pulse surveys to pinpoint this group and uncovered they were frustrated by new hires frequently calling off. This provider was able to remedy the issue with the new hires, showing those tenured employees they value their feedback and care about their well-being at work. 

Check In With The Non-Responsive 

You can learn a lot from employees that don’t respond to surveys. As the head of People Analytics at Facebook told the Harvard Business Review, “people who don’t fill out either of our two annual surveys are 2.6 times more likely to leave in the next six months.” Make a point to reach out to these employees to diagnose any underlying issues. 

Practice An Open Door Policy 

Make sure employees know they can approach management with feedback at any time and don’t need to wait for the next survey. This is especially crucial for urgent matters, the kind that might sacrifice the well-being of a resident or employee if not addressed immediately. 

Surveying Staff In A Time Of Crisis  

We understand that each community is different and it’s not a one-size-fits all approach when it comes to collecting feedback from staff. That’s why we’ve recently added more customizable functionality to the surveys in OnShift Engage to help providers gain more actionable insights, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. Providers can now ask multiple questions at once, target specific teams and send surveys to multiple communities at the same time. This helps management focus in on issues that affect a group of individuals or broach larger, company-wide concerns with just a few clicks of a button. 

Providers are now better equipped to address situations as they arise and closely monitor the wellbeing of their staff during this challenging, unprecedented time. Organizations are being proactive and creating their own surveys -- asking employees to share their concerns about the situation, safety or otherwise, and to gauge how things like transportation and childcare services may have been compromised for staff.

OnShift is proud to support the industry through features like this and we thank you all for all of your hard work during this difficult time. 

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About Tommy Marzella

Tommy Marzella is a Portfolio Marketing Manager for OnShift.

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