An Unprecedented Year of Challenges
2020 was the year of work burnout across all industries. From grocery store employees to accountants, nearly everyone felt the effects of this year full of challenges. And healthcare employees understandably took the biggest hit.
A usually resilient crowd, healthcare workers faced an unusually demanding period in the medical field, leading to emotional and physical exhaustion in some. They had to juggle the stress of increased patient loads, reduced medical supplies, science-deniers, personal lives, and the constant maneuvering to be close, but not too close to patients. For home healthcare employees, entering a patient’s home where an employees’ health risk is increased adds an extra layer of stress to an already trying industry.
High Turnover Rates
It’s no surprise home healthcare employees want to quit. According to a 2020 report by the Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service, the turnover rate for all home healthcare employees in the US was 22.18%. Home health care aids had the highest turnover rate of all US home healthcare positions at 36.53%. This clear lack of job satisfaction may point toward systemic issues affecting a wide range of companies and employees.
The High Costs of Losing Employees
Employee training and development takes a lot of resources and relationship-building. Losing employees is not only costly to companies in wasted labor hours for training, but in the home healthcare industry, it contributes to reduced quality of service for clients who expect the same, trusted individual to enter their home every time to administer their care. As new faces are constantly flowing in and out of the company, the ability to trust employees to provide quality service and to accurately report their hours, location, and mileage significantly decreases.
What is Burnout?
Employees are human, and humans can get mentally and physically exhausted when they feel a lack of reward, control, clarity, or support. According to Mayo Clinic, possible causes of work burnout could include a lack of influence over decisions that affect the job, unclear job expectations, dysfunctional workplace dynamics, lack of social support, work-life imbalance, and more. This emotional or physical exhaustion has a real effect on employees’ job performance and personal lives and can have real consequences for companies with employees suffering from it.
Symptoms and Effects of Work Burnout
Individuals experiencing burnout may feel irritable, cynical, a lack of energy and/or motivation, difficulty concentrating, disillusionment or dissatisfaction, and more. Employees experiencing job burnout may feel exhausted, ineffective, and disconnected from work. This can reduce the quality of work, bring down team morale, affect employees’ personal lives, and cause employees to leave positions entirely. These demanding times are a real power drain to many people’s psyche, so action needs to be taken to keep employees satisfied.
Preventing Employee Burnout by Providing Tools & Support
For home care businesses and organizations, providing the necessary tools and support for the position is essential to make employees feel empowered and less stressed on the job. Plus, the following tips apply to any company or team, regardless of industry.
Communication is probably one of the biggest factors to the success of a company, or any team for that matter. Clear communication is essential to making sure everyone knows what’s expected of them, to build stronger teams, and to avoid toxic work environments. Providing an environment welcome to feedback, gratitude, and constructive criticism is crucial to preserving a supportive company culture. Employees need recognition for good work, recommendations when work hasn’t been optimal, and the ability to provide feedback to their superiors to keep everything running smoothly.
It may be time to provide employee get-togethers, clearly encourage feedback and frequent check-ins with supervisors, or even update your messaging system to make sure everyone is getting the news and can connect with the appropriate people. Your employees will be happier, more informed, and feel like their voices are heard within the company. And your management will get to know more of the problems within the company and hopefully be able to address them.
Prepare New Employees For the Job
Expectations vs reality when entering any new profession can be a shock. Employees that enter the job with over idealistic expectations are destined to be disappointed by the reality. To start off on the right foot, introduce employees to the positives and negatives of the job early on to prepare them for the stresses they’re likely to encounter. This method also quickly weeds out the candidates that aren’t fit for the job.
Provide Room for Career Advancement
Having no room for advancement is a huge killer for morale. No one wants their life to stagnate. If employees have no chance of promotion, job improvement, or increased salary, they tend to be dissatisfied and leave the position for something with more chance of career advancement. If you can’t provide a better position, try to provide resources for employees to help them build their career skills.
Update Your Tools
Many employers are still using outdated practices or obsolete tools. For instance, using spreadsheets or unfortunately, expecting employees to scribble their mileage tracking on a piece of paper to report to their supervisors at a later date. This only adds to the burden of a traveling healthcare worker’s schedule and worries about being adequately reimbursed for travel expenses. Not to mention, this adds more labor hours for the employee down the line who has to combine all the data. Supervisors also have to trust their employees to accurately track and report this data, a difficult task when the turnover rate in the home healthcare industry is so high. Updating your archaic tools to more modern solutions may be necessary to make employees at every level feel less overextended and more in control of their job.
The Future of Home Healthcare
We’re not done yet, folks. Once current conditions settle down and the world can return to some form of normalcy, a new threat to the system is still emerging. A silver tsunami is hitting the United States with a force we’ve never seen before. By the year 2030, adults 65+ will make up about 21% of our population (up from 15% now). And according to AARP, more seniors want to age at home than ever before, leading to an even greater need for caregivers, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other home healthcare professionals.
If healthcare companies want to retain employees, they should aim to improve all aspects of the job experience. Happy employees contribute to a better functioning company, improved service to customers, and hopefully, more return on investment.
A Tool for a Growing Industry Moving into the Modern Age
The home healthcare industry will be growing for the foreseeable future, and more employees means companies need to simplify, streamline, and consider the needs of their employees and customers. Triplog Mileage is aiding this industry by offering extensive services to help healthcare professionals accurately track mileage, travel expenses, reimbursement, and tax compliance.