Updated: Oct 5
One of the fastest-growing industries in the United States economy will be in the sector of home health care, where a million additional workers will be required by 2026, an increase of roughly 50% compared to 2014. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expresses that the most jobs to be added to the economy will be from the healthcare and personal care industries by the next decade. Correspondingly, all the baby boomers in 2030 will reach the age of 65 and older, which means that 1 out of 5 American residents will be able to retire.
With such a growing demand, high turnover rates plague this industry. Home healthcare is one industry that is having a difficult time when it comes to retaining its employees. Many see the shortage of workers as the main threat for home care agencies this year.
The turnover rate in 2018 for the home care industry reached new and high heights of 82% (Holly, 2020).
In that same year, home care agencies in the state of Massachusetts hired about 18 workers every three months, but they ended up losing 15 of them during the same period (Farrell, 2018).
The yearly turnover rate for employees at home care companies is approximately 60% (Farrell, 2018).
In 2020, the turnover rate across various home care providers in the United States was 65.2% (Holly, 2021).
The report, Home Care Salary & Benefits displays that the turnover rate was 22.18% in 2020 for all of the home health employees in the United States. The report compiled data from 43,200 employees and 1,049 home health companies in the US. Additionally, the turnover rate for home care aides in 2020 was 36.53% (Holly, 2020).
Source/Attribution: Visual Capitalist
Problems with high turnover rates
With the increasing demand for home healthcare, retaining employees in this industry is crucial. Turnover rates affect everyone and are detrimental to employers, employees, and patients. For the employer, high turnover rates mean that they lose productivity, clients, and the quality of their service declines.
For the employees who are still working, many may face burnout. High turnover rates mean that existing employees would have to work additional hours to make up for the demand, which leads to burnout. Employees who are working in an understaffed environment have a greater risk of injury.
Then there is the patient perspective. High turnover rates in the home healthcare industry are detrimental to the patients. Many patients, like seniors, won't be getting the help they need due to the lack of workers and are often left with no assistance for months. As a result, many patients are at greater risk of falls and not getting the medical attention they require. For many patients to feel secure and reduce errors, consistent interaction from the patient to the employee is vital, but this is not feasible when there is a constant stream of new employees due to the high turnover rates.
Reasons why there are such high turnover rates
There are many reasons why home healthcare workers are leaving. For some, it is both physically and mentally exhausting. For others, it is the combination of low pay, inconsistent schedules, and lack of advancement opportunities that have led to this growing issue. Employees often are not paid enough for their work and receive little to no benefits.
How to retain healthcare workers
Retention starts with understanding why employees are leaving YOUR company. Conducting exit interviews to collect and analyze real-time exit feedback data over time allows you to identify turnover reasons and trends. Many employees are willing to disclose their new offer details and this gives employers the opportunity to get real-time salary and total compensation benchmarking data. In addition to exit interviews, employers should also conduct at minimum a once a year annual employee engagement survey to gauge the pulse of current employees. This allows employers to proactively improve engagement to reduce turnover.
Employee feedback provides answers to the employer and allows them to know what steps to take to improve their employee’s experience. It also gives insights into what the employer can do to retain their employees by asking questions relating to topics such as; overall job satisfaction, work-life balance and flexibility, employee recognition, total compensation, manager, and career growth and opportunities.
Employee happiness in the home healthcare industry needs improvement based on the high turnover rates.
To Herb Kelleher, the co-founder of the Board of Southwest Airlines, the most important were employees, ahead of customers, and shareholders for a company. When the employees are happy, they will treat their customers right, which will make the shareholders content. Essentially, there is a domino effect, and it starts with the happiness of the employees.
Many will agree that the key to success for a company is customers, but happy employees mean happy customers. A report highlights that engaged employees results in an increase of 20% in sales. It's simple when the company allows the employee to feel valued, that employee will work to the greatest of their abilities every day.
How we can help
Retainify is a solution for businesses that want to learn more about their employees and customers. Businesses can access feedback from their staff and customers in real-time as well as customize and automate their employee and patient satisfaction surveys.
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US Census Bureau. (2018, March 13). Older People Projected to Outnumber Children for First Time in U.S. History. Retrieved August 04, 2021, from https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/cb18-41-population-projections.html