Increasing Staff Retention in Senior Living Communities

Senior Living Staff Retention

Some of the goals of any assisted living community are to help residents achieve peace of mind, comfort, and general well-being. Although these intentions are pure, there are a few things that can get in the way of attaining them, one of which is a revolving door of staff members. Staff turnover rates are staggering among assisted living communities, with a national average of 42%. Additionally, the cost of replacing a single staff member can range from $4,000 to $5,000. While lower staff retention rates seem to plague the industry, there are a few different ways you can decrease your staff turnover.

Hiring the Right People
Hiring the right people usually goes without saying for any industry, although it’s become an increasingly important factor in regards to staff retention in senior living communities. Before thinking about how to keep on all new hires, consider bringing on staff members that align with your community, both in personality and in skill. Generally, staff members that have a desire to work in the senior living field, as well as industry experience, tend to lead to higher retention rates. Once hired, be sure to have a well-structured onboarding process and, role-specific training, and available management to field any questions or concerns.

Training and Career Paths
Employee success and satisfaction is one of the many facets at the heart of increasing retention. Senior living management can reduce high turnover by creating a workspace where staff members goals are taken into consideration while providing them with the means to attain them through upward growth in the community. Investing in training and professional development can help foster a caring culture that lets employees know they are a valuable part of the team.

Tech and Genuine Connections
While these two categories may not go together often (think social media and social isolation), there does seem to be a connection between improving technology in senior living communities and staff retention. A study conducted by OnShift indicates that improved technology in the hiring process improves staff stability, satisfaction, and labor cost management.

While this study is concerned with updated tech during the hiring process alone, here at TSOLife, we see the potential to reap these benefits across multiple facets of the assisted living industry. Our program aims to streamline the resident on-boarding process while also creating genuine relationships and personal connections between staff and residents. Team members that are more invested in the lives of their residents tend to stick around longer.

Competitive Wages and Benefits
The wage pressures are very apparent within the health care space: senior living, hospitals, skilled nursing, and home health care. While wages vary widely from community to community, the average caregiver in a senior living space makes $10-$15 per hour with little to no benefits. Higher wages, in addition to performance bonuses, benefits, and paid time off can have a notable impact on staff retention in senior living communities.

When increasing costs upfront, the benefits can be hard to see, however, improving the workspace for your staff will lead to  more permanent benefits. Securing long term employees means less turnover cost, deeper connections between staff and residents, and fostering a community where people want to live.

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Published by TSOLife