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Staff retention in the care sector

November 7, 2019

By Davina Ludlow,  consultant to the care home sector and a member of P&G Professional’s Expert Advisory Council.

It is universally agreed that one of the most rewarding, but also demanding jobs is adult care in the care home sector.

Without a doubt working in this sector can be both physically and mentally challenging, with the majority of staff receiving only the minimum wage.

Care Minister Caroline Dinenage has said: “A career in adult social care offers the rewarding opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society, a sentiment 96% of current care workers on the ground agree with. We have over a million brilliant people working in the sector, but we urgently need new talent to ensure we can continue to provide support for those who need it”.

With 120,000 job vacancies in the care sector, one important initiative would be to re-frame this type of work as a vocation rather than just a job. Carers improve the quality of life, mood and overall health and wellbeing of those they look after, providing a valuable service not only to residents but to their families and loved ones too. This type of altruistic work makes a positive difference in society, and if positioned as such, would appeal to the ideals of younger generations, shifting the current pattern of those under 30 making up only 19% of the care workforce.

It is not only urgent that we acquire new talent but also that we ensure we retain the experienced staff who have been working in the sector for a number of years. To do this, it is imperative we implement new incentives to attract and motivate our carers.

As all care home owners know, a care setting is only as good as its workforce. The most beautiful home will not be successful without the support of the care staff, whereas a more basic setting could be much more successful due to the dedication of its staff.

It is the responsibility of the care home manager to ensure the needs of the staff are met. The manager must look after the people working in the care home, making them happier both in the environment and in their work, the outcome of which will be reflected in the happiness of the residents.

There are some simple ways to help keep staff. Whenever possible give praise and positive feedback which will make staff feel valued. Create a clean and environmentally friendly workplace so they feel comfortable and contented in the work. Show kindness and compassion and always make time to listen to grievances, demonstrating that staff members’ opinions are valued in the successful running of the care home. These solutions cost nothing but time and will result in increased reliability and a willingness to learn and progress. If a worker feels undervalued and that there is no way to progress within their job they will look elsewhere for these opportunities.

Instilling confidence in employees helps improve efficiency, productivity and loyalty in the care sector. Cleanliness impacts the overall environment and wellbeing of residents, so ensuring a hygienic setting is a key part of care work. Easy to use and requiring only simple training, P&G Professional delivers great first time results, with no re-work. Equipping staff with the tools to do an excellent job will improve their confidence and capability to complete daily tasks impeccably first time, every time. What’s more, a clean setting is not only one of the most critical features to ensure the home is both a happy and healthy environment for the residents and their relatives but also for staff.

As we all know monetary reward is an important issue. Care homes offering higher pay do retain their staff for longer, but this is not the only factor to be taken into consideration. Happiness, job satisfaction and a friendly and welcoming environment are some of the reasons that care workers remain in their current role. In many cases care staff, from housekeeping, laundry, kitchen workers, garden workers and the carers develop loving relationships with their residents and wish to stay and look after those that have become friends. This should be encouraged by managers to ensure a happy workplace.

  • To learn more about P&G Professional and its professional cleaning systems please visit www.pgpro.co.uk or call 0800 716 854.
Davina Ludlow

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