Staffing Solutions

Recruit and Retain

McKnight’s reported on the annual spring meeting of the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry. Experts offered recommendations for operators to solve the No. 1 problem — unsafe staffing. Training and retaining compassionate and competent caregivers is the main job of managers. High employee turnover rates cause negative resident outcomes. Unsafe staffing makes neglect inevitable.

For better retention and engagement of employees, leaders need to do three main things, said panelist Ed Frauenheim, co-founder of The Teal Team.

Be aware of their own personal needs and care. This includes knowing one’s own blind spots, strengths and weaknesses.

Know and care about their individual staff members. What do they want, fear and need to feel safe? Encourage their personal and professional growth. Know personal details.

Help team members know and care about each other. Encourage interaction, whether at the beginning of meetings or through company-sponsored programs such as coffee breaks and cocktail hours.

The Future is Here

“We all have to double-down on why we exist in the first place,” advised Myra Norton, CEO of Arena Analytics. “Without that, it’s hard to create solutions that move the needle.”

Norton advised:

  1. Tapping non-traditional worker pools, including outside the industry. She also suggested reconsidering job requirements when attracting job candidates. “Fishing in the same pools and expecting different results is a variation on the definition of insanity,” she said.
  2. Hiring with outcomes in mind. Aim for people who “do things that matter.” This can be assisted by artificial intelligence profiling and eliminating bias that could be unknowingly systemic and come off as “unfair.”
  3. Supporting conditions that promote good work-life integration, including flexible work hours and locations if possible. “People want their lives to come first.”
  4. Rethinking your staffing mix among full-time, part-time and seasonal workers. Nearly half of part-time workers want more hours, she noted.
  5. “Co-creating” solutions. Frontline workers “hold the cards” and often see answers to problems the most clearly — if they’re asked. They also will remain vested in systems or initiatives longer if they have a hand in devising them.