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5 Min Read
August 5, 2022

Why Home Care Company Culture Is Critical to Home Health Agencies

by Empeon Staff

There’s no doubt that HR is an invaluable and multi-faceted role. HR handles vital functions such as recruitment, performance management, development and learning, administrative responsibilities, and so much more. But HR also plays a valuable role in an important aspect of the home health industry that often falls to the wayside: Home care company culture.

How so?

This article will address why HR managers and senior leaders need to establish a positive company culture for their home health staff. It will also provide excellent ways that companies can establish best-in-class company culture.

The Importance of Home Care Company Culture

With so much on their plates, home health companies may struggle to provide a positive company culture. However, challenges facing the healthcare industry today make company culture more important than many realize.

Challenges Facing the Home Healthcare Industry

It’s no secret that employee recruitment and retention are the biggest challenges facing the home care industry today. 

The number of caregivers available to care for the rising senior population is declining. Many caregivers are moving between agencies if conditions are not favorable, or even leaving the home care industry for completely different industries. 

What does this mean for home health companies? 

Home health agencies are finding it increasingly difficult to find and retain good employees. In fact, Home Care Pulse reports that 97.8% of agencies are negatively impacted by a lack of caregivers. They further state that shortages will rise to over 150,000 by 2030.

Employee retention is another issue that is just as important as recruitment, with turnover rates measuring 65.2% in 2022.

So how can home care companies combat these challenges?

Combat Staffing Challenges Through Company Culture

Any good healthcare company leader knows that caretakers are the heart and backbone of the business. After all, you can not operate without them. Employees need to be viewed as more than just personnel to fill the schedule — they need to be treated like the priceless asset they are.

According to Home Health Care News, most caregivers leave health care agencies due to negative company culture, listing reasons such as:

  • Lack of communication
  • Inadequate benefits
  • Lack of training for development
  • Lack of recognition
  • Lack of openness to ideas or feedback

How can companies treat their employees like assets and establish positive, caring company culture?

4 Ways HR and Senior Leads Can Establish Excellent Company Culture

Company culture may sound like an abstract concept, but there are concrete steps companies can take to establish a positive and caring culture — even if the culture is already negative. They can implement four tips for immediate improvement:

  • Offer excellent incentives
  • Improve communication
  • Focus on personal well-being
  • Clarify the company mission

1. Offer Excellent Incentives

An attractive package of compensation and benefits draws the right kind of candidate for whatever role health companies need to have filled. This is more than money and also crucial to the success of any company.

How can companies stand out? They should consider offering incentives like:

  • Competitive salaries
  • Performance-based bonuses
  • Recognition
  • Career and growth opportunities
  • Autonomy

Many rewards have to do with the recognition of accomplishments. Nursing staff work long hours and encounter many challenging situations during the day. They often feel underappreciated and overworked. Finding out what motivates employees and establishing recognition programs around that can mitigate those feelings.

A popular choice is a point-based system. For example, an employee could earn one point every time they are on time for their shift or two points every time they accurately record a patient’s condition. 

Those points could be exchanged for money, gift cards, spa days, etc. Agencies might even survey staff to learn what would appeal to them.

Offering such options greatly improves a health agency’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) — the image the company represents to its employees. Employees will be happier, more productive, and motivated to stay at the company.

2. Improve Communication

HR managers and senior leads should not limit their focus on communicating the company’s expectations to employees. The department should be a credible activist for employees by ensuring they are informed about topics related to them and are able to give feedback.

For example, HR should promptly inform employees of any changes in job requirements or employee benefits. They should also establish methods like surveys and regular meetings — both as a team and one-on-one — to encourage employees to share their thoughts and ideas about company processes, requirements, and pay. 

Use this two-way communication to implement any reasonable changes that would have a positive effect on company culture.

3. Focus on Personal Wellbeing

HR should expand beyond issues regarding pay and workplace conduct by demonstrating care for employees’ well-being. 

Health care companies can show their commitment to employees’ mental well-being by offering an employee assistance program (EAP) for assistance with a variety of problems, such as:

  • Mental health issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Eldercare
  • Legal problems
  • Traumatic events like workplace violence

They may also consider having a company-wide mental health awareness day.

These actions highlight that a company prioritizes employees’ overall welfare and builds a caring company culture. Employees will feel valued and appreciated, which goes a long way toward increasing happiness, productivity, and employee retention. And happier employees equal happy, well-cared-for patients.

4. Clarify the Company’s Mission

Finally, companies can consider clarifying their mission statement. 

Many home care companies address their dedication to providing world-class service for their clients but fail to mention the same care for their nursing staff. Consider updating the company mission statement to prioritize employee well-being, too. 

Be sure to communicate these updates to new and current employees. 

For example, companies can implement the new mission statement into their orientation program for new employees. They may re-iterate the company mission at yearly events and meetings to keep it fresh in all employees’ minds. They can even include the mission statement on posters throughout the company to serve as a reminder at all times.

These are just some ways a healthcare company can ensure that its mission statement addresses its employees. Employees will always be aware of the company’s care for them, which is important to establishing a positive healthcare company culture.

Build Company Success Through Positive Company Culture

With caregiver turnover rates on the rise and more companies experiencing staffing shortages, it’s important to do everything possible to increase employee happiness. Building a positive and healthy home care company culture is an effective way to combat these challenges.

Home health companies should foster a world-class company culture by offering enticing incentives, encouraging two-way communication, and demonstrating care for the personal well-being of their employees. Following these steps will improve employee and patient happiness, allowing companies to succeed now and into the future.

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