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5 Ways for Senior Care Facilities to Improve Employee Work Life Balance

nurse helping a person in a wheel chair

If there’s one thing that nearly every business, senior care facilities included, could use help with, it’s improving employee work life balance. When employees spend a large part of their life taking care of others, it can be hard for them to “turn off” from caretaker mode and into the many other roles they fill – mom, husband, wife, etc.

Create Nurses’ Stations That Are Conducive to Work

We’ve all seen senior care facilities whose nurses stations look like a 16-year-old boy’s bedroom – they’re messy, completely disorganized, and finding something as important as a pen can feel like looking for a needle in the haystack.

Provide your team with the organizational tools needed to do their job well so that when they go home they aren’t frustrated about not being equipped at work. When an employee leaves your facility, you want them to be able to breathe and relax knowing they can unplug from work mode and engage with their friends or family.

Try to Accommodate Their Lives

In the midst of running your senior care facility, it can be easy to get caught up in rules, regulations, and profits and completely forget that your team has a life outside of work. Make it easy for them to fit their life into their work schedule.

An online scheduling tool for senior living facilities can help with this. The easier you make it for employees to swap shifts or accept additional shift opportunities that fit their life, the happier they will be. No one wants to jump through hoops to get time off for parent-teacher conferences or their child’s baseball game.

Develop a Workplace Volunteering Initiative

If there’s one thing we know about senior care workers it’s that they love to give back. They inherently have the “caring gene”. A workplace volunteering initiative is a great way to come alongside your team as they give back and do it together.

Here are some ideas:

  • Raise money for a cause like Alzheimer’s research
  • Train for a 5K together
  • Collect and sort canned goods for a community kitchen

The goal of these activities is to remind employees that they’re more than just employees, they’re part of a team and when they work together for the greater good they naturally feel better about where they work and what they do.

Offer Perks

One of the most overlooked “benefits” are little perks that make a big difference. Employees feel appreciated and can often enjoy their life outside of work if they are incentivized. Perks like discounted memberships to local attractions, paid in full gym memberships, or covering the cost of a class NOT related to their career (painting, welding, etc.) reminds employees that you’re invested in them personally.

Many small facilities might feel like they can’t afford to offer perks. Sometimes it helps to get creative. Reach out to other small business owners in the area and see if you can partner with them to get your employees in their doors, while extending a discount to your team.

Keep Your Office Door Open

Maintaining an open door policy is hands down the best way to bring balance to your workplace. Your team needs to know you’re there for them, advocating for things that they find important.

It’s all too easy to get tunnel vision and only focus on the tasks at hand, but by inviting team members into your office to talk and getting on the floor to interact with them you’re letting them know you’re there. Provide important communications in a consistent format that reaches the team instantly instead of waiting for them to hear it from the grapevine.

Need help figuring out a way to help your senior care facilities build culture? Software like Instant Nurse is affordably priced and designed to help you encourage employees through easier scheduling, team-wide messages straight to their phones, and more.


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