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Engaging Part-Time Employees in Senior Care

Engaging Part-Time Employees in Senior Care

Let’s face it: the senior care industry, group homes, and skilled nursing facilities have a reputation for quite a bit of turnover. And it’s no wonder why. Individuals that go into the healthcare field do so because they want to take care of others–they’re natural caretakers. When bureaucracy, red tape, and poor management gets in their way, they take off for greener pastures.

If you’ve noticed that your employee turnover rate is higher than average (or just higher than what you want at your facility) or that employees seem less than engaged, the problem might not be them, it could be you.

There’s good news, though. You can change your facility’s culture and ultimately change the engagement of employees.

First, let’s take a look at what an engaged employee looks like.

Engaged employees:

  • Happy | Employees that are engaged are happy. They’re positive in their outlook and harbor good feelings toward their co-workers, residents, and facility.
  • Brand advocates | Engaged employees are some of your best brand advocates. They speak highly of the care you provide to residents and the environment you offer to employees.
  • Motivated | Employees that feel the above are more likely to be motivated to jump in when help is needed. They take notice of things that might need to be addressed and instead of waiting for someone else to do the job, they get it done.
  • Committed | An engaged employee doesn’t just up and quit. They’re committed to you, residents, the team, and the facility’s overall well-being.
  • Cheerleaders | These employees cheerlead for the rest of the team and bring overall morale up. The engaged employee is a resource to your facility not just because of the level of care they provide, but also because of the fact that they nurture other employees.

Part-time and per diem employees can be particularly hard to engage. They aren’t a part of the more regular team and because of that they can often feel left out of the loop. Many report feeling like the “third wheel” on a date.

One employee at a rehab facility worked just a few days a month and flat out said that she was treated differently because she wasn’t there as often as full-time employees.

Her main complaints included:

  • Not knowing where things are
  • Not being kept up-to-date on new procedures or guidelines
  • Being left out of employee celebrations or recognition
  • Being the last to know about or speak into schedule availability

Reflecting on the above employee’s sentiments could be eye opening. How are your part-timers treated?

If you are unsure, the answer is that they probably aren’t totally happy.

Here’s how you can change that.

Deploy a Scheduling Tool

Instant Nurse offers equitable and fair shift sharing. Employees simply share their availability and then you organize the schedule accordingly. Additionally, if a shift opens up you can actually offer it to your lowest cost option first (which might be a part-time employee). 

Communicate To Your Entire Staff

In the world of senior care, everyone’s work is intertwined. How a nurse disposes of soiled bed sheets impacts how housekeeping does their job. Using a team messaging system is a great way to update everyone on changes to policies or procedures.

Offer Kudos and Recognition

One of the most popular ways we see facilities using our messaging system is to send out team-wide kudos for a job well done. It’s a great way to build culture and make sure people know that they’re seen and appreciated.

Struggling with employee engagement? Instant Nurse can help. Our affordable and simple staff scheduling tool is trusted by healthcare communities to make scheduling easy, build culture and communication, and save on overtime.

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