How to retain care staff in a competitive industry

The UK’s healthcare industry attracts over 3 million staff and is one of the economy’s most competitive – particularly during Covid when recruitment is at an all-time low. If you are an employer within the healthcare sector, you’ll know that good retention rates are essential! We share our advice on how you can retain new employees and keep them motivated in these ever-challenging times.

 A happy team = positive results

 So, you’ve recruited new staff, what now? How do you set them on the best career path in your employment? Life as a carer or healthcare professional is a tough one with long hours, often unrewarding tasks and can create caregiver burnout. With training, supervisors and area leaders should be able to recognise the signs of burnout; physical fatigue, change in attitude, unwilling to seek or accept help. A great team that acts as a support network will help prevent and deal with these situations.

 Make sure your team’s rotas are giving enough rest time and show that you appreciate them, even in the simplest of ways with a “thank you” or creating an “Employee of the Month”. Company away days are also a great way to reward and incentivise teams to bond and stay motivated.

 Don’t forget that these are always a good start!

 ·        Offer good rates of pay and employment bonuses

·        Company reward schemes

·        Attractive holiday package

·        Opportunity to progress in their career (promotion)

·        Flexible working

 Prevent compassion fatigue

 Compassion fatigue affects so many people in the care industry. Healthcare workers become physically and emotionally exhausted from working in such a challenging and stressful work environment. These are the symptoms to look out for:

·       Chronic exhaustion (emotional, physical, or both)

·       Low feelings of sympathy or empathy

·       Dreading working for or taking care of another and feeling guilty as a result

·       Poor work-life balance

·       Low sense of career fulfilment

·       Feeling irritable, angry, or anxious

·       Hypersensitivity

·       Weight loss

·       Finds decision-making difficult

·       Problems in personal relationships

·       Headaches

·       Insomnia

 Knowing the signs can help to prevent and/or manage compassion fatigue. Keep an ‘open door’ for all staff and make sure they know their limits of exhaustion. Encourage regular breaks, mental health days and quiet rooms where they can go to relax and unwind during shifts. Check in regularly with them to make sure that everyone is working on the same page and to encourage them to speak up early when they’re encountering workplace issues.

Behind every great team is a great manager, and behind that should be a great employer.