Turnover rates in the UK care sector remained higher than in other industries in 2022. Last year around 25% of those working in the private sector left their roles. This is more than double the 11% that left the NHS and above the average national attrition rate of 15% across all sectors.
Such figures make care provider management a tougher job than it needs to be as business leaders find themselves in a vicious cycle of recruitment, training and leaver interviews. This cycle must be avoided to ensure quality care for service users and a solid bank of carers who are skilled and engaged.
What do the experts say?
Research by the Care Workers Union suggests it is terms and conditions that are motivating carers to leave the profession, not a lack of desire or interest in carrying out their vocation.
And the Care Quality Commission (CQC) says “more needs to be done to maintain and develop the workforce, especially in adult social care, with system-wide workforce planning a priority”. The main areas of focus, according to the CQC, should be supporting staff by focusing on their wellbeing, making sure they feel valued and equipping them with the skills to do their job to a high standard.
All of this is achieved through investment in good quality training that focuses on what matters to your organisation.
How can you find the time to train staff when employee numbers are so low?
Low numbers often result in care managers putting training on the backburner as they struggle to fulfil service requirements. But while acknowledging the importance of service level agreements, this approach is one which exacerbates the recruitment and retention problem.
Carers typically join the profession because they want a career in which they can help people. From the outset, they feel as though they are doing a noble job and are proud of the value they bring to the organisation and society as a whole.
In many cases, what skews this opinion is that they don’t feel they are valued by their employers. And all too often, this is because they are under-supported and don’t feel they have development and progression opportunities.
Breaking the recruitment and turnover cycle requires finding a way to balance the immediate concerns around service levels with a future-proofed training scheme that demonstrates a commitment to staff development and wellbeing.
This can only be achieved by creating adequate training and development packages. Adopting this approach allows for a mix of on-the-job, classroom-based and online training so you maximise both the productivity and learning opportunities for each individual.
Benefits of investing in exisiting carers
But the advantages of upskilling staff in adult care go beyond improving retention rates. It will also:
- Improve the quality of care for patients – Highly skilled, motivated carers naturally provide a better standard of care.
- Achieve higher patient satisfaction rates – Care users and their families will appreciate the improved service they receive.
- Attract top talent – As your organisation builds a reputation as a preferred employer you will attract high-quality carers who want to benefit from and contribute to a supportive workplace.
- Reduce stress and improve employee wellbeing – Happy staff are more engaged and less likely to have time off work through sickness. Indeed, research in the US showed that a focus on staff wellness can decrease absence by up to 19%.
- Help you identify potential managers and supervisors – When you allow team members the opportunity to develop, you discover talents you (and they) didn’t know they have.
- Build morale – Studies reveal employees value “trust, passion and mentorship” most at work.
- Develop a culture of learning that promotes proactive self-improvement – Engaged staff who see the benefits of learning will seek out opportunities for growth.
- Create an agile, positive workforce – A broader range of skills provides staff with confidence and autonomy to perform their tasks to a high level.
- Reduce costs – Recruitment and understaffing cause a huge drain on resources. Tackling the issues of staff who feel undervalued can have a significant ROI.
At Richmond we work alongside care providers to create bespoke training packages that address the needs of their business.
Before we even start to talk about possible training needs, we take time to understand each client’s business and its pain points.