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🌱 The Staff Retention and Development Challenge in Social Care

Another challenge care providers face is developing staff to their full potential and retaining them amid these challenging, but as always, rewarding circumstances; care workers know the value of their work and take pride in it! But we all have limits and aspirations., and in this article we look at how care organisations can nurture their staff to stay and develop.

The pressures the care system has been experiencing before and after Covid struck has left many care staff feeling exhausted. Almost one in five care workers are thinking of leaving the field within five years, while three quarters of care homes are reporting more staff are quitting, due to incentives in other sectors, care pressures, exhaustion alongside having to build up paid leave, and the mandatory vaccines policy that is to be cancelled. Despite how incredibly rewarding care work is, it's easy to empathise with the challenges staff are facing at the moment.

What impacts does issues with staff retention and development create?

Problems in retaining and developing staff can affect the quality of care that providers can give. Having less experienced staff around that may not be fully trained or have easy access to learning, risks creating knowledge gaps in sharing best practices and inconsistencies in the delivery of care to those that receive it. Thus retaining and cultivating staff is important for delivery and compliance.

How are care homes using digital software for staff retention and development?

  • Interactive Virtual Training: The Stockton-on Tees Council arranged virtual training for over 300 employees for their new care management system. Rather than using just resources, a series of workshops were also given that were tailored exactly to staff needs and processes. This resulted in strong knowledge and user confidence in less time, compared to real life lessons and standard e-learning solutions.

  • Learning Management Systems for real life: Mencap realised their purely e-learning module system had a 50% completion rate and had concerns about the quality of learning, so they took the best aspects of both in-person and virtual learning; mixing real-life training using structured e-resources alongside an LMS that had virtual, instantly deployable content and workbooks to give to staff digitally that could also be quickly printed if needed. Allowing them to get quality training and to easily and instantaneously recap on what has been learnt.

  • Wellbeing Tools: Using digital tools that make employees’ lives easier is another way to encourage retention. Solutions like Wagestream enable workers to withdraw earnings before the end of the month, while others such as People Matter can provide a dedicated space for measuring and improving staff wellbeing in care.

  • Employee Engagement Tools; there are great solutions combining elements of LMSes with internal comms. Employees can often feel disengaged or out of touch with each other, or perhaps the leadership’s vision and direction. These tools help to bridge the gap! A good example being Workvivo.

  • Employee Recognition tools; amid the pressures we’ve looked at, it’s easy to see how staff can feel unseen or otherwise unappreciated! Software’s like Caroo make it easy for organisations to provide corporate gifts and more, including on special occasions like birthdays! 🥳 Whilst tools like Weve can build teams and give an easy, fun outlet for everyday employee recognition.

💡 Final Thoughts:

In these challenging times, looking after staff wellbeing and nurturing their potential is crucial. For lowering costs, retaining staff and ensuring enduring quality care. Tech-enabled solutions are making this easier to do remotely and present a fantastic opportunity.

Organisations with the most compelling incentives and culture for their staff, will attract and retain the best talent! Care staff are typically compassionate, loyal, and hard-working, but they too are feeling strain and are looking for places that can support and nurture them.

Retaining and developing staff can help with the other challenges; retaining organisational talent and expertise lowers recruitment costs, assures quality, boosts morale, and is a foundation for a successful culture and service for care receivers.

Getting the best from these tools particularly requires a strategic, human-centered approach that can marry up people and tech harmoniously. That’s what we’re all about! If you’re looking for support and clarity, get in touch, we’d love to help.


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