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8 Ways to Retain Employees in Home Healthcare with Job Perks

February 17th, 2024 | 4 min. read

By Kelli Lewis

Home healthcare employers face a pressing challenge that threatens the very core of their operations: hiring and retaining top talent. Caregiving can be a hugely satisfying and rewarding job, but it does come with its fair share of daily stressors. The demands of being a caregiver can be exhausting and overwhelming at times, taking a toll on physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

Failing to address this could result in a severe shortage of qualified caregivers, compromising the quality of care provided to vulnerable patients. One option for employers is to look into potential work perks. Unique benefits show employees that you appreciate them while doubling as a strategic initiative to attract, engage, and retain talent. 

At Whirks, we help businesses improve their back-office processes and get one step better every day. Finding the correct payroll, HR, and benefits provider can help you centralize these processes. It can save you time and money, allowing you to focus on growing and managing your company. 

We’re going to review eight potential work perks that can help you attract and retain the best employees for your home healthcare practice. 

1. Incentivize Employee Well Being Through Tenured Sabbaticals

A standard annual paid time off (PTO) policy is a baseline for employees across industries.

While some employers try to differentiate with more comprehensive PTO policies, others take time off to another level by offering monthly sabbaticals to workers based on tenure.

For example, companies like Adobe and PayPal have adopted a policy of five years of service = one month of sabbatical, on top of regular PTO. Although the tech industry is different than home healthcare, employers need to get creative after employees experience a year of difficulty that impacts their working environment. 

In the highly stressful environment of home healthcare, introducing tenured sabbaticals is even more beneficial. It's a way to give your hardworking caregivers a well-deserved break and helps retention efforts by giving them the time to recharge their batteries and return without consequences. This makes sure they stay committed and preserve their health in the face of ongoing pressures.

2. Provide Access to Remote Health Services

Sometimes workers just need a breather. Caregivers face unique challenges daily, from the physical strain of assisting patients with mobility to the emotional toll of providing end-of-life care. 

The constant exposure to these high-stress situations emphasizes the need for employers to support not just the physical health of their caregivers but also their mental resilience.

Recognizing that gym sessions might not be everyone's preference, home healthcare agencies can explore alternative wellness strategies. Offering weekly virtual health classes, such as yoga or meditation, can be an effective way to encourage employees to take a necessary break from their caregiving responsibilities and focus on their own well-being. Caregivers often face the added stress of unpredictable hours and the emotional weight of forming close bonds with patients under challenging circumstances. 

You can recognize and address these various stressors with a complete wellness program that supports employees' physical, mental, and financial well-being – because all three impact their work. Demonstrating a commitment to the well-being of your staff helps make caregivers happier and healthier, improves how well they do their jobs, and provides the support they need to give the best care to their patients.

3. Encourage Growth with Continuing Education

In the home healthcare industry, it's important to recognize that employees aim to grow beyond their current roles—whether that’s learning a new skill, moving up to a higher position, or earning a new degree. Offering a Learning Management System (LMS) with a robust course catalog can be a great way to help employees achieve their goals. It also helps develop their talent within the organization. 

Home healthcare employers can also support their employees’ growth by offering financial help for classes, seminars, workshops, and other educational activities. This approach not only encourages employees to develop professionally but also improves the care quality provided to clients, helping the agency stay ahead in a competitive field.

4. Offer Student Loan Reimbursements

Assistance with student loan repayment can be a big perk, especially for younger workers. You might offer this as a trade-off between other types of reimbursements or in addition to them. Having a program that matches employees’ student loan payments, like a 401(k), shows that HR is doing more than cookie-cutter programs.

5. Opportunities for Expanded Family-Focused Leave

Paid family leave policies benefit employers through improved retention and reduced turnover rates. The cost of replacing an employee can be as much as two times the employee's annual salary. Paid family leave policies increase employee retention and decrease turnover, lowering costs for employers.

The drive for expanded family leave is happening predominantly at the state level but organizations can lead the charge as well. 

Given today's labor shortage, policies that ensure parents, especially mothers, can stay in the workforce are needed. Offering paid paternity leave, generous bereavement policies, and flexible childcare programs are all great options that allow workers to take time off for themselves and their families.

6. Assistance with Prescription Drug Prices

An excellent healthcare package goes a long way. For employees with chronic illnesses or who rely on life-saving prescription drugs, additional financial support to cover out-of-pocket drug costs shows you’re genuinely committed to their well-being, personally and professionally. 

Out-of-pocket expenses increase yearly for almost one-third of Americans who are prescribed drugs. Reimbursing for these upticks can help make medical expenses more manageable. This lets employees focus more on work and less on stressful costs that are out of their control.

7. Create Pet-Friendly Policies

Offering pet insurance is a great perk, but companies can also take pet-friendly policies a step further. For example, you can consider granting flexible work arrangements to employees who foster pets, volunteer at shelters, or care for aging or ailing animals. 

One way to do this is with PTO add-ons that accommodate commitments to pets in need. 

Ways to create a pet-friendly workplace:

  • Adapting schedules so workers can care for their animals.
  • Allowing leave when adopting pets.
  • Letting therapy animals visit the office.
  • Offering opportunities for staff to volunteer at a local animal shelter.
  • Providing pet insurance and pet-wellness reimbursement accounts.
  • Permitting bereavement leave during the loss of a pet.

8. Maintain Flexibility for Remote Work

Many companies have embraced remote work for traditionally office-based employees. Even outside of corporate offices, physicians have turned to telehealth options and encouraged patients to receive care through virtual appointments when possible. Remote working, when done well, can help your home healthcare agency beat the competition, deliver the best care, and elevate staff and client engagement and satisfaction – all positively impacting your bottom line. While some industries may be looking to get back to the office after the pandemic, offering continued remote work flexibility is a perk that many employees – and their patients – may appreciate.

Retain, Engage, and Attract Great Employees in Your Home Healthcare Agency. 

Although these suggestions just scratch the surface of employers’ innovative work perks, they are certainly worth considering. After all, the goal is to support employees, boost engagement, improve culture, and attract top talent.

We understand that integrating these perks into your home healthcare agency is not just about offering benefits but about building a culture that values and supports every member of your team. By focusing on these innovative perks, your home healthcare agency can enhance its employee retention strategy, foster a positive workplace culture, and ultimately, ensure the provision of high-quality care to your clients. Recruiting and hiring have evolved significantly in recent years, and the home healthcare industry has been particularly vulnerable to these changes. Embracing these changes with intentionality and forward-thinking can set your agency apart. Here are the Top 3 Recruiting Mistakes High-Turnover Industries Make.