Busy Working On Recruitment And Retention Of Employees? Maybe The Secret Is Who Is Working To Keep You?

How many nights are you awake trying to figure out the recruitment and retention puzzle? You changed your benefit package, tried sign-on bonuses, raised salaries and still employees leave. Are you completely frustrated facing Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) and more budget cuts? Are you feeling burned out as an owner and/or administrator? Maybe it is time to take a look at you and where you are in taking care of the person responsible for everyone else.

What’s Going On With You?

On a scale of 1-10, how engaged are you in your agency? Compare today to a year ago, 5 years ago and 10 years ago. What is the difference? Have you moved agencies more than once in that timeframe? The thought process is that we are there to take care of everyone else as well as the agency itself. That’s what we are paid to do, right? Well, yes and no.

If you are at wit’s end, then how can you possibly be effective to to keep your employees engaged? That isn’t a judgment, but a legitimate moment to step back and ask who is taking care of you? If you have a very engaged board of directors, then you may have someone actively working on your recruitment and retention. If you don’t, then you need to recognize your own needs to make sure you are as effective as possible for the long haul.

Do you have employees with an “A” scorecard who now consistently perform at a “C” level? Ask yourself what has changed? If they are coming into the same job and same conditions, same leadership etc., then something else is happening. Normally, we take the time and ask. We learn of things that may not have anything to do with the job that still affect it. It is usually situational and short term. These are things as administrators we work through with employees. What about your situation? My team are called into agencies where the leadership is frustrated whether it is financial or clinical or both. Agencies aren’t calling a consultant if everything is going well. You try to do everything not to pile more responsibility on everyone else often at your own expense. Have you evaluated your own breaking point?

Who’s Looking Into Your Recruitment And Retention?

This is the big question, right? And just like employees, it may not be about the money. There may not be enough money for you to miss another child’s ballgame or family get together. So, what do you do to find the balance?

  1. Disconnect when you aren’t at work: This is the biggest “easier said than done” statement of them all. However, it is the most important. Ask yourself what happens to your agency if you don’t check your phone and email for the next 8 hours? Do you fail your agency if you don’t answer every email that comes through during the evening? How many times are you interrupted by things that could wait until the next morning? Here’s the tougher question: How much of it do you do to yourself?
  2. Have limits as to what you jump and run to do: You will not regret time spent with family, but you may regret vacation time talking with the office unnecessarily. Disconnect and develop reasonable boundaries so you don’t end up resenting going to work in the morning.
  3. Maybe you need additional vacation time: Let’s face it, the job isn’t the same as it was 5, 10, or 20 years ago. If you sit at the same vacation time you did 10 years ago, maybe it is time for more. Maybe the ability to disconnect hinges on the ability to truly get away from your physical location. Go somewhere with a different time zone. It doesn’t mean you aren’t available to employees, it just means they may be more willing to problem solve before calling if it is 4 AM your time.
  4. Get the right person to cover in your absence: We see a lot of agencies where the administrator and the back-up work well together. If your number 2 in charge doesn’t have autonomy and confidence to make decisions independently, then you don’t have a good number 2. Your back-up administrator needs to be confident to make what decisions are within his or her wheelhouse. If you go away for a week and get called several times, then you need to work with those in charge in your absence. There are certainly times where contact is necessary, but it needs to be the exception and not the rule. Successful recruitment and retention strategies for your agency have to consider you in the process too.
  5. What do you do to change your focus? I have to admit that this one was a tough one for me. How many times do you find yourself engaged in something else and realize you are right back to work in your mind? It is one thing to disconnect from something physical like your phone or your laptop, but a whole different story when it comes to your brain. Find what works for you. Podcasts (that have nothing to do with work), guided meditation, exercise, music, and time with friends/family all take you actively focusing on something else. Learning to keep your mind focused on something other than your business takes time.

Everything Starts With Operations:

You can know the regulations, have a great policy manual, maintain optimal recruitment and retention and onboarding, and yet still struggle. Being able to put the pieces together for operational efficiency and excellence is a different issue and skill set. So, understand your limitations and get the people around you that have the talents to complete the things you struggle to do well. We see it with employees everyday. Employees gravitate to the tasks they do well and thrive doing, so why would you be any different? You can have the best plan but need to have people around you that can help with the execution of it.

At Peek Consulting, we work with homecare, home health, and hospice agencies who are looking for clinical, financial, and operational solutions for their agencies. Call us today at 419-790-4454 or contact us online.