Involving caregivers in promoting your caregiver agency has multiple benefits for your workforce. If you have not done it yet, consider it for the new year. It’s a great way to build up your caregiver workforce, elevate them, encourage engagement. Ultimately it will help with retention too.
How To Involve Caregivers In Promoting Your Caregiver Agency
Feeling ambivalent about using caregivers to promote your agency? The truth is Caregivers are already your ambassador in the community. They wear your logo-ed shirts. They talk about their work with family and friends. When caregivers feel good about their work and like their agency, they spread positive vibes on your behalf.
Caregivers can be terrific ambassadors at job fairs and community events. Many caregivers will perceive this chance as a perk and it builds loyalty towards the agency. Having caregivers represent your agency in the community puts a face to the care provided by your agency. When caregivers make a good impression it reflects positively on your agency.
Train Your Caregivers For Success
Take the fear of marketing. Most people don’t like to sell. Don’t come out all guns blazing asking caregivers to become “marketers” or “sell” the agency. Instead, put the focus on building relationships with potential clients in the community. Show them how to recognize the need for home care. This is often expressed by adult children or third-party referral sources (hospital discharge admin, social workers, medical staff).
Caregivers don’t replace marketers. They work as an extension. Some of my clients include, in the job description of the office staff, the expectation to promote the agency in the community.
Train your caregivers so they feel invested in promoting the agency. It will also build their confidence that they can do a good job. It will help them be successful. Don’t assume your caregivers know the language of caregiving. Make sure they understand the difference between home care (non-skilled care) and home health (skilled care). The difference between Medicare and Medicaid is often misunderstood. Consider all the words and acronyms used at your agency. Include those in the training so caregivers become fluent in the lingo of home care.
Encourage role-playing of interactions caregivers might encounter in the community. Have them practice what to say (in their own words) when they are asked about their work and their agency. It will go a long way to build their confidence and project this confidence to potential referrals.
Reward Good Work
Reward referrals when they happen. “Make a big deal, go over the top when caregivers bring potential clients even if they don’t become “clients” recommends Cheryl Hammons of Veterans Care Coordination. “It might seem silly the first time but it will make an impact and caregivers will do it again.” When we make a big deal out of it, employees will come to understand that it is a big deal and will continue doing it.
Rewarding referrals can be done with a cash bonus or an incentive (gift card, extra PTO hours). $100 cash bonus when the client stays for 60+ days. Agencies can be creative. Try something and see how it works, see what caregivers say. Tweak until you find the right rewards for your caregivers.
Caregivers understand that more referrals mean more hours for them. Many in the industry want to elevate caregivers to a professional level rather than a disposable resource. By involving caregivers in promoting your agency, you create a sense of responsibility and a stake in the success of your agency, you will increase caregivers’ job satisfaction and improve retention. By training them, caregivers will perceive this as an investment in their career. In this environment of very high turnover, investing in caregivers is a necessity.
Have you registered for my new online course Momentum on How To Crack The Caregiver Code in Recruitment and Retention? I have teamed up with Steve The Hurricane to bring you a combination of online self-study material and live sessions. We start on January 12th and there are just a few seats left.
Learn more and register for the course here.