Millennials are different from other generations in the workplace because of their age, maturity and the times in which they grew up. Their values, their technology and communication methods sometimes conflict with older generations. The common result is reduced engagement, less productivity and more turnover.
In fact, 66% of millennials plan to leave their employer in the next four years, and 25% see themselves elsewhere within a year according to Deloitte’s Global Millennials survey.
Let’s consider how the senior care industry can appeal to the next generation of caregivers.
Get the ‘deal’ right
It’s important for home care providers to explain what they are offering to their potential employees, but also what employees can expect in return.
A competitive hourly wage is critical to be considered as a viable employer. In a context where competition for caregivers pushes wages up, don’t assume yours are still competitive. Check what other agencies offer to new hires and lead the pack as much as possible.
Think creatively about reward strategies and what motivates millennials. For example, featuring on your agency website the video testimonial of a caregiver is a nice shout out for your best caregivers. Survey your employees and ask them what rewards are motivating to them.
Millennials are attracted to the prospect of customizing their benefits. Some will want more personal time. Others will like the prospect of more income with overtime opportunity.
Let them learn
Millennials are young. They need to grow their work and life skills. That’s why they judge their employers in part on the quality of the training received. That training comes in the form of in-service hours, access to online training and on-the-job coaching.
As they start accumulating work experience, millennials also seek career development opportunities. Consider creating a progression path for caregivers. Mirroring the system of apprenticeship, some agencies have formulated a formal progression: junior caregiver, caregiver, experienced caregiver, and caregiver mentor. Don’t forget to review the job descriptions to reflect the increased level of knowledge and skills. Along the progression also comes the opportunity to higher wages.
This is great for retention too! Employees hired without experienced and trained in-house stay longer with their employer than those who come with prior experience. In other words, the caregivers you train are more likely to stay longer with your agency. Well thought-out HR systems reinforce each other.
Measure your successes. Track the tenure of caregivers and correlate their years of service with hours of training and mentoring received. This is the “cherry on top.” Although data tracking can be cumbersome, it really helps fine tune your recipe for success to retain your caregivers, millennials and otherwise.
Integrating and engaging millennials in the workplace can feel like introducing a new technology: there’s a big learning curve. Those who get it right will create a competitive advantage and ensure the survival of their agency.