Would you like to improve your client outcomes? Have you had any incidents in the past year? Is your caregiver turnover rate high?
If yes, you might want to consider implementing a skills week at your home care organization.
It involves time, effort and money, but the return on investment is undeniable and can enhance many aspects of your business.
What is a Skills Week?
Block out one week a year to retrain and test your caregivers on the skills and equipment they are using in a home.
Some home care organizations recommend calling it a “Skills Fair” and make it a fun experience with added elements, such as music, games, snacks or a raffle for a giveaway. Durable medical equipment (DME) companies have been to known to temporarily donate equipment for testing and will sometimes include training by their representatives.
The Skills Week should be a mandatory skills check-off for this initiative to be effective. Set a schedule of when each staff member should be at the office that week and plan around client visits.
Who Should be Tested?
All caregivers should be tested.
Even the most experienced caregiver will benefit from retraining, and retraining will also aid in identifying areas of improvement across the organization. Some resistance may be expected, but it’s good to keep in mind that many healthcare professionals must legally participate in continued education. Testing for skills is no different.
How is There a Return on Investment?
Think of Skills Week as your opportunity for quality assurance. You can guarantee your caregivers are properly trained when you send them into the field because you personally tested their skills. This will lower your risk of incidents occurring while also improving client outcomes because you have set a standard of skill for all your caregivers.
The Skills Week will cost money. Retraining will cost money. The financial return on investment is more long term, but still there. Keep in mind that good caregiving skills lead to happy clients, and word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. Properly training your caregivers annually will lead to happier clients who give positive reviews, garnering your home care organization more referrals.
We know that training leads to retention. This investment in your caregivers’ skills will build loyalty, a return on investment most organizations struggle with. Caregivers will appreciate your interest in their development and the opportunity to learn new skills, opening up career paths for them. An organization that invests in the lives of their staff will in turn have a staff that invests in their work.
Implementing a Skills Week can seem daunting, so it’s important keep in mind that other home care organizations have succeeded with this and felt the benefits from this endeavor.
For more tips on a successful Skills Week, watch this popular LinkedIn Live.
Axxess Home Care, a home care software, includes training tools and a matching criteria scheduling feature, so you can prioritize caregivers with clients based on skills, disposition and preference.