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A group of senior living staff sitting around a table discussing why they need training and the importance of it

Why Not Training Senior Living Staff Is Not an Option

When was the last time your employees participated in training of some kind? Chances are, all of your employees went through mandatory training during their onboarding process; some of your long-time staff may have even done a “refresher” course recently. Still, it’s possible that you’re not realizing the full potential of hands-on, well-rounded employee training, and the impact that ongoing employee training can have on turnover and residents’ health outcomes.

Caregivers Training Caregivers
Experts agree that quality employee training is absolutely key to the ultimate success of a senior living community. The training process should ideally begin as soon as a team member starts their first day on the job — and it should continue, in some form or another, for the duration of their employment.

In fact, when caregivers have been with a particular community long enough, they can be the ones to start helping to train new caregivers, Murry Mercier, PointClickCare’s Senior Living Customer Success Manager, noted in a 2016 article. Mercier, who has more than 10 years of experience operating senior living communities, explains that, “Each one should teach one…If the staff feel well trained, they feel better prepared to do their jobs well.”

Having current caregivers train new hires has other benefits as well. Long-time staff feel trusted and valued by management, and those feelings are often prerequisites for any employee sticking with a job. Allowing caregivers to train new hires creates relationships between teammates who will likely work together on regular basis. It’s great to have friends at work, and it’s incentive to stick around.

Mercier also notes that offering existing staff opportunities to sharpen their skills, and learn new things, is critical to their job satisfaction and ability to provide quality care to residents. This helps ensure a caregiver’s job won’t become too routine or mundane — a situation that could lead to them leaving for a different employer.

Employee Engagement Boost
If taken seriously, proper (and ongoing) staff training can lead to increased employee engagement — and, consequently, lower staff turnover.

The definition of employee engagement is: a measurement of an employee’s emotional commitment to an organization that it takes into account the amount of discretionary effort an employee expends on behalf of the organization.

Employee engagement is important in any industry, but especially in senior living, according to Mercier.

“When it comes to staffing strategies for senior living, my number one tip is to make sure that you’re engaging the staff that you already have,” he says. “From there, only good things will come — but you have to make sure you’re engaging staff correctly.”

Now is the time to invest in assessment-based solutions that will enable you to take a hard look at the specific employee engagement information you want to see, allowing your organization to gain better insights that permit more strategic decision-making and help guarantee improved outcomes.

To learn more about the importance of employee engagement, check out Three Engagement Strategies for Leaders: Get in Touch With Your Employees.

February 22, 2018