by Connor Kunz, Home Care Pulse
Want to step up your compensation but can’t afford to pay much more? Providing the right benefits for caregivers might be the solution you’re looking for.
In past blogs, we’ve often discussed the importance of a well-rounded approach to caregiver retention. Arguably the most important factor in your retention strategy is the compensation package of wages and benefits you offer to your caregivers.
You might be groaning as you read this; you’re probably all-too-familiar with the heavy competition for wages and the high costs of increasing them.
Fortunately, while finances and the reality of your situation might restrict your options to pay caregivers significantly more, you can use a strategically designed benefits plan to supplement your wages and stay competitive. Offering benefits that are valuable to your caregivers, tailored to their needs, and (in a few instances) fun or creative enough to stick out to potential applicants will go a long way toward strengthening your recruitment and retention efforts.
We’ve compiled a list of potential benefits to help you consider additional options that you might offer to your caregivers. Some of these are ones you should strongly consider incorporating in your agency; others may not be feasible or advantageous based on your circumstances. We’ve included a very wide variety of benefits we’ve heard of home care agencies and other companies using to give you as many options as possible to consider; it’s up to you to evaluate which ones are appropriate for the needs, size, and circumstances of your agency.
Home care agencies around the nation are ramping up their benefits plans to stay ahead of the competition and respond to caregiver shortages. What will you include in your strategic benefits plan?
Benefits that Caregivers Frequently Ask For
Based on the thousands of interviews that Home Care Pulse continually conducts with caregivers throughout the country, these are some of the top benefits that caregivers want:
- Paid time off
- Mileage reimbursements or gas cards for commuting
- Performance bonuses
- Certification training paid for by the agency
- Paid sick leave
- Flexible schedules
Health and Wellness Benefits
Most companies invest in benefits for their employees’ health and wellness. Besides showing appreciation and attracting high-quality employees, these help to increase consistency with clients by keeping your caregivers healthy.
7. Health insurance plans
8. Supplemental insurance (vision, dental)
9. Training on topics like stress management and mental health
10. Gym memberships
11. Company fitness programs or challenges
12. Life insurance
13. Sponsor employee participation in 5k/10k/marathon/other fitness event
14. Maternity leave/paternity leave
Helping caregivers with their finances leave a mark on your balance sheet, but they’ll also make more than a little dent in your turnover. Consider what’s realistic for your agency, but keep in mind that reducing caregiver turnover saves you from paying $2,600 to replace a caregiver.
15. Paid overtime
16. 401(k) match and other retirement plans
17. 1.5x holiday pay
18. Financial management courses (trainings or online)
19. Tuition assistance
20. Cell phone plans
Employee events build unity and pride in your company while helping your caregivers feel appreciated.
21. Rent out movie theater or bowling alley for caregivers and plus ones
22. Community service activities
23. Free food at orientation, trainings, open houses, or other meetings
24. Company parties at holidays
Investing in the professional development of your caregivers will help to make them more confident and capable with your clients as well as demonstrate that you are prioritizing their success.
25. Go-at-your-own-speed online training
26. Hands-on training
27. Advancement opportunities
28. Longevity bonuses
29. Caregiver mentor program
30. Training on topics like interpersonal communication and time management
31. Company access to professional caregiver training databases
32. Arrange to offer internship credit or experience with local colleges and CNA schools, and offer additional or personalized training to caregivers working for internship credit
Advertising a benefit that’s unusual, creative, or funny can make your agency stick out on job postings and give something for your caregivers to talk to their friends about. Use these to supplement larger offerings and round out your plan.
33. Discounts at local businesses (movie tickets, oil changes, haircuts, meals at restaurants, etc.)
34. Bonuses based on client satisfaction
35. Paid time off to volunteer
36. Caregiver Satisfaction Program (collect anonymous feedback to ensure caregivers’ needs are being met)
37. Employee recognition program
39. Employee referral program (get paid to refer friends to work)
40. Lunch with the boss
41. Client-nominated outstanding care award
42. Employee of the month awards
43. Paid day off for your birthday
44. Raffle—positive client comments about caregivers get the caregiver’s name put in
45. Perfect attendance bonus for shifts (separate award for training attendance)
46. Paid lunch with other caregivers and/or caregiver mentors
47. Discounts at local daycare centers