Enhancing Employment in Long Term Care:
A Guide to Retention
Growth and Opportunities
Training -- Skills for Coping with Life
- Provide educational inservices, with paid guest speakers, relative to personal life. Focus on topics such as stress management, parenting, budgeting, loss, death, family conflict, assertiveness, and motivation.
- Provide programs specific to women's needs and women's issues.
- Provide various modes of training (visual impact) and activity.
- Provide onsite speakers.
- Provide the opportunity for offsite classes at no cost to the employee.
- Make connections with technical schools.
- Utilize an employee assistance program (EAP) and encourage its use.
- Provide a good explanation of the benefit package.
- Training should be geared to employee learning needs and disabilities. Consider providing audio tapes and video tapes for reinforcement as well as providing additional one-on-one training as needed.
- Invite families to attend these educational offerings.
- Provide employees with professional career assessment; encourage employees to pursue interests; help employees determine their abilities.
- Set up special interest groups where discussion could take place on breaks or outside of work; examples include wellness programs, budget planning.
- Support groups before or after work; brown bag lunches.
Training -- Professional Development
- Provide educational inservices, with paid guest speakers, relative to professional development. Focus on topics such as teamwork, facility goals, conflict resolution, cultural awareness, and communication.
- Seek employee input for facility goal setting.
- Host special theme days to educate employees about cultural diversity.
- Conduct role playing sessions for which employees play the parts of residents and family members. This is excellent for a resident rights inservice. It allows you an opportunity to model acceptable responses to both appropriate and inappropriate resident and family interactions.
- Create a career ladder; post jobs and in-house promotion opportunities; team leader positions.
Educate in Dealing with Difficult Behavior
- Have nurses do role playing and have the CNAs critique them.
- Incorporate a psychologist or a social worker from a geriatric program in your training.
- Rotate the assignment of difficult residents.
Improving Organizational Skills
- Offer training in organizational skills.
- Provide clear assignments.
- Cluster assignments for better efficiency.
- Provide needed equipment in good repair.
- Have efficient employees train others on how they organize their tasks.
Written Growth Material
- Develop and publish a VIP newsletter.
- Share the Brown University Newsletter as appropriate.
- Subscribe to a geriatric newsletter and share it with your employees.
- Develop growth-oriented check inserts and send them with your employees' pay checks.
- Provide geriatric magazines.
- Provide a staff library.
- Encourage employees to provide and edit informational material to share with other employees.
- Purchase monthly mini-lessons dealing with care of the elderly.
- As you consider educational programs, include topics that enhance personal life.
- Offer tuition support for offsite educational programs.
- Allow an employee to attend an offsite program as a reward for good performance.
- Provide scholarships for continued education in any health care field.
- Suggest your auxiliary provide scholarships.
- Suggest family groups contribute to your school fund.
- Seek memorial contributions for scholarships.
- Support staff fund raisers for scholarships.
Employee Assistance Programs
- Offer facility-sponsored counseling services. Examples include six free hours of counseling for each employee after the 90-day probationary period, pastoral counseling for staff, and/or small group rap sessions with supervisors.
- Provide informational material regarding parenting, divorce, drug, alcohol abuse, wellness topics, and financial planning.
- Provide tuition assistance and link its payback to continued service.
- Include tuition assistance as a benefit.
- Pay for textbooks.
- Contract with a specific school for lower rates for your employees.
Educate Employees in How to Accept New Employees
- Develop and establish preceptorship or partnership programs.
- Conduct preceptor/buddy training; always work with the same trainer initially.
- Assign a mentor to be a personal advocate for each new employee.
- Assign each new employee a resource person for several weeks.
- Provide one month of orientation for new employees.
- Teach managers/supervisors to give clear direction and expectations and then how to respond when an assignment is done correctly or not done.
- Instruct managers/supervisors in employee role requirements.
- Stress programs on attitudes toward other employees.
- Devote a portion of each employee meeting to management issues. Do role playing.
- Utilize a RAP small group session structure and encourage open communication.
Specify Staff Responsibility
- Have a good overall organization of the work.
- Have good written job descriptions.
- Provide unit specific assignment sheets and include special duties.
- Develop a written protocol for resident cares available on each unit.
- Dedicate special inservices to learn about other roles.
- Periodically schedule a time for a few hours of job exchange.
Provide Reasons and Rationale for Duties
- Providing clear direction with rationale for each task should be your standard operating procedure.
- Feature regularly scheduled inservice and training programs.
- Conduct annual skill testing.
- Videotape live presentations to replay for those who were unable to attend.
- Provide programs on coping skills to help employees adapt to a rapidly changing industry.
- Establish a career ladder for your CNAs. Consider steps for each of the following positions: preceptor, medication aide, ward clerk, data entry, and restorative aide.
- Offer training for specialized units.
- Develop criteria for each level of the CNA career ladder.
- Have a charge CNA for each shift. This provides an opportunity to receive CNA feedback through one individual and to get new information to CNAs through one individual.
- Promote from within.
- Ask one of your employees to speak at a high school health occupations class.
- Create a video describing the role of the person you hope to hire. Utilize this video for pre-employment purposes. Require job applicants to view the video prior to hiring them.
- Incorporate employees at every level in your recruitment program at local career fairs.
- Provide shadowing opportunities in addition to your verbal explanation of the CNA and other long term care professions.
Post Job Openings
- Post job openings and update the listing weekly.
- Search out qualified applicants within your facility.
- Encourage promotions from within.
Trainer Bonus or Reward
- Pay a different rate for trainers as part of your career ladder.
- Pay a bonus at the end of the training period.
- Allow employees to develop standards for themselves in the areas of inservice, attendance, scheduling, policies, and job routines.
- Allow for peer input when conducting performance evaluations.
- Encourage all employees to provide positive feedback.
- Select an Employee of the Month or celebrate special staff recognition days.
- Include line staff on facility committees.
- Create a staff council for suggestions and problem solving.
- Integrate the CNA as part of the resident care planning team.
- Encourage employee participation in your quality improvement program.
- Insist all employees show common courtesy related to the basics of life.
- Offer training for specialty programs.
- Provide literature and guest speakers on self-esteem.
Allow Day to Show Family and Friends Employee Duties
- Have family members play the role of the resident for sensitivity training; talk about how they felt.
- Host an open house and provide a demonstration of what the CNAs and other employees do.
- Feature a "scatter board" of residents' interaction with staff.
- Feature employees in your local newspaper.
- Establish a program to allow a child to come to work with his/her parent.
Promote Good Health
- Include training and tools as part of your employee assistance program (EAP).
- Conduct health screenings onsite.
- Provide wellness programs onsite and off.
- Re-educate your employees about body mechanics.
- Develop a back program and feature it at a work retraining session.
- Insist on pre-work stretches.
Chapter One: Good Wages and Working Conditions
Chapter Two: Scheduling Options
Chapter Three: Recognition
Chapter Four: Feeling In on Things
Chapter Five: Fringe Benefits and Other Incentives
WAHSA 204 South Hamilton Street Madison, WI 53703
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