Is the Training & Development Gap Holding Your Healthcare Business Back?

gap-in-training-caregivers-sixthsensesolutionsDriven by a minimum standard of state regulations, a self-imposed standard of excellence and quality driven outcomes, Healthcare organizations often require continued education from their employees. Employees believe their employer should, therefore, take responsibility to provide this continued training and development.

However, there seems to be a gap in what healthcare businesses are currently providing and what is relevant and effective training for the caregivers. Effective training that translates into the field to fulfill the true purpose of quality-driven patient outcomes is difficult for many healthcare businesses to provide.

Not having the right training & development programs is one of the 8 most common inefficiencies in care provider entities.

In this competitive market, it is critical for healthcare businesses to provide the right training and development programs to attract and retain clients and staff members, and provide a consistent experience for everyone. Effective programs create a feedback loop of an evolving, growing workforce that not only sticks with the company but also delivers consistently on quality care and patient retention.

According to the 2018 Home Care Benchmarking Study, over 57% of caregivers who leave an agency each year do so in their first 90 days of employment. After interviewing thousands of caregivers, the evidence presented that the two of the top reasons caregivers leave their employer.

Some of the top reasons were (a) lack of training and (b) lack of communication.


Effective Training Programs Improve Job Satisfaction

Most caregivers want to grow their skill set and improve their methods of communication with their patients. If you can provide quality development programs to all your current employees and provide detailed training programs for all your new staff, you will be able to bridge the gap.

To make an effective program, their new skills need to be observed and put the test. After the training is complete, assign supervisors the task to verify each caregiver is using what they learned. This follow-through makes it possible to provide individual coaching where needed and gives you a feedback loop on whether your training programs are working.


Clear Communication Stabilizes the Business’ Reputation

Another important reason to keep training programs up-to-date is that it acts as a tool to ensure the caregiving staff is providing a consistent, premium experience for clients. Employees want feedback and it is important that you continuously communicate with both your internal and external (field) staff. Sharing relevant information on a structured schedule will keep them engaged and help make company-wide changes easier to implement.

Similarly to develop effective training programs, your communication systems will only work if you consistently provide information that is of value to them. Do not over-communicate or try to fill your weekly memo with the information they do not need. When we polled our client’s staff, we found that there was a lot of redundancies and “leftovers being reheated”. Communicating redundant information too often will have the opposite effect and disengage staff. If you are sending your notices by email, you will very quickly see that over communicating can cause fatigue and staff may stop opening, reading and responding to your messages, possibly losing value in this channel of communication.


Implementing Effective Training & Developmental Programs

Implementing the right programs for your business is a strategic process. Before overhauling, it is beneficial to get an outside perspective to review your existing efforts. Bringing in a strategic consultant helps shine a light on issues you did not even know were broken. Once you know where your training and development programs are working and not working, you can learn from that information to begin implementing a more robust, effective program for your business.

If you have additional questions or would like to work with us to start implementing effective training and developmental programs, please contact Sixth Sense Solutions.  


About the Author

Keith Freeman, MBA

A dynamic thinker with a great sense of humor, Keith Freeman, MBA, is a Strategic Consultant offering unique solutions to transform healthcare organizations such as hospitals, hospice/palliative, home health, and home care, RCFE/assisted living and skilled nursing facilities and professional healthcare staffing services that support them.

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