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Creating a Learning Plan for Your Caregivers

08-09-2022
Nadia Hercules

It’s no surprise that training and development go hand in hand with turnover and retention – the first 90 days of a caregiver’s employment with an agency truly matter.  

According to Home Care Pulse’s 2021 Home Care Benchmarking Study, caregiver turnover costs agencies, on average, about $1,600 per bad hire. This study also found that while the average turnover rate was 65.2% in 2020, 80% of that turnover happened in the first 90 days. Ok – so let’s say you get the right caregivers in the door – it’s then time to onboard and acclimate them into your agency. But according to a staggering statistic from Gallup, only 12% of employees believe their company’s onboarding programs adequately trained them for their roles, leaving 88% feeling inadequately trained. And to further drive this point home,  

SHRM – the Society for Human Resource Management – has found that 69% of employees are more likely to stay in a role for 3 years if they experience great onboarding. 

We can all do the math on what the potential dollars lost within a single agency might be, so a major focus for all agencies should be finding and implementing practical ways to impact turnover, especially in the early months. And in home care, one of the best ways to minimize turnover is by having a successful training program that provides your caregivers with opportunities to learn what they need to provide great care. 

So, let’s start at the very beginning with how home care agencies can create a learning plan. 

How To Create a Learning Plan 

Step 1: Determine Compliance and Clinical Requirements 

You want to determine all compliance and clinical requirements and – if applicable – any certifications that are needed. Just like any good recipe, it all starts with the ingredients. What types of training plans does your agency need? Most of the time, agencies need more than just one standard plan.  

Types of plans may include: 

      •  New caregiver orientation 
      • Caregiver upskilling  
      • Advanced certifications or designations 

 You want to map all state requirements to the course materials to ensure you’re compliant with all regulations. If you’re building out a state certification program, look at your client population and determine what trainings are most applicable to them. 

For example, if your agency services patients with dementia or if you have a large population of clients with traumatic brain injuries, you definitely want to upskill your caregivers to meet the needs of those clients. In other words, train for the needs of your clients, and you will be helping your caregivers to meet those needs and provide the best care. 

Step 2: Set Goals for Your Learners and Yourself 

A great way to encourage learning is by setting goals for your caregivers. These goals should be micro goals that are easy to achieve so they can follow along.  

The goals you should set for yourself are different from that of your caregivers. Your overall goal should include a particular percentage of course completion by your workforce within a defined timeline. Also, think about items like: 

      • Are you going to pay your caregivers to complete their learning?  
      • Are you going to give them any types of incentives?  
      • Do you want to gamify the process with crowns or badges or even rewards as they set and complete their goals? 

Step 3: Assign Training 

There are different modalities of learning – you can have in-person training, online training, hybrid training . . . you get the idea. Technology adoption plays an important part here. Also remember, your workforce is not unlike a classroom setting where there are different types of learners, like visual versus verbal. When you assign training, you should make sure you don’t have just one type of learning style covered. This will keep your caregivers interested and focused, and they will be able to retain more of the important trainings you assign. 

Step 4: Track Progress 

Make sure that the caregivers you are training are compliant with their training and are finishing on time. The old adage, “what gets measured, gets done,” applies here. Your caregivers will need to be reminded. After all, days can get busy, and people can get distracted. Friendly reminders go a long way. 

Step 5: Encourage Usage 

There are many ways to encourage usage. For example, you can use gamification to make learning more enjoyable and easier to process, rather than having caregivers read a manual that can be dry and unappealing.  

Check in with your caregivers and ask them: 

      • Which training modules are your favorite and why? 
      • What were the most impactful trainings and why? 

This way, you get a sense for what they are finding valuable, both in content and in style, and can gain insight into which additional learning plans may work best for them in the future. 

Step 6: Assess, Evaluate, and Reflect Frequently 

If there is one thing that is a guarantee, it is that state and federal compliance requirements will continue to change, thus making the need to evaluate training an ongoing process. Be ready to adjust your learning plan accordingly to make sure your agency stays in compliance. Don’t forget, compliance is important, but having a pulse on which trainings are making an impact will also better prepare you and your caregivers to serve your clients. 

Interested in learning management software with the features described above but don’t know where to start? Find out more about Viventium Learning powered by Nevvon on our Learning Management page or by registering for our webinar “An Overview of Viventium Learning Powered by Nevvon.” 

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