Published Tuesday 10th March 2020

The level of turnover in the social care industry is on the rise, and it is recognised as one of the most difficult challenges for companies in the sector. Currently, it is estimated that the turnover rate of social care staff is at around 31% and is rising.

As with any sector, having a high turnover can result in loss of time and money. Skills for Care have stated that the average cost of hiring and onboarding each new care worker is estimated at around £3,642. With figures calculated like this, it is appreciated that a vast quantity of expenditure in the social care industry is being spent on recruitment.

Something that should be taken into consideration is that the social care industry is made up of a large number of different employers and social care workers often work for an agency. By working for an agency, it is common that they will change where they work relatively regularly, which could contribute to the turnover crisis.

Furthermore, the industry has always struggled to some degree because of its bad reputation. With the job having low status, pay, training and career progression opportunities, it isn’t very easy to attract people to the job who are willing to stay.

However, the crisis still remains, and it is essential that the industry tries to tackle the problem and begin to retain staff.

Improve Levels of Support from the Start of Employment

As there is an increasing need for social workers, when people are newly employed, they can sometimes become neglected. This is primarily due to the lack of staff and that those who are already working in the sector have little time to provide to those newly joining. As support is regarded as an important factor in employment, especially in the first three months, if people feel overlooked, then they could be put off from remaining in the position.

The Good Care Group asked leavers to take part in an exit survey, and it was found that the overall response was that they weren’t supported enough. Some points that were raised by the participants were that reviews should be conducted at six and 16 weeks into their employment so that they can be provided with some feedback and that they should be assigned a manager that can act as a support contact.

Research has found that the majority of care workers leave their role in the first six months of employment. It could be easy to assume that this is due to increased stress levels and a lack of confidence, as well as the time being their least knowledgeable.

It would make sense that if more support was offered to care workers when they start their employment, then they would be more inclined to stay on for a more extended period of time. Additionally, providing managers with the chance to identify if anyone is showing signs of struggling and then allowing them to assist with improving them could help toward reducing staff turnover.

Offering Training and Development

A way in which to improve the confidence and knowledge of new social care staff is to provide plenty of training and a development scheme. The same Good Care Group exit survey found that 94% of the participants suggested that investing in learning and development would improve retention.

Having a clear and well thought out scheme could work well and encourage new staff to stay on. The same survey also found that 81% suggested involving colleagues in decision making would also help with improving staff turnover. Offering the chance to get involved and being part of the company can make employees feel more valuable and thus, enjoy their job more.

What is the Impact of Staff Retention Problems?

If the social care industry is having to spend large quantities of money on recruitment, then it can take funding away from other areas. For those who work in the industry, if there are issues with retaining staff, then they can become overworked and carry a lot of pressure. For those using the care service, they can experience problems with the quality of care. As social workers are often overworked, they are given very small time slots to care for each individual.

While care staff may be getting the job done in this short space of time, they are missing out on building a relationship with the individuals. Understanding each individual is critical to the role as many utilising the service are vulnerable or have special needs. Individuals can begin to feel disconnected from their care staff and often neglected.

Here at Expense Reduction Analysts, we have worked in the healthcare industry for many years, and we understand the importance of retaining staff.

Our healthcare cost reduction consultants can work with your company and help you save money in a range of cost areas. The money saved can then be used to invest in new training programmes for new social care workers, helping toward improving the turnover of staff.

If you’re interested in discovering what our healthcare industry specialists could do for you, why not get in contact with us today? We would be more than happy to discuss your requirements and help you improve your business.