As important as getting new door in the door is making sure an organization keeps valuable employees for the long-term. Retention strategies are key for building the aging services workforce of the future.

The following links are retention strategies and best practices organizations can implement to keep the personnel they need to care for Iowa’s older adults.

Orientation and Onboarding

Studies show that the first few weeks of a new employee’s time at an organization can have an incredible impact on retention rates. Building a system that makes a new employee feel welcomed and listened to can pay dividends in the long run and create a more cohesive work environment.

Mentorship Programs 

To help bridge the gap for both team orientation and on the job skills, creating a mentorship program for new and existing staff is a great way to build a coherent and stable staff. Veteran staff feel appreciated for their knowledge and seniority and new staff find a welcoming and friendly face who can help ease their transition in to their new career.

Employee Evaluations 

Feedback from your frontline staff is essential for maintaining high moral and a stable work environment. Creating a system where employee’s complaints can be heard and validated is important for resolving conflict and building a better team atmosphere.

Team Building

Working toward a common goal is a central tenant of the non-profit difference in health care. Team building exercises and company events can be a good way to reinforce the missions of service and create better connections among staff members.

Leadership Development

A key factor to retaining staff is a good manager of people. Staff who are led by a leader who creates a positive working environment and is fair in their management will often be a deciding factor in whether to stay with an organization. In aging services, leaders come at all levels, from CEOs and Administrators to nurses leading CNAs. All levels of aging services staff need leadership training.

Professional Development and Advancement

All people want to succeed and have room to grow in an organization. Clear pathways to success help keep staff motivated and engaged. A defined career ladder is essential for retaining staff. Further, opportunities for advancement in education can endear a staff member to your organization for the long term. 

Recognition, Awards, and Incentives

Recognizing the leaders among your organization is essential. From nominating staff for a LeadingAge Iowa award to financial incentives for good work, there are numerous opportunities to reward your staff for a job well done.