How AccentCare Is Using Communication, Career Development To Address Caregiver Burnout
As the home-based care industry continues to evolve, enhancing the well-being of employees and addressing caregiver burnout remains a top priority for providers.
It’s not uncommon for caregivers to experience moments of feeling unsupported or undervalued. That can often lead to a sense of disconnection within the company from the bottom to the top.
To help that disconnect, providers like AccentCare have focused on retention initiatives that are based around communication within the organization.
“Our annual employee listening channel provides us with really great data on what our employees want,” Kayla Dowdle, director of employee experience at AccentCare, told Home Health Care News. “The biggest factors that came up were really around growth and development and what opportunities we had for both.”
The Dallas-based AccentCare is one of the largest home health and hospice providers in the country. It also provides personal home care, palliative care and other home-based care services. Its footprint includes 250 locations across 31 states and the District of Columbia, and it serves more than 200,000 individuals each year.
Understanding what employees want out of their career at AccentCare has been a major leveraging tool for Dowdle and her staff over the past few years. Being proactive instead of reactive in today’s staffing environment is key.
“We’ve focused a lot on making sure that we’re truly making moves in each of those areas that our employees identify as important,” Dowdle said. “When we see a specific trend, we’re acting on it. And when we do, we’re telling out employees what we’re doing so that they feel valued and heard. That’s so critical because then they’re more engaged in their work when they know we’re listening and responding.”
The desire for career advancement within AccentCare has been a major talking point for most employees today, Dowdle said. The leadership staff has picked up on those trends through employee surveys as well as in the onboarding process and even in exit interviews.
“People really have joined this company because of the opportunities we have, not just for internal education but also career advancement and the different tracks for their roles,” Laurie Sands, senior director of talent development at AccentCare, told HHCN. “We’ve really focused a lot of our time and attention on the leadership side because we have so much interest from our employees to continue growing through the organization. We want to promote as many as we can and keep all that knowledge and experience ein-house.”
One of the bigger initiatives AccentCare has put together is tying the onboarding and company curriculum to the company’s values and leadership competencies.
Sands has been dedicated to ensuring alignment in communication between caregivers and C-suite executives.
“That’s how we’ve been able to expand these initiatives across multiple levels of the company,” Sands said. “We’re all speaking the same language. It’s progressive. So the further an employee moves up in our company, the more context that employee has on how the business is run — from our first time leaders all the way up to our senior executives.”
Talent evaluation is a tough business and is rarely a one-size-fits-all process. Company-wide communication and a buy-in from people on all levels of the organization is one way AccentCare is addressing the issue.
“We have these high potential employees and talent initiatives that we’ve put in place to really assess and better understand what talent we have and where they have similar strengths and capabilities,” Sands said.