At Drive, we help our clients strengthen employee engagement and the result is lower turnover and improved recruitment.

By Denise Boudreau-Scott

At Drive, we help our clients strengthen employee engagement and the result is lower turnover and improved recruitment. Here are six tips to tackle the staffing crisis head-on:

  1. Start from the very beginning — Consider the experience of applying for a job. Has your organization built a culture that is excited to have them apply and makes it known that it only accepts the best, or is it one that hires anyone with a pulse? Are applicants treated the same way as touring family members and residents? 

  1. Look for the right candidates in the wrong places — Did you meet a dynamic employee at the local movie theater with a great personality who would be the perfect fit for your culture — and the field of aging services? Introduce him/her to the field and relate why he/she would thrive in your organization. You’ll be adding to your bench of the right people and chipping away at those daunting numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

  1. Hire the right managers You’ve probably heard the phrase, “People leave their supervisor, not their job.” It’s true. Bring in managerial talent who are committed to an engaged workforce, then support them through ongoing training so they are inspiring the team members you worked so hard to find. 

  1. Communicate frequently and often Lack of communication is the most frequent concern we have heard from the tens of thousands of employees we have talked to around the country. It’s not that leaders want to hide what’s happening. More often, it’s simply a case of being too busy.

    The outcome, however, results in being even busier. When people don’t know what’s going on, they make errors and fail to connect to the company vision. Worst of all, when there is a lack of information, overactive imaginations kick in to fill the void. You’ve probably done it yourself if you were left out of a meeting or were kept out of the loop on an upcoming change.

    You probably made up all sorts of justifications or explanations, most of which were negative — and far from the truth. The combined effect decreases engagement and makes it tougher to keep the right people on your team. 

  1. Listen more than you talk I personally find this one difficult. When I was an administrator, there were times when I would literally bite my inner bottom lip to keep from interjecting. It’s not easy for all of us, but it’s an art that needs to be perfected if you are serious about keeping and attracting people who are passionate about their work. 

  1. Share constant feedback In my experience, employees would actually rather receive feedback that their job performance is poor than receive no feedback at all. Make sure you tell team members when they are not doing a great job and give them a chance to improve. Focus on the positive and an employee’s strengths whenever possible and tie job performance back to the overall organizational goals.

Here’s a bonus tip! Look at your referral process. How easy is it to refer someone? Is there an incentive? What happens when someone does not get hired? So often we find that good people know good people. Tap into your people and see who they know with a specific ask.