Anyone running an adult family home or an assisted living facility knows that one of the keys to success is trained staff. Having fully trained caregivers who are capable of completing all daily caregiving tasks means putting the clients' well-being first.
But caregiving is a challenging job, and it can be difficult for people to find the motivation to finish their training, especially if they are juggling work and family life at the same time.
The basic training program for the HCA Training Certificate in Washington State is 75 hours long. There are other required and optional training too, and for some caregivers, it can be challenging to find the motivation to complete them.
Here are some ways you as their employer can inspire them to keep going.
Why Is Caregiver Training Important?
The first, most obvious reason is that training is a legal requirement for anyone looking to work in caregiving, whether in an adult family home or an assisted living facility or in the client’s home.
Only when a caregiver has fully completed their training are they able to provide the appropriate quality of care for the clients. Not only that, the knowledge and skills that come from their training allow caregivers to face all the challenges of dealing with clients and to complete their daily tasks with confidence and ease.
The whole caregiving and healthcare team functions better when all of the members have the necessary skills. When some employees are not sufficiently trained, it puts an undue burden and extra responsibilities on other team members.
One of the most common complaints among patients and their families when it comes to home care is the lack of proper training. This kind of feedback can negatively affect the reputation of your facility. After all, client satisfaction with your services is paramount to the success of your business.
How Can You Motivate Your Caregivers?
Encouraging your caregivers to complete their education benefits everyone - you, the caregiver, the rest of your team, as well as the clients in your care. Here are some practical tips on how to boost your caregivers' motivation.
Financially Enable Them to Complete Their Training
The first step is to provide financial support for training in caregiving. For a lot of people, the inability to pay for a course is the main obstacle that stands between them and the job.
Offering financial help will attract new, inexperienced candidates to the profession, and encourage already working caregivers to further their education.
Help Them Make a Plan
Starting training can be overwhelming, especially when you don't have a clear picture of all the things it entails. Your first step in motivating your caregivers should be to give them a clear picture of the training.
First of all, check that your caregivers know exactly what the training requirements for adult family homes are. It will be easier for them to start the process when they know what they need to achieve and in what time frame.
Making sure that they understand the time constraints is particularly important. Many people quit because they aren't familiar with deadlines, or because they have poor time management and cut too close to the deadline.
As someone who works with caregivers, you can give them access to resources and advice on how to best organize their time. That will help them balance the many tasks they need to complete working in home care with the demands of the training.
Help Them See a Purpose in What They Are Doing
The most powerful motivation of all is a sense of purpose. Most caregivers love to provide care, even though it can be very challenging. Taking care of elderly patients in a home care context can be very rewarding.
When a caregiver knows that they are responsible for the health and safety of their clients, this is the main reason for their commitment to the job.
Learning how to establish a good relationship with the clients can make their caregiving work more rewarding and give them a better sense of purpose.
Talk to Them About Their Progress
Sometimes the only incentive people need is someone to check in with them every once in a while. Be interested in how your caregivers' training is going without being pushy about it.
Offer gentle encouragement and praise them when they tell you about new skills they acquired or training modules they completed.
Give Them Control Over Their Time with Online Courses
The rigid structure of a traditional, in-person training can be difficult to fit into an already busy life.
Candidates can complete online courses by learning at their own pace. Instead of conforming to a schedule someone else made, they can study when they have the time during the week.
It can be in the evening, during their commute, or even on their breaks. It doesn't matter if they're not home, they can do the bulk of the work on their phone, wherever they are.
Use Technology to Make Their Lives Easier
Online home care training once again comes to the rescue. An online home care training course is convenient because most courses are optimized to work on multiple devices. This provides more flexibility without compromising the quality.
Whether your caregiver has access to the training website on a computer, or mobile devices such as a tablet or phone, they will be able to complete their training wherever they are.
Create an Atmosphere of Support
Help and support play an essential role in keeping caregivers motivated. This help can come not only from yourself, but from the larger community. There are many ways to achieve this.
First of all, make yourself available for questions and provide useful resources. You can create a mentor program so that new candidates can contact more experienced employees.
It will be much easier for them if they have someone to answer their questions and help them practice their skills.
Practical advice relating to a specific task will also make them better at providing care to their clients.
Turn Training into a Game
Online courses are already devised so that they don't get boring. Most of them employ presentations, videos, quizzes and other formats that make learning fun and easy. Take that a step further by using gamification.
Research shows that adding game elements to learning can be a powerful motivator for some people.
Try turning the training into a healthy competition between the candidates by introducing milestones, a point system, or small rewards for positive outcomes and achievements. This way, learning is not just a responsibility, it's fun too.
You can also help motivate them by being flexible with scheduling needs. Maybe they need to get time off to take a class, finish their skills training, or take their state exam.
If you adopt a flexible attitude and work with them proactively on this, they will be able to keep providing optimal care to their care receiver, while simultaneously completing their training.
Verbal recognition of the caregivers' achievements in the form of praise is great, but you can take it a step further to motivate your employees.
You can do this by giving them small financial rewards, or other kinds of incentives, for instance, a meal, an afternoon off, or a modification to their schedule.
Also, make sure they are clear on how the completion of their training will affect their position.
Help Them Manage Stress
When a person is starting a new career, managing their personal life, and doing their training all at the same time, it can be stressful and exhausting.
It can affect their sleep and general health, or leave them with not enough time to take care of their own family members.
The physical and mental health of your caregivers is your main priority. Try to create a supportive environment and check in on how they are managing both their workload and personal needs.
Try to help them with the balance between the two if and when you can.
Give Them an Opportunity to Pursue Their Interests
After they have completed their basic training and have been working for a while, many caregivers find that they love what they do.
Not only that, they develop specialized interests. Specialized workers are highly valuable as employees and add value to the quality of your service.
Motivation based on intrinsic factors such as interests or love for learning is one of the most powerful driving forces.
Offer your caregivers the opportunity and freedom to train for the specializations they are interested in.
Further professional development not only allows them to advance in their career, but also gives them a significant feeling of personal satisfaction and is a reward unto itself.
Help Them Choose the Right Training Provider
There are plenty of options and picking the right HCA training provider can be overwhelming for a new caregiver. As their employer, you can guide them in choosing the training that is optimal for them.
As the only training provider in Washington State that offers caregiver training online, Cornerstone Healthcare Training can be an invaluable asset for you when you need to train new caregivers.
Check out the full range of Cornerstone Healthcare Training courses by clicking on the image below.