Burned out. Exhausted. Tired. Over it. Fatigued.
If you manage caregivers, you hear these words more frequently than you’d like.
Caregiver burnout leads to caregiver turnover. Turnover costs you time and money. So, how can you take charge of the situation, build loyalty among your team members, and have fun while you’re at it?
Caregiver Training Advisor, Victoria Brown
has a few simple suggestions!
Victoria says . . .
According to an article published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, CNAs have a reported 26–50% prevalence of burnout and are therefore considered an especially vulnerable group.
Here are five ways prevent burnout in your caregiver team:
1. Start with Education.
Make sure your caregivers have the information they need to recognize the symptoms of burnout and the self-care tools necessary to take action early — before it becomes a “fight or flight” situation.
Offer live classes and e-learning about stress reduction and the importance of self-care.
- E-learning: If you are already an
in the know e-learningsubscriber, simply assign the two courses, “Stress Management Skills,” and “Personal Wellness” to get started.
- Offer a live class: These important Professional Growth topics are also available in PDF format for instructor-led training. Getting your team together regularly for live classes has an added benefit. It gives everyone a chance to connect, bond, and maybe even commiserate! All of which are important in managing stress and preventing burnout.
2. Stay Connected.
- Connect often with your Caregivers. Call, text or email just to “see how things are going.” Hold regular team meetings to allow your team to voice their thoughts and concerns in a non-judgemental atmosphere. Make yourself available to your team as situations arise, so they always know they can count on you to be in their corner.
3. Create a Regular “Coffee with Caregivers” Event.
- Invite caregivers to stop by the office once a month (for example, every 3rd Thursday) for coffee, treats, and a meetup with the rest of the team — just to relax. No agenda, no team meeting. You could take this opportunity to ask caregivers, “How are you doing?” “Do you need anything?” Or, “Is there is anything I can do to improve your caregiving experience?”
4. Create a Workplace Wellness Program.
Workplace Wellness Programs are all the rage in HR this year. That’s because the benefits are proven. Effective and successful workplace wellness programs can lead to lower turnover rates, fewer absences, and higher job satisfaction.
- Recruit willing caregivers to participate in a “wellness committee” to identify activities important to your team. Allow your wellness committee to choose what types of activities are important to them and their peers.
It doesn’t have to break the budget! Here are a few low-cost ideas your team may appreciate:
- Cooking Classes. Ask local (healthy) restaurants if their professional chef would conduct a cooking class for your team. They will often do this for free or very low cost. And, the benefits go beyond just a healthy workplace. Your caregivers can take what they learn and apply it to the food prep they do for clients, as well.
- Yearly Wellness Fair. Sponsor a wellness fair to coincide with annual benefits enrollment. Invite professionals from your community to give out information to your team on stress reduction, self-care, relaxation techniques, nutrition, sleep, and physical activity.
Here are a few other low-cost ideas you may want to try:
- Negotiate discounts for local gym memberships.
- Distribute maps for outdoor walking routes or trails.
- Start a “Walking Club.”
- Offer free smoking cessation resources.
5. Play Games.
Caregivers confront very serious situations throughout their day. Make an effort to lighten things up!
All of our PDF-syle courses come with interactive and team-building activities that allow you to reinforce learning, build stronger team bonds, and have a little fun! Be sure to set aside time during your live learning sessions to do these activities with your team.
No time to get together? Play “Virtual Games” instead! Here’s an idea for a fun virtual game to play with your team:
- Who’s That Caregiver? Ask each of your caregivers to send you a private text or e-mail with three fun facts about themselves. Encourage them to keep it non-work related, light-hearted, and fun! Then over the next few weeks, send a group text or email to your team with one caregiver’s fun facts. Ask the group to guess the identity of the caregiver based on the three fun facts. Offer small prizes for the first three caregivers who guess correctly.
Your efforts to address caregiver burnout will not go unnoticed! Continue to surprise staff with fun activities and perks. They’ll be less stressed and more loyal, making them overall better caregivers and happier people.