From the desk of Rose Saenz, VP of Workforce Development for TALA

Communities across the industry are experiencing added staffing pains related to the pandemic. In a recently published white paper by OnShift titled, Survey Report Workforce 360, over 2100 senior living professionals were surveyed. A 22% year over year increase use of staffing agency was reported to fill critical shifts. Many surveyed noted the increase use of agency is a direct response to pandemic related needs.

If you are feeling alone facing increased staffing pressures in 2020, know that 67% of those surveyed noted recruiting and hiring qualified job candidates is their top issue and 57% struggle with employee turnover.

The pandemic did not create the challenge providers face in recruiting and retaining staff, but it has escalated the challenge. The survey found top reasons for staffing pressures were related to staff burnout, fear and safety, lack of child care, and working multiple jobs.

So what can be done to help tackle staffing challenges? Well, much of the research published talks about the very heart of what senior living is… a culture of caring.

Below are some considerations to kick start 2021’s staff related New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Communication: Communicate with staff and communicate often. The survey found, 68% placed high priority on staff communication.
  • Technology: Consider investing in technology to help with frequent communication and scheduling needs.
  • Flexible scheduling: Consider polling staff, encouraging open discussion around what typical personal challenges affect their schedules and take action!
  • Think outside the norm: Consider creative solutions that may solve scheduling needs such as staffing at critical blocks of time versus standard shifts, or varied shift hours, etc.
  • Education: Poll staff for a base understanding of the fears they face and roll out education and support sessions to meet those needs head on.
  • Strengthen confidence and trust: Build upon the trust that exist and empower staff to contribute to the solutions.

To share your thoughts on employee recruitment and retention, connect with Rose Saenz, VP of Workforce Development. At TALA, Together we are stronger in addressing industry challenges!