Written by Michele Lee Ellis Consulting, LLC
According to renowned home care Coach, Michele Ellis-Williams, “If you intend to start a home care agency, then you must be ready to comply with the home care rules and regulations of your State –period!”
Failure to comply with these rules can cause serious consequences among them being the shutdown of your business. “When we talk of complying, we refer to the act of obeying the legal laws and regulations that relate to home care in your area,” explains Coach Michele, the HomeCareOlogist™. “These rules and regulations are usually related to licensing, scope of services, workplace safety, hiring, wages, and other important issues. “their functions are to protect the business, its employees & clients, and other stakeholders.
“The concept of private duty non-skilled home care start-up compliance is to ensure that home care agencies and other home care providers act responsibly,” continues to explain Coach Michele who own and operate a successful business in Atlanta, Ga.
So, what are the benefits of staying compliant with state home care rules and regulations?
This is what Coach Michele says:
Benefits of Staying Compliant with State Home Care Rules and Regulations
“No one wants his or her business to face criminal charges for any reason, but that can potentially happen to your business if you fail to comply with local, state and federal laws,” explains Coach Michele. “For example, failing to meet your legal obligations pertaining to safety will potentially expose your home care agency to costly lawsuits and fines especially in the case where your employees get injured or acquire infections on the job.”
“Another instance where you can violate compliance and find yourself on the wrong side of the law is when you fail to pay your caregivers or office workers an appropriate wage,” explains Coach Michele. “This can result in hefty fines and a tarnished reputation, among other serious consequences.”
“On the other hand, compliance will result in a great reputation, great reviews & ratings and a positive image. Your clients will trust you and will have no problem recommending your service to their relatives and friends.”
“With a good compliance team and the right compliance strategies, your home care business can achieve the benefits we have just looked at and more,” winds up Coach Michele.
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When it comes to the non-medical home care industry, no one can deny the fact that clients have a broad range of choices to choose from when deciding exactly where to spend their hard-earned money. The question is: as a non-medical home care business owner or manager, what are you doing to entice your clients to keep doing business with you?
According to Michele Ellis-Williams, home care business coach, author, and mentor, there are many reasons that can provoke a client to leave, but most leave because they are not happy with the service they have been receiving. As expected, a good number of these clients take the business to the competition.
So, what should home care agencies do to maintain their clients, and most importantly, to encourage these clients to recommend their relatives, friends, and other associates to bring in more business? Here are some exceptional tips from Coach Michele:
Easy Ways to Retain Your Non-Medical Home Care Clients
1. Prioritizing Effective and Exceptional Communication
One of the best ways to retain and improve your home care client base is to prioritize efficient client communication in the agency or business. Regular communication shows that you care about the well-being of your clients and this, in turn, makes it easier for them to be honest with you about issues that may be worrying them.
Practice regular and timely client communication and make sure they understand that you are just a phone call or mouse-click away. Being always available demonstrates that your agency doesn’t take client satisfaction lightly.
2. Seeing Your Clients as Individuals
While it is true that home care patients must be treated in a professional way, seeing them as individuals – not just as paychecks, will go a long way in strengthening your professional bond. Asking them polite questions about their health or children or emailing them informational newsletters from time to time are just a few ways to show them they are much more than a paycheck to your business.
3. Encouraging Clients to Provide Feedback
Client or customer feedback is a crucial part of business as it provides the owners with the insight they need to improve their services and overall client experience. According to Coach Michele, “Client feedback will enable you to determine just how satisfied or unsatisfied your clients are with the services you are delivering,”
“A happy client is a retained client,” continues the Coach.
“If a client starts feeling unhappy or dissatisfied with your services, he or she may start exploring the competition and eventually take the business away from you,”
Encourage your clients to leave feedback whenever they wish through email, telephone, in person, or through your website.
4. Exceeding Client Expectations
Yet another effective way to retain your home care clients is to exceed their expectations. Consider their needs and aim to go above and beyond in a way they will be glad about.
“Finally, for clients who have been with you for a longer period of time, a token of appreciation or an unexpected gift or discount around the holidays can strengthen your professional relationship,” concludes Coach Michele.
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Caregiver retention refers to a home care agency’s ability to retain its caregivers. If you own or manage a non-medical home care agency, your goal should be to maintain a low caregiver turnover rate.
A turnover rate is in simple terms the percentage of employees that quit voluntarily during a period of one year. A high turnover rate can be extremely damaging for your agency. To begin with, it can cause low morale among your caregivers. It can also cause poor performance, low productivity, and decreased profits among many other negative results.
The truth is that retaining caregivers can be a bit difficult. There is usually is no sure way to determine whether a new hire plans to stay or plans to stay as he/she looks for something “better.”
The good news is that as long as your employees/caregivers are happy and contented, you can expect to maintain a low turnover rate. So, how do you ensure that your caregivers are happy and contented with their jobs?
Here are a few suggestions from home care Coach and owner of Astin Home Care Agency, Michele Ellis-Williams:
3 Ways to Retain Your Best Caregivers
1. Provide Ongoing Caregiver Training
According to various studies, it has emerged that many new caregivers lack confidence. Providing ongoing caregiver training is therefore a great way to build their confidence. It is also a good way to show that you care about their development as your employees.
With ongoing training, you don’t have to worry about losing valuable employees simply because they feel inadequate or unsure of their skills.
2. Showing Them You Care Beyond Their Work
Your caregivers will appreciate their jobs more when they know they matter beyond their work. One of the best ways to show you care is by offering them a listening ear whenever they want to talk.
If, for example, a caregiver confides about feeling uncomfortable with a particular client, listen and act.
The quickest way to lose a valuable caregiver is to disregard a grievance. Don’t hesitate to let go of a client who disrespects your caregivers or threatens their safety.
Once you begin to see your employees as real people with lives outside of work, you will see just how unchallenging it will be to work together as a team.
3. Show That You Appreciate Them
Yet another highly effective way to retain your caregivers is to give recognition where it is due. If, for example, a client tells you how kind or professional a particular caregiver is, pass the remark onto that caregiver and let him/her know how grateful you are.
To further appreciate a hard worker, you may send him/her a thank you note or recognize him/her as “employee of the month.”
Offering an incentive is also a great way to appreciate a caregiver for his/her hard work and efforts. Bonuses, paid time-off, and cash rewards are just a few examples of incentives that will encourage friendly competition between your caregivers.
“Always remember that your caregivers are the most important asset to your private duty home care business. Keep them happy and they will keep your clients happy,” Concludes Coach Michele.