Care Home Management

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Pay, health insurance and flexible hours top care staff’s working wish lists

Better pay tops this year’s list of staff motivators in care, but is closely followed by health insurance and provision of flexible working hours.

According to Deputy’s annual State of Shift Work report, care workers would be motivated to change jobs for:

  • Better pay (52%)
  • Health insurance (31%)
  • Flexible working hours (29%)
  • Wellbeing programs (gym membership, meditation subscriptions etc.) (28%)
  • Free meals and drinks (24%)
  • Employee assistance programs (access to a psychologist, counselling etc.) (23%)
  • Retirement savings programs (23%)
  • Paid time off (21%)
  • Immediate access to pay after working a shift (20%)

With care vacancies estimated at 152,000 in 2022/23, the labour market for the care industry remains tight. In fact, 47 per cent of care workers who took part in the Deputy survey said their company had had difficulty hiring in the last 12 months.

For many workers, this has had a negative impact on them, with 32 per cent reporting that staffing shortfalls had made it harder for them to take time off. Some 29 per cent said they had been required to work more shifts and 39 per cent believe their work/life balance had suffered.

However, some felt that the difficulty in recruiting had had a positive impact on their career, with 22 per cent being given new responsibilities, 15 per cent received a pay increase and 15 per cent were promoted.

When asked what would create a more positive working environment for them, care workers were most interested in feeling valued and recognised, employee wellbeing and a culture of trust:

  • Being valued and recognised for my contribution (48%)
  • Focus on employee wellbeing (40%)
  • A culture of trust, openness, and compassion (39%)
  • Clear role definition and expectations (34%)
  • A culture of diversity, equity and inclusion (33%)
  • A company with a reputation for success (32%)
  • Building relationships with my peers (31%)
  • A compassionate manager (29%)
  • A clear and inspiring company mission (25%)

Deputy SVP Jon Wilson, said: “It’s clear that wellbeing, mental health and having a caring culture are all important to care workers. If employers want to attract the best talent to join their teams, they need to have a thriving workplace and demonstrate that they genuinely care about and invest in their people.”

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