Skills for Care’s #RetainToGain initiative aims to address the issue of staff retention in the care sector. This is a key problem in social care, as the turnover rate in the sector is uniquely high, with an estimated 30.7% of care staff leaving their jobs each year. The initiative gives insight into how to hire the right staff at the recruitment stage and then suggests measures you can take to keep those staff on.
This initiative was started towards the end of 2022, but as this problem only exacerbates alongside today’s economic climate, we wanted to put a spotlight on it once again.
Why should I focus on retaining staff?
Retention is about creating a strong and loyal workforce who are happy to stay with your organisation for the long-term.
It’s beneficial to have strong retention rates with low turnover rates, as it reduces the time and money spent on recruitment, creates a skilled and committed workforce, and serves as an indicator that you’ve created a positive place to work. It also helps with the continuity of top-quality care and high Care Quality Commission (CQC) ratings.
Research suggests that adult social care employers with a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Care Quality Commission (CQC) rating had a lower staff turnover rate than those rated either requiring improvement or inadequate. Whilst staff turnover is only one of many factors that influences the quality of care, the data analysed did show that it was an influencing factor. The majority of employers who responded to this survey had been awarded a rating of ‘good’ across the five Key Lines of Enquiry.
What can I do to retain my staff?
Employers with a staff turnover of less than 10% advise that their main activities contributing to staff retention were:
- Investing in learning and development
- Embedding the values of their organisation
- Celebrating organisational and individual achievements
- Involving colleagues in decision making
Skills for Care also suggest the following to keep staff on for the long term:
Start as you mean to go on (ensure new starters understand your culture, vision, and values, and what’s expected of them)
Create a positive place to work (It’s vital to delivering high-quality care and support and helps to ensure your workforce are loyal and proud to be part of your organisation)
There’s going to be a growing demand for social care in the future – Skills for Care’s data estimates that for the social care sector to grow proportionately to the number of people aged 65+, the UK will need almost half a million more jobs in the sector by 2035.
That’s another reason why it’s absolutely vital that as well as recruiting new people into the sector, we retain our existing and new social care workers.
You can find out more about Skills for Care’s #RetainToGain campaign here
For Skills for Care’s ‘Recruitment and Retention’ guidelines click here
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