Caregiver Burnout: 8 Top Tips That Uplift Caregiver Morale

Caregivers are an invisible workforce that provides critical support to an increasing number of people suffering from physical, psychological, and neurological issues. Caregiving involves a great deal of personal commitment and can be physically and mentally draining. As a result, caregivers are more likely to experience stress and burnout and poor mental and physical health, which can jeopardize their ability to care for patients. Here are eight tips to reduce caregiver burnout.

1: Provide a flexible work schedule

Working longer and constricted hours can lead to caregiver burnout. By reducing hours during the week, or allowing caregiver employees to work flexible hours based on their schedules or desires, home care and hospice agencies can help prevent burnout. A more well-adjusted caregiver’s personal life will contribute to higher quality of care.

2: Encourage open communication

Regularly reach out and engage your caregivers to show support and to start a conversation about mental health. Identify burnout signs and causes and create solutions to remedy them. A great organizational culture, open communication, and mutual support between management and caregiver employees will reduce burnout and help the organization progress. Carefully observe, and offer a sincere listening ear to caregivers who may need help.

3: Survey your caregivers for feedback

Caregiver surveys provide a glimpse into the reality of their work experience. Surveys are a reliable way to gauge caregiver satisfaction and engagement. Ask a thoughtful set of questions that caregivers can answer anonymously while constructing the survey. Make questions as clear as possible while avoiding yes/no response possibilities. Reiterate the feedback to your caregivers and communicate the next steps you plan to take in light of their data. Employee retention rates, lower absenteeism rates, productivity, customer service, and morale all increase when an organization responds to employee feedback.

4: Create training programs

Targeted training and preparation reduce stress. Your caregiver may feel guilty for their inability to provide better care to patients. More effective training delivers confidence that the caregiver is delivering the best possible care thereby reducing imposter syndrome and stress. In the book Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges by trauma experts Steven Southwick and Dennis Charney, the authors found that when someone is well-trained for a task, they feel better equipped to take on that work. However, people feel overwhelmed when they are thrown into a role with little training, direction, or support, which can contribute to burnout. 

Home care agencies should invest in online eLearning solutions like Nevvon’s user-centric technology to train, empower, upskill and support the professional development of their caregivers. We equip agencies with the ability to leverage data-driven knowledge to drive results in their home care business. 

5: Create a culture of appreciation

The professional home health care workers are often women, women of color, and immigrants — too often underpaid, unseen, and undervalued. Home care business success will depend on creating and fostering a solid appreciation culture. When caregivers are acknowledged for their effort and hard work, individually or as a group, it encourages growth, loyalty, and the caregiver’s sense of purpose. Recognizing and appreciating caregivers is the simplest way to boost morale. Teams become more productive and perform better when they believe their input is respected and valued. Don't wait until one of your best employees wants to leave before recognizing their value to your company. The best workplaces don't just tell employees they value their skills. They show them! 

6: Support for mental health

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the need for employers to help workers improve their mental health and well-being. In fact, the Great Resignation is happening in part because employees are evaluating what work means to them and seeking better working conditions.

More than nine out of 10 employers have expanded support for mental health and emotional well-being since 2021, while budgets for wellbeing programs increased by 22%. Arrange mental health training for supervisors to provide them with the tools needed to support caregiver employees. Research has found that the degree of burnout is related to the style of leadership in the organization. Leadership styles may influence both staff performance and healthcare system performance metrics. Employee job satisfaction is high in participative organizations, whilst in autocratic organizations absence and staff turnover is high. A supportive and collaborative environment will make caregivers comfortable talking openly about their mental health, which will lower the risk of burnout.

7: Mentorship

Workplace mentorship programs have numerous advantages, including increased caregiver confidence, engagement, retention, and skill development. Mentoring has been found to have a favorable emotional influence on both the mentor and the mentee. Mentoring helps address stressors in caregivers' lives and helps build dialogue where they can communicate concerns and receive support and guidance from their mentors. This will help agencies to attract motivated prospects to develop their caregiving skills, eventually reducing turnover and burnout rate.

8: Evaluate !!!

Upon returning from breaks, home care and hospice agencies should do a post-mortem with team members and weed out pain points that may have led to burnout. Use feedback to redo organizational workflow and prevent future burnout. 

Nevvon is an all-in-one e-training solution trusted to help home care agencies achieve regulatory compliance while saving time and money, and empowering caregivers with the knowledge and confidence they need to make their patients’ lives better. Click here to set up a demo today!