Michigan Association of Health Plans

What Motivates Caregivers: New Survey Results Shed Light on What Drives Caregivers

This story appeared in the HHAeXchange blog. Read more here

Homecare providers are frustrated. The demand for their services is increasing, but they don’t have enough caregivers to meet the demand. As the caregiver shortage continues, providers are hoping to enhance their recruitment efforts and improve their employee retention. But the question is, how? There’s a lot of advice going around about what it will take to keep caregivers happy, but HHAeXchange decided to go straight to the source: the caregiver. The HHAeXchange team recently conducted a survey of more than 1400 caregivers across the nation to uncover what really motivates them on the job.

What Motivates Caregivers?

According to the survey, 80% of caregivers indicated that the impact they have on patient health and well-being is their number one motivator. This result adds credence to what many providers already know – their caregivers chose this career because they enjoy helping people. They aren’t in it for the money, they aren’t in it for the recognition. They do it because they know they can make a difference in their patients’ lives.

Not only are caregivers motivated by their patients, but 67% of caregivers said that they would spend an extra 3 – 5 minutes after each visit recording patient observations into a mobile app if they knew it could improve their patients’ care. Despite all the challenges caregivers have had to face over the last few years, it’s clear that they remain committed and are willing to adopt new technology if it means their patients will benefit.

What Contributes to Feelings of Job Satisfaction?

According to the survey, 78% of caregivers stated that the relationships they form with the people they care for increases their job satisfaction. As the above result showed, caregivers are motivated by the interpersonal aspects of their jobs.

One way providers can encourage caregivers to form these types of close relationships with their patients is by being intentional about scheduling. Giving caregivers consistent hours with the same patient can help them form strong relationships with their patients and ultimately improve their job satisfaction.

What is Most Challenging to Caregivers?

Knowing what motivates caregivers is only half the battle, it’s also critical that providers understand what their pain points are so that they can be properly addressed. This survey found that COVID-19 concerns (25%) and compensation (29%) are currently the most challenging aspects of caregivers’ jobs. Despite the pandemic fading into the background for many people, it is still posing challenges for those working in the healthcare field. The good news is that there are actionable steps providers can take to help their caregivers navigate COVID-19 related job stressors, such as supplying PPE, providing Covid tests, and giving caregivers paid sick days when they feel ill.

Compensation is a complex topic as providers are often limited by reimbursement rates, but there are ways to affect overall compensation outside of wage increases. Offering certain benefits can help reduce the compensation challenges caregivers face.

By leaning into what motivates caregivers, and making efforts to address what challenges them, providers can greatly improve their retention and recruitment.

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