Part One: Preventing Burnout & Early Exit from New Employees

Providing positive support to new employees is crucial for hiring success, starting right from the beginning of the onboarding journey. Get this right and you’re more likely to support retention and prevent burnout or early exit.

So, what should you consider when creating a positive onboarding experience for your frontline care and support teams?

Pre-employment engagement

The onboarding process begins before a new starters’ first day – and engagement is key while pre-employment checks are completed. It’s at this stage you can expect higher drop out if you aren’t keeping candidates updated.

Some providers report 50% drop out during the pre-employment process – but you should expect this to be no more than 20-25%.

References, DBS checks, and other factors outside of your control can present delays, but how you engage with your new hires will make all the difference. Plan regular touchpoints via your recruitment and compliance team – but also encourage interactions at home or service level.

Mentor & Buddy Systems

A mentor or buddy system can be a game-changer particularly when someone is new to working in care. Pairing new starters with seasoned colleagues isn’t simply about showing them the ropes; it’s about providing a friendly face in a new setting.

Experienced colleagues can help new starters navigate the initial stages of their journey – offering guidance, answering questions, and providing emotional support. This personalised touch nurtures a sense of belonging and reduces the likelihood of feeling isolated and overwhelmed.

Manager Check-ins & 1-2-1s

Regular check-ins with a manager can make a substantial difference. Exit and retention interviews conducted by Cohesion reveal that the relationship with a manager has a significant impact.

Management style and relationship with manager, where negative, is consistently cited as a top reason for exit for frontline care and support workers.

Initial meetings with a manager offer a chance to iron out any early issues, provide feedback, and ensure everyone’s on the same page.

In our findings, over 36% of care workers hadn’t had a review meeting with their manager by week 8 of employment.

Support managers to invest time in new starters and build trust with open communication. Make sure 1-2-1s happen consistently – and regularly. Stay interviews should be a priority for everyone in your organisation. Be open in communication – be sure to understand personal goals, address concerns and specific roadblocks, and invite honesty and transparency.

Training & Development

Comprehensive training beyond mandatory modules ensures new starters feel confident in their skills from day one, whether through workshops, online learning (which, of course, can be started during the pre-employment process), or hands-on experience.

Validated by a PhD study, Care Character helps identify gaps in key traits deemed important in care and support settings – facilitating early discussions between new starters and managers.

Social Activities

Don’t forget the power of community. Encouraging social activities helps new starters bond with their colleagues and feel part of the team from the get-go. These social interactions help new employees build relationships and integrate seamlessly into the home or service culture. A welcoming and inclusive environment can significantly boost morale and reduce the risk of burnout.

By focusing on these five key areas during the onboarding period, care organisations can create a supportive environment that ultimately contributes to long-term engagement and retention.

Look out for our next blog, which will consider the benefits of wellbeing check-ins and supporting employees with managing stress.

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