Gold dust: how to retain your care workers

Retaining care workers

Recruiting isn’t cheap, so it’s only natural you want to make sure you’re making a worthwhile investment by retaining employees.

You know you need to do it, but do you know how to go about it? Keep reading as we share some top retention tips your care business can adopt – today.


Once employees are on board, it’s important to offer continual support to help them prosper – professionally and personally. If you’re unsure of how to identify support areas, the three most popular mediums are in:

  • The employee’s induction process (94%)
  • Regular supervision sessions (91%)
  • Performance appraisals (84%).

Once you’ve identified an employee’s needs, it’s time to determine how you can meet them. Some prevalent methods include: offering learning and qualifications; running a mentoring or ‘buddy’ scheme; putting provisions in place to support new managers; and offering apprenticeships.


Values are great, but if your employees don’t understand and apply them, they’re essentially redundant. To ensure their business’ culture is what they promote it to be, most employers emphasise and re-iterate their values in the below situations:

Supervision and appraisals 73 mentions
Team meetings 28 mentions
Observation of practice 24 mentions
Training 20 mentions
One-to-one meetings 12 mentions
Feedback from care users 8 mentions
Employee surveys 6 mentions

Development is key

The majority of care employers believe training and development opportunities are most important when it comes to retaining employees. Can you confidently say you invest in this?

That’s not to say that’s all that’s needed though. Other proven, key cogs for retention given were:

Retention activities


Benefits can make a big difference by showing employees you value them and want to give something back – remember, they don’t have to cost a fortune either.

The below benefits and incentives are a) offered by care employers and b) believed to make a difference to employee commitment:

  • Investing in learning and development (87%)
  • Flexible shift patterns (81%)
  • Set shift patterns (63%)
  • Provision of free meals (30%)
  • Discounts offered by local businesses (19%)
  • Allowance to buy or sell annual leave days (15%)
  • Benefits platforms (15%)
  • Childcare vouchers (10%)
  • Wheels 2 Work schemes (10%)
  • Health cash plans (8%).

Measuring satisfaction

One in six (16%) employers don’t formally measure employee satisfaction, making it difficult to gauge the overall mood of their workforce. By overlooking this, you miss out on important insights, like understanding what you’re doing right and what you could be doing better.

Furthermore, when an employee leaves the business, three in 10 employers don’t dig deeper to find out why they left – missing out on more valuable information and learnings.

The benefits

Mick Feather, Care Business Manager at Citation, commented: “Organisations with a positive, transparent culture, where employees can question practice and suggest improvements grow and continually improve, which not only reflects positively with care regulators but creates strong teams who’re committed to providing high quality care.

“Employees are the most important asset of any business and getting recruitment right can save you time and money, help your business stand out against the competition, improve your reputation as an attractive employer to work for and bring out fresh ideas and innovation.

“Valuing, rewarding and listening to employees in a meaningful way are the key to retaining the talent you’ve recruited.”

*Research conducted by Skills for Care

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