Learn what an Assisting Hands franchise owner did to improve an isolated workforce.
A career change at 51 brought Robbie McCullough to his new role as a home care owner and administrator. Since he was new to the home care franchise industry, he experienced his share of mistakes and lessons at the start, with one of the best lessons learned to keep his caregivers engaged and satisfied.
McCullough’s home care franchise journey began after a corporate restructuring at his previous company prompted him to figure out the next step in his career. McCullough worked with a franchise broker friend, took different personality tests, and discovered that many of his skills and interests aligned with caregiving.
McCullough’s first-hand experience with his older sister who was born with Down syndrome, and his care for his mother-in-law for 35 years, also helped with his journey into the home care sector.
McCullough spent a year vetting home care franchises to buy, and in 2015, he joined Assisting Hands Home Care, as a franchise partner in Dallas.
But once he became a homecare owner and hired caregivers, McCullough began to observe an issue with staff engagement: that the work of his caregiver staff is lonely. “The thing that most people underestimate is it's a lonely business because [the caregivers are] out there … isolated,” he says.
McCullough has worked to resolve that issue so his caregivers feel connected to the organization and engaged. To support and ensure caregivers have face-to-face interactions with the company, Assisting Hands holds team meetings in the office and gives out monthly caregiving rewards. Caregivers are also asked to maintain consistent contact with the office via email, text, or phone, says McCullough.
In addition, Assisting Hands invests in caregivers’ career development by offering a suite of modules to assist them in becoming certified as a certified nurse aide (CNA) or home aide. New caregivers are also given the opportunity to sign up for shifts during their initial onboarding to engage employees right from the beginning.
It's critical, McCullough says, that caregivers feel they have a relationship with managerial leadership, emphasizing the importance of leadership collecting and listening to employee feedback.
McCullough has caregivers complete a voluntary monthly survey by phone. Using survey software, they answer questions on a scale of one to 10 about their satisfaction. McCullough’s efforts are paying off as his branch of Assisting Hands won the Employer of Choice Award from Best of Home Care in August. The Best of Home Care Employer of Choice is awarded to home care agencies for outstanding caregiver satisfaction ratings.
Jasmyne Ray is the contributing editor for revenue cycle at HealthLeaders.
Caregiving is isolated work, so it's important to make caregivers feel contected with the agency or greater organization.
Investing in caregiver advancement through training opportunities, rewards programs, and collecting feedback can boost employee engagement.