Staff Development and Retention: Coincidence or Confirmation?
Part of my responsibility as the VP of Grant Initiatives is to track the progress of Compassionate Touch® and Dementia Live® online coach training for the nursing homes that are participating in our Civil Monetary Penalty Grant (CMP) projects. We have amassed an impressive list of nursing home staff in Ohio , Minnesota, North Carolina and Tennessee who have completed online training to become Compassionate Touch® and/or Dementia Live® coaches.
After months of reviewing training reports, this week I noticed something other than the number of new coaches, and that is the number of coaches since 2019 who are still with their facility.
I need to preface by saying that this information has not been confirmed by participating facilities, but each time an email bounces back to me- the name is scratched off my list. In Ohio, 99/124 Compassionate Touch® and 76/106 Dementia Live® coaches appear to be reachable with the same email address used to enroll in coach training, indicating retention of 79% and 71% respectively.
Admittedly, there is likely a margin of error in these numbers, but assuming a -10%, these numbers are impressive, considering the massive turnover that has occurred during the pandemic.
Employee Engagement and Retention
While the recipe for retention is far more involved than just providing staff education, I believe I am justified in believing the human resource investment that these participating facilities made in Compassionate Touch® and Dementia Live® training may have contributed to the retention of these coaches. Many of these coaches are still in touch with me and share their excitement about starting up training again.
National Commission for Quality Long Term Care, 2007
Public Policy and Aging Report, 2017
National Institute of Health, 2021
The above studies reveal that the reasons for voluntary separation include many factors, but lack of quality training and education, feeling ill-prepared, and absence of professional growth were consistent factors.
Compassionate Touch® and Dementia Live® coach training is high quality, relevant and fills knowledge gaps that move the ill-prepared to a place of confidence and competence. These programs are also utilized as career ladder opportunities in many organizations, and that number is growing.
Everyone should take a moment and think of your accomplishments over this past year- I am sure there are many. For me, taking stock that perhaps our work at AGE-u-cate® has helped to in some way to keep employees engaged and retained is very rewarding.