The workforce continues to struggle in 2022 by having the biggest labor shortage since WW2. Of all the industries, understaffing in nursing homes has hit the hardest. Nursing homes need a variety of staff specialized in healthcare, food service, facilities, housekeeping, accounting, and everything else in between. According to the Top 10 Industries That Need More Workers article, nursing homes hire six positions from the top ten list. It’s no wonder understaffing in nursing homes has been such an issue.

We could go through many different departments that are struggling with the understaffing issues, but let’s just look at the facilities department. Many nursing home facilities departments are understaffed because the tradesmen are retiring. It’s crucial that the building is up to code, in compliance with the state, and up to satisfaction for the residents. However, what do you do when understaffing is weighing you down?

Seasonal Struggles with Understaffing Issues

In springtime, the busy season is ramping up. The facilities members are busy changing from winter to spring projects. Facilities staff is divided between flipping apartments, installing air conditioning units, spring clean-up, and preparing for the annual survey. Your team was already understaffed with daily tasks. But now, they are stretched even thinner during this crucial time of the year.

Long-Term Struggles with Understaffing Issues

Understaffing in nursing homes will continue to struggle. The buildings are getting older. The pay is getting more competitive. The people unemployed don’t want to work with seniors. So now the million-dollar question, “How can your nursing home compete when hiring staff?”

Ways to Compete For Staff in Nursing Homes

Offer career trajectory

  • Give people something more than a job where they can punch the clock at your nursing home. Focus on developing a career path that gives meaning and aligns with their personal goals.

Foster leadership development

  • Create opportunities to give your staff freedom and skillset to take on more strategic and meaningful roles as they develop their careers. Internal growth can improve both retention and company culture at your nursing home.

Robust compensation and benefits package

  • A salary is obviously the most competitive advantage when hiring staff, but offering hiring bonuses could hold a strong weight in the decision process. Additional benefits your nursing home can offer are compensation days, tuition reimbursement, skill-building opportunities, and health insurance packages.

Embrace a unique culture

  • No one likes to feel siloed or on an island by themselves. People want to feel like they belong to a team and are valued for their work. Clearly communicate the mission, vision, and values to the interview process to hire staff that are aligned with the nursing home to get higher retention.

Allow for flexibility

  • Since COVID shook the workforce in 2020, businesses have found a way to work virtually. Offer the flexibility of a hybrid approach to work at your nursing home. Hiring talent from across the nation has opened the possibilities of greater talent from a larger pool of candidates.

Motivation from the top down

  • No one wants to work for a micro-manager or a hypocrite; “Do as I say, not as I do.” Motivate your staff from your leadership and their participation in building the culture. You’ll see the retention rate improve because the staff is loyal to the positive leadership at your nursing home.

Offer technology that will help you manage your tasks

  • This solution is right at your fingertips to help with understaffing issues. Manage your nursing home facilities projects in Equips. It will help your team go from “hanging on by a thread” to “thriving in efficiency” by using a simple maintenance management software.

Solutions for Understaffed Nursing Homes

The best way to approach the future is to lead with technology. You may have been keeping track of maintenance items in an excel spreadsheet to show reporting to leadership. However, now you can start optimizing your facilities management by using a cloud-based software that can actually help your team. You’ll be able to assign tasks to your team on a recurring basis so you never forget about an inspection again. You can set and forget about your seasonal projects. Use your valuable time to do the work instead of trying to manage the tasks.

Ensure your facility is managed by a single management process. Keep your daily and seasonal task in-house or send it out to a vendor in the same system. Understaffing may be an issue in nursing homes, but don’t let it get in the way of being productive. Keep your team connected with one communication tool and one process. Get the most out of your staff’s time and talent by using Equips to manage the tasks and vendors.

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