Agencies Can Increase Employee Satisfaction – Even During a Health Care Crisis

Where do you work? Are you still working there? These are two common questions we’ve been asking each other since the pandemic hit in March of 2020.   

Did Covid -19 restrictions cause you to lose your job temporarily, or did you decide to pursue a different path on your own? Whether you were left with time to rethink your professional career, or something happened that made you realize it was time to make a change – changes were made, indeed. The pandemic caused us to shift in just about every way – personally, emotionally, and professionally. 

When it comes to jobs today, 66.7% of U.S. professionals surveyed in February of this year (2022), reported they genuinely intend on looking for a new job this year. The top reasons they are planning on making a move are:

  1. 66.7% say the uncertainty of the pandemic has delayed an inevitable decision
  2. 48.3% say their employer hasn’t treated them well during the pandemic and they have no choice but to move on
  3. 36.3% say they want more flexible working opportunities.
  4. 33.3 % are burnt out and need rest or a change
  5. 25.6 % say their outlook has changed since the onset of the pandemic and they now want a job where they can make a difference.

It’s no secret that the Health Care Industry has suffered, and those working within the industry – hero’s et. all, have had a rough go of it, which truly is an understatement. Almost every day, there are reports about burnt out nurses dreaming of retirement, or at least a more manageable work-life balance. Whether they feel they are over-worked, underpaid, or just plain exhausted, support workers of all kinds are finding their voice, telling us all what’s happening and looking for change – rightfully so.

Personal Support Workers (PSW’s) are industry professionals who work side-by-side with nurses, and who have cared for our loved ones at retirement homes, nursing homes, shelters, hospitals or in the privacy of our own home for many years. As an outcome of this pandemic, they are finally becoming a little more appreciated. At first, they took the blame for the spread of Covid within the nursing homes, then, they were shut out of the homes with no job to go to unless they stuck to one consistent location. Now, PSW’s, are in high demand and a very important piece of the Health Care puzzle.

Data highlighted from a Health Care staffing report titled Nursing in the Time of Covid examined more than 400,000 nurses, and when surveyed, found that 34% of those nurses reported that it’s ‘very likely’ they will leave their job by the end of this year. Almost half of those nurses said it’s because of the burnout and high stress level of their job. Forty percent of those nurses who plan to leave their jobs intend to pursue a nursing role in a different location, more preferable for them.  Thirty-one percent want to move jobs to get a better schedule, and 32% plan to leave the nursing profession altogether or retire.

As a working profession, PSW’s can get certified through many different avenues. There is no regulatory body, to date, and many believe this is the next step for them to become higher paid and better recognized. However, today, there are many valued and necessary certifications they need to perform at their job. Many PSW’s are highly qualified and highly experienced, making them an excellent option to work alongside, or fill a temporary nursing gap.

The nursing shortage has the government’s attention. To fill the gap, they are offering a top-up to PSW’s. Just recently, they vowed to allocate funds towards students studying to become PSW’s – 4000 students will receive over $13,600 towards their tuition fees. This is actually all good news! After all, they say ‘every problem is an opportunity in disguise.’

Now that we know more about Covid, the initial fear factor is subsiding, and PSW’s who retreated from the workplace are returning slowly, but surely. Nurses are still spread thin in the system and are harder to find, but are definitely sought after.

As an agency focusing on Health Care adapting to all the changes going on around us, we realize we can help PSW’s, and even nurses, find the work they want. We can find them work in places where they are comfortable and willing to spend their time; places they feel safe and appreciated.  

We’ve learned that listening to and appreciating our employees by placing them in a job where they get the flexibility, variety, and amount of work they wish for, is of the utmost importance today. Employee expectations have changed. To build trust and gain the respect agencies so often need – let’s do what everyone is asking for during this ‘Great Resignation,’ help find meaningful jobs for employees – on their own terms.