A study of long term care providers found that many of their employees feel a sense of personal accomplishment from their job. However, with more and more demands being placed on the healthcare industry as a whole, many long term care providers also reported high levels of employee emotional exhaustion. Emotionally exhausted employees can feel unmotivated, unaccomplished, and useless, which can lead to lower quality care for your residents. Here are three things long term care communities can do to fight employee burnout:

Provide Positive Employee Feedback

Employees spend a majority of their time at work so be sure to encourage employees to keep up the great work and share in their successes. According to Dr. Frederick Morgeson, of Michigan State University: “Decades of research has shown that positive, constructive feedback can help staff maintain their positive attitudes.” While many managers provide ample feedback when things go wrong, they must also strive to acknowledge and celebrate employee successes, no matter how small. Positive feedback is also essential for those who have demonstrated high levels of commitment and performance. “Positive feedback can be very motivational and most organizations need more of it,” said Morgeson. For most long term care employees, recognition for a job well done keeps them more motivated to succeed. 

Increase Learning and Development Opportunities by Using Technology

The study also indicated that providing new learning opportunities for employees increases the competency and confidence of many employees. A learning management system (LMS) makes it easy to facilitate and encourage ongoing employee education. With an LMS, employees are able to complete courses entirely online, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Also, utilizing a performance management system helps long term care organizations create an environment that encourages managers to keep track of their employees’ varied accomplishments, and the system reminds them to recognize employee successes. 

employee satisfaction long term care

Fun employee events and small rewards to keep up morale are great, such as ice cream socials and gift cards, but employees need clearly defined goals that apply to their day-to-day routines in order to truly succeed. Success in their role is what ultimately drives consistent employee satisfaction. However, how can employees deliver quality results without understanding how their goals are actually being evaluated? In the recent Planetree and HealthcareSource HR Influence Survey, we found that 65% of Directors of Nursing respondents agree that they have defined performance goals around increasing customer satisfaction, while only 45% of RNs feel the same. Setting goals and explaining to frontline employees how they’re being measured ensures a greater chance that those employees will deliver quality work. A performance management software with goal functionality enables organizations to more clearly define those objectives. Utilizing this system also makes communication between managers and employees much easier through reminders that focus on setting goals and ensuring staff members are on track. Many healthcare organizations, such as Trinity Health System in Ohio, find that performance management software actually increases regular and meaningful interactions between managers and employees – something that was usually lacking before implementation.

Working in a long term care community is often fast paced and demanding. Employee exhaustion and burn out is an ever present risk; however, by providing positive feedback, encouraging employee development and tracking employee performance, long term care organizations are better equipped to support their employees to succeed and maintain resident satisfaction.

But what about hiring the right people to begin with? If you’re interested in learning about how the hiring process can impact your organization’s culture and impact employee satisfaction, view this webinar replay to see how Episcopal Ministries to the Aging (EMA) Communities inspires meaningful living for residents and employees by improving their hiring process. In this webinar, Ryan Lillis, Director of Organizational Development, and Jim Donovan, PHR, Director of Total Rewards, share how they’ve aligned their hiring process with their organization’s mission, vision and values. These strategies include how to effectively:

  • Re-design the application process

  • Create a more structured interview model

  • Develop methods to improve communication with hiring managers

  • Enhance the candidate experience


About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.