By | October 7, 2015


These are sobering statistics.  Keeping people engaged in our businesses and on the job is Job Number One in most companies.

In addition to the statistics above, there are three trends developing in the world of work today that make keeping staff even more challenging.

Number 1:  The economy has opened up, meaning more people are hiring

Number 2:  People that felt “frozen” due to the tightening economy of days past are now considering greener pastures and fresh starts, and..

Number 3:  Professional development is high on their list of priorities when they search out their next employer.

Turnover is especially troubling with front-line staff who are the backbone of the service delivery system in senior care. Newly-hired front-line caregivers often have little or no experience in senior care. And, these new hires can make or break your organization’s bottom line and reputation. So whether examining all new hires or focusing particularly on caregivers, how new people are brought into organizations is getting renewed focus.


Compounding the Problem

Past efforts to orient new hires in senior care settings were primarily compliance driven.  Increased oversight, the legalities of the industry, lack of time and manpower, and other compliance considerations contributed to our developing a training model that did not take into consideration how people really learn and apply information.  This legacy model of orientation has left us with a variety of issues that have been detrimental to engagement of new hires.   And if we are honest with ourselves, we know orientation isn’t really working.  But most are in the dark as to how to do it differently.

So, Is There a Better Way? Absolutely!

Leveraging the skills of someone trained in how people learn can help you assess and redesign your programs to yield better results as you build a workforce that stays with you.

Our new White Paper, Putting Turnover on Notice: Reinvigorating Your Orientation Programs is designed to help you explore how to use these concepts to structure orientation so that you can help new hires deliver an exceptional resident experience faster and meet all your compliance requirements (download the white paper below).

Here are a few of the learning ideas and approaches explained in the white paper:

  • Adaptive Expertise — making sure that learners learn in a way that helps them make good decisions on their own (within their realm) without compromising your business.
  • Cognitive Load — understanding that learners can only grasp a handful of ideas in a sitting, and the training program must afford time on the floor to process ideas into practice.
  • Chunking — helping learners put “like things” together into manageable pieces so they can remember them.
  • Leveraging Prior Learning — helping learners process new material by relating it to knowledge already possessed and transforming that old knowledge into new knowledge.
  • Context — making learning relevant to the learners’ work context.
  • Transfer — applying the behavior, knowledge, and skills acquired in a learning event directly to the job.

Our orientation programs need to be re-imagined to advocate for the learner and take into consideration the learner’s needs, not just our needs for compliance.

Better onboarding and new hire orientation will only increase in importance as our aging population demands more trained staff in the senior care industry. It will necessitate a time investment and change of thinking, an increased skill-set and an awareness of the value of improving these programs.

The time is now. Relias Learning is ready and able to help with position papers, expertise, technology and learning support.

Download our white paper: Putting Turnover on Notice: Reinvigorating Your Orientation Programs

Jan Wilson, MEd, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Director of Learning Design and Outcomes

Director of Learning Designs and Outcomes at Relias, Jan brings over 25 years of technology, human resources and learning expertise to the Relias team. Her experience in senior care spans more than a decade, including serving as a senior executive of learning strategy with one of the country's largest providers. As an organizational development consultant, she has provided strategic planning, process alignment, curriculum development and planning, and learning solutions to a variety of clients in pharma, healthcare and state governments.


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