Keeping an up-to-date record of who's on staff to track caregiver retention

Set clear inactivity rules to keep your reporting clean and understand what turnover is really like in your organization. By keeping your records up-to-date, you can focus your efforts on your active workforce and make sure they stay that way.

Why do records matter?

If you're reading this, you're probably in the subset of home care owners who care about increasing employee engagement and tracking whether your efforts are paying off or not. Before you can track employee retention and how you're progressing on improving that metric, it's important to begin by keeping an accurate record of who is actually "on staff" and who has "churned." Without accurate records, the results from your analyses around turnover and utilization won't amount to much, because they'll be working off information that doesn't accurately represent where your company is at any given point of time.

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Cartoon by Scott Adam



The easiest way to clean up your caregiver roster is to set an inactivity threshold and regularly update the status of inactive employees to "terminated" or "on pause" in whatever system you use to track headcount (in our experience, we've seen payroll, scheduling, occasionally HRIS systems). Inactivity (the period without an active shift) can be defined in any timeframe you want - most agencies set 60 or 90 days  without a shift as the cutoff, but the specific timeframe isn't as important as forming a habit of keeping your workforce records up to date.


Option 1 - Inactivity reports

One way to do this is set up an inactivity report on your scheduling system. There are too many scheduling systems and configurations in the market to write a detailed step-by-step for every one, but if you have trouble finding the inactivity report in your software, get in touch and we can see if there's something we can pull together relatively quickly.

Then, every week, two weeks, or month (again, the specific timeframe isn't as important as the habit), check the inactivity report and assign someone on your staff to contact the caregivers on the list. For the caregivers who are still interested in staying in touch but not actively looking for shifts, it's very important to ask them why and keep track of the reasons. Many times, business owners learn about their competition and industry standards simply by talking to their workers and keeping track of the responses.

For the caregivers who are not interested in hearing about upcoming shifts, left the profession, or simply aren't answering your calls, remove them from your roster (or at least change their status to inactive). Setting up a repeatable process like this not only helps keeps your records clean for accurate metrics, but also helps engage caregivers who may have slipped through the cracks earlier.

“Setting up a repeatable process like this not only helps keeps your records clean for accurate metrics, but also helps engage caregivers who may have slipped through the cracks earlier”

Option 2 - DIY inactivity reports

For those who don't have a custom reporting feature on their scheduling system, how this would work is every week, month, etc. you'd run a export on your system for "all active caregivers" to download the entire population of caregivers that you are choosing from when staffing upcoming cases. As always, if you have trouble finding the export function in your software, get in touch and we can help you get started.

After you have your list of active caregivers, head over to your payroll system to pull the list of everyone who has been paid in the last 60 or 90 days (again, exact timeframe doesn't matter) and make sure that "Last pay date" or something similar (e.g., "Last paycheck") is included in the report.

Now that you have the entire list of caregivers on your roster (all active caregivers) and the people who were paid (e.g., payroll as of February 19th), compare the two lists and the people who are on the roster who weren't paid are the ones your staff should either get in contact with or remove from the roster.

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Putting it all together - A short checklist

Option 1 - For those with inactivity reports

(Part 1 - Setting up)

a. Discuss with team on reporting frequency

b. Set up recurring inactivity report

(Part 2 - Forming the habit)

  1. Receive recurring inactivity report
  2. Review individuals on inactivity report - remove clear terminations (e.g., people who have quit but weren't removed from the system)
  3. Work with team to split the list of individuals to reach out
  4. Contact individuals on list - write down reasons for not accepting shifts from caregivers still interested in keeping in touch, remove from the roster the caregivers who are not interested anymore
  5. Debrief with team on themes heard from caregiver conversations and potential changes to implement

Option 2 - For those building their own inactivity reports

(Part 1 - Setting up)

a. Discuss with team on reporting frequency

b. Set up active caregivers report (from scheduling, HRIS, etc.)

c. Set up payroll report

(Part 2 - Forming the habit)

  1. Receive active caregivers and payroll reports
  2. Compare the two reports - add the individuals on the active caregivers but not on the payroll report to the inactivity report
  3. Review individuals on inactivity report - remove clear terminations (e.g., people who have quit but weren't removed from the system)
  4. Work with team to split the list of individuals to reach out
  5. Contact individuals on list - write down reasons for not accepting shifts from caregivers still interested in keeping in touch, remove from the roster the caregivers who are not interested anymore
  6. Debrief with team on themes heard from caregiver conversations and potential changes to implement

To conclude

There are various ways to clean up your database, but establishing a habit of keeping your roster and payroll in sync helps keep an accurate record of who's working for you vs. who has already left. This way, you can implement the other steps we've covered in this series and truly track whether your efforts are successful or not. In addition to cleaning up your database, you and your staff can use this as an opportunity to get in touch with caregivers who may have fell out of touch months or years ago. In today's competitive hiring environment, you never know who may end up deciding to work with you vs. the other agencies in town.


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