Direct Support Professional shortages and turnover are challenges that have been ongoing for a few years and directly affect not only businesses but most importantly, it impacts the lives of the people served.
New DSPs must learn not only the dynamics of their job but the needs and personalities of each person they serve. It can be overwhelming and frustrating if training is inadequate, and the staff is shorthanded. It can also be negative if the pay is less than anticipated, and the workload is more than expected. Caregiver burnout can play a part in the DSP shortage, so work benefits and appreciation are crucial in maintaining longevity in the workplace.
Let’s take a look at how perpetual turnover affects the people receiving care. As new team members come on board, people living in long-term care environments rely on them for care in many ways. Getting comfortable and feeling secure is extremely important, and then friendships form, and friends become family. With DSP turnover, all of that comes to an end when turnover leads to loss. For the business, it means a loss of a well-trained, experienced team member, but to the person, it means the loss of someone close to them…someone they depend on and have grown to care about. Then what? Loss can lead to depression and sadness, feelings of loneliness, and loss of routine.
DSP turnover can also lead to health issues falling through the cracks as team members come and go. One family talks about how their daughter’s care has been compromised by the DSP shortage and turnover. http://www.njdspcoalition.org/blog/a-parent-shares-the-impact-of-the-dsp-workforce-crisis
What is the answer to this challenging situation? One great piece of the puzzle is to raise the wages for those who are responsible for the care and well-being of others. That is a work in progress. Making sure that as a business, your team members know they are valued and appreciated is vitally important. At one time or another, no matter how many digits make up our income, we have all felt underappreciated. Employers always need to be thinking of the next best step to make sure those who have an excellent work ethic are rewarded appropriately! Remember, rewards do not always need to have monetary value; sometimes, just verbal recognition is all it takes to make someone’s day! https://www.greatplacetowork.com/resources/blog/creating-a-culture-of-recognition
At Echoing Hills, we are striving to make a difference not only in the lives of those we serve but also in the lives of our team members. With a solid plan and appropriate efforts, we are making a difference in the turnover rate.