29% staff turnover vs 7.5%: workforce shortages to drive aged care consolidation

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Aged care providers know that workforce turnover is high – but the actual rates compared to other industries will shock you.

Research shows that across all employment sectors in 2021, the turnover was 7.5% – that is people who left their employer.

In residential care, the total number is 29% according to the recently released 2020 Workforce Census – 35% for registered nurses.

In home care, turnover was 34% with 30% of RNs and 35% of PCWs leaving their roles in the previous 12 months.

The reasons for this turnover are wide-ranging:

  • poor pay
  • pressured jobs (compliance)
  • pre-required training
  • geographic spread of workers compared to work locations
  • emotional and physical work
  • poor public perception
  • financially restricted employer provides little blue sky
  • field operations remote from head office
  • closure of immigration
  • potential work in a COVID-19 environment
  • mandated COVID-19 vaccinations
  • volume of new workers versus increasing demand
  • and more

But the numbers highlight an important truth.

Competition for workforce is likely to become the key factor in providers’ success or failure over the next few years.

Last week’s Workforce issue of SATURDAY made it clear that a strong culture, developed and delivered by leadership, delivers stable staff.

These businesses also can effectively recruit locally, often by referral from the existing staff (see the ECH and ACH Group story).

Operators that don’t invest in these areas may find themselves unable to compete in the new aged care market.