Winning conditions and strategies for retaining experienced support staff in private and public residential homes and care centres



Given the aging of Québec's population, the retention of support staff in the various types of private, public and third-sector residential homes and care centres is a fundamental socio-economic issue for all managers and workers in these organizations.

In the public sector, for example, the turnover rate for employees 55 and over was 14.8% in 2015-16 for health care assistants and 14.6% for orderlies.

A first strategy for privately-owned resources is to increase the salaries and benefits of support workers.

Our study focused on identifying the winning conditions and strategies for retaining support workers. Given their accumulated experience, this is a fundamental issue in terms of quality of service and efficiency.

The main result reveals that, quantitatively, the risk of external mobility (resignation) is primarily an issue among relatively new employees, although it is also a reality among more experienced employees. Experienced workers in the private sector are often concerned about financial insecurity, while in the public sector, working conditions can lead to health issues or early retirement.  To counter these effects, several human resource management and work organization strategies have been identified.

A first strategy for privately-owned resources is to increase the salaries and benefits of support workers, allowing them to avoid precarious situations that may force them to leave their jobs or lead to financial dependence. In the public sector, the primary focus is on reducing workload, which can lead to early retirement, injury or burnout. A third strategy is staff empowerment through increased participation in the organization of work.
 

Main researcher

François Aubry, Université du Québec en Outaouais

Summary

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: September 2017