A People-First Approach: 4 Ways to Retain Your Employees with EVS Staffing Software
One of the biggest questions facing EVS Directors today is: how do you retain your EVS employees? Taking a people-first approach––taking the time to check in regularly with your team, encourage their growth, and recognize their work––can help retain and strengthen your EVS department.
The pandemic has exacerbated the already existing challenges of retaining hospital facilities staff. While turnover rates in healthcare have improved since the pandemic peak, recovery is still slow––and EVS employees in particular have reported feeling underappreciated. That means it’s more important than ever for EVS Managers to assess their practices for reducing turnover and increase their efforts to show appreciation to their team members.
Here are some ways of showing your employees that they are valued:
Stay Engaged with your Employees
The first job of every manager is to make sure they are engaging consistently with their employees: understanding their full scope of responsibilities, setting achievable work assignments, and providing many opportunities for staff to check in.
What does that look like?
- Daily staff meetings. For most EVS teams, this means having a quick huddle at the start of shift to make sure employees are clear on their priorities for the day, and also have the opportunity to bring up any concerns they might have.
- Balanced work assignments. Creating balanced work assignments ensure your EVS staff can spend the most time and effort on the most productive areas. It also offers more structure by removing uncertainty, and ensuring workloads are manageable.
- Document cleaning responsibilities. Understanding and documenting the responsibilities of each EVS employee on a daily basis minimizes the chance of miscommunication, and ensures your staff knows how to be in the right place at the right time.
Smart Facility Software can help managers create and document balanced work assignments––including both daily tasks and project work––so your EVS employees know exactly what to do at any given time. Making sure your EVS team has the time and tools to get the job done also ensures they’ll have the capacity to focus on what many EVS technicians report as the most rewarding parts of their job: making connections with the patients they serve.
“To provide an infection-free environment, hundreds of tasks have to be performed every day. The software has a database that houses all the areas that need to be cleaned and all the tasks that need to be performed in those areas. This helps us create achievable work assignments for our staff. When our staff knows exactly what to do, it frees them up to make genuine connections with the patients.” ‑David Snook, EVS Director (?), Carolina East Hospital
Invest in Their Work
One of the best ways to make sure your staff feels invested in their jobs is to invest in them as workers. Ensuring their pay is commensurate with their work responsibilities is one way to do that, but it’s not the only way. It can also look like investing in improvements that make their jobs safer and easier, like:
- Researching new industry improvements that will make their jobs easier;
- Purchasing the latest equipment that will keep your employees safe;
- Investing in technology that will improve communication and productivity.
Investing in EVS software adds capabilities like mobile communications that make your EVS team’s jobs easier––and when your team knows that you’re willing to invest in supporting them, it makes them feel more invested in their work.
“I like the [Smart Facility mobile communication] software because it tells me where I need to be. I work in different areas everyday, and the software helps me by saving time, by showing me and telling me where I need to go and what I am supposed to be doing.” ‑EVS Technician, Carolina East Hospital
Provide Opportunities for Advancement
One way to keep employees motivated is by making it clear what the opportunities for advancement are, and how to achieve them. A capable, hardworking environmental services tech can move up the EVS ladder relatively quickly, so it’s important managers identify the skills and potential of employees early, and encourage them in the right direction. It’s also important to check in with them regularly so you can recognize their strengths and achievements, and identify opportunities for growth and improvement.
You can also encourage employees to seek accreditation and other advanced training opportunities that will allow them to build their credentials, and open the doors for advancement. Continuing education builds confidence, and an EVS team that feels confident in their training and abilities are more likely to want to continue to grow in their roles.
Smart Facility Software makes it easy to schedule, manage, and document training so you can ensure your EVS Department is getting the education they need to feel confident in their work.
Show Recognition and Appreciation
It’s important to remember that before they are your employees, EVS workers are humans first––unique individuals who all have different strengths, and need to be recognized and heard on a regular basis.
EVS workers literally save lives, by creating a clean, infection-free environment for their patients. The more managers can recognize and reinforce the importance of their work, the more motivated their team will be to show up to work every day.
Here are some ways to recognize and show appreciation for your staff:
- Remember to recognize them on their birthdays, and other life events;
- Giving them regular chances to be heard through regular employee rounding;
- Take the opportunity to recognize them when they’ve gone above and beyond for work.
A good EVS staffing software can help provide opportunities for recognition, simply by documenting and reporting on your EVS team’s achievements. Our survey tools can help document employee rounding, so you’re staying on top of your employee needs and concerns of your staff. It also helps by freeing up some of your time as a manager: when you have to spend less time figuring out your daily work assignments, you can spend more time on recognizing and increasing the morale of your EVS team.
“EVS technicians are not housekeepers – they are highly trained professionals with an incredibly complex job. Their mission isn’t just to provide an aesthetically pleasing clean environment, but to save lives by eliminating the environment as a source of pathogen transmission. And I don’t know anyone who works harder. EVS workers I’ve worked with talk about how they clean a patient room as if a member of their family will be in that room next. So we need to elevate this profession and treat them as the professionals they are.” -Infection Preventionist Doe Kley