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

Want to find out how Smart Facility Software can support your team? Call 800–260-8665 or click here to schedule a demo today!