Staff Retention in 5 Easy Steps

Cheerful multiracial colleagues looking at camera in office


If you work in long-term care, you know how important staff retention is. Without consistent staffing, care communities and their residents suffer the serious consequences of inadequate care, unnecessary expenses, and inefficient operations. With person-centered care becoming more and more important in meeting CMS guidelines, consistent staffing is a necessary part of implementing these regulations in your organization. But where do you start? How can you find the solution for you and your community to consistent staffing?

We have developed this step-by-step plan to help you meet your goals quickly and at a low cost, with insight, advice, and solutions from expert leaders in the field.

Not only will these resources help you achieve staff retention, but they will demonstrate to the families and loved ones of your current and future residents that your community is the very best in long-term care.


Book cover for Enhancing Staff Retention in Person-Centered Care Environments for Older Adults by Janine LangeWinner! 2016 American Journal of Nursing (AJN) Book of the Year Award

Start off right by ensuring your staff’s needs are met during orientation. Janine Lange, a clinical nurse educator, has standardized new employee orientation programs in many long-term care communities. Her experience and practical knowledge make this an indispensable resource. From defining the culture of a community to establishing an organization’s needs to skills testing and the evaluation process, this comprehensive guide covers the essential elements needed for a successful training program.

Enhancing Staff Retention also stresses the importance of creating a mentorship program between new and existing employees and provides valuable insight into how to sustain such a program. Provided for you are sample agendas, forms, and checklists to streamline the process.

Ways to use this book:

  • Make the case to key decision makers for the importance of investing in staff
  • Use as a guide and reference as part of a quality improvement program to reduce turnover
  • Use the agendas, forms, and checklists to demonstrate the orientation program is well thought-out, professional, and accountable
  • Gather your exemplary employees to help implement a mentorship program to newer staff
  • Ensure all staff are taught at their learning level and are receiving comprehensive training
  • Implement best practices for skills testing and evaluation



What Living as a Resident Can Teach Long-Term Care StaffExperiential learning is the process of learning through experience and hands-on interactions. What is it like to be unable to move without setting off a personal body alarm? How painful and lonely is it to sit in a wheelchair for hours on end? How does it feel to be incontinent in front of others? These are challenges that residents in long-term care can face on a daily basis. This empathy program, called Through the Looking Glass, puts staff directly in the shoes of the residents as they simulate these experiences and live them for themselves. With measurable benefits like elimination of personal body alarms, decreased falls, reduced use of psychotropic drugs, and increased staff retention and satisfaction, this program will help you create more compassionate caregivers, improve care practices, and enhance well-being for both staff and residents. All staff members will benefit from reading this succinct guide and seeing the relatable struggles to foster a person-centered community. Once your staff steps into the shoes of the resident, they’ll never look at care the same way again.

Ways to use this book:

  • Have your organization distribute books to all Administrators and meet to discuss how to implement this method, and how it will help meet the goals of your organization
  • Implement this program at your facility to improve care practices and ensure you are hiring and keeping the right staff
  • Introduce the book to family members to demonstrate how your organization ensures their loved ones are receiving the best possible care
  • Have all staff read the book and keep as a reference, in addition to participating in the program
  • Have staff keep a journal of their experiences and what they have learned



The Best Friends Approach to Dementia Care, Second EditionNow that staff understand the experience of being a resident, have them use the Best Friends™ approach to become the best caregiver they can be. Built on the essential elements of friendship—respect, empathy, support, trust, and humor—staff can create a relationship of mutual respect with those they are caring for, and ensure the highest quality of life.

Ways to use this book:

  • Distribute books to all staff and meet to discuss the approaches in the book and how to implement them in your organization
  • Have an expert leader come to your organization to train staff in the approach
  • Use the book to role play with staff, creating scenarios that might arise, and learning how to handle them
  • Have staff attend the Best Friends™ Approach Institute for Master Trainer Certification to become certified in this approach
  • Learn and master the approach to become a certified Best Friends™ community to demonstrate to family members how your organization ensures their loved ones are receiving the best possible care



Accepting the Challenge DVDNow it’s time to test your staff on their knowledge. This training DVD of four modules will ensure your staff have grasped the concepts and are implementing them correctly.

An occupational therapist and nurse practitioner introduce powerfully effective ways of thinking and caring for older adults with dementia, teaching state-of-the art quality care that provides the highest quality of life for long-term care residents. Divided into four separate modules for progressive learning, this DVD provides training on multiple levels for all learning styles. Includes a testing section that allows learners to demonstrate proficiency and receive continuing education credits for dementia-specific training.

Ways to use this DVD:

  • Create an interactive in-service for staff to watch the modules together
  • Have staff demonstrate proficiency and receive continuing education credits (CEUs) for dementia-specific training
  • Use the testing section to ensure staff are familiar with concepts and adjust training accordingly



Empowered Work Teams in Long-Term CareBy this time, your staff will be trained on person-centered care and how to implement it. Ensuring staff feel appreciated will help prevent high turnover rates.

Keep them motivated and inspired with the information in this book—a guide to creating empowered work teams. Learn how to involve non-management employees in brainstorming, problem solving, and decision making.

Provided for you are assessment forms, staff training materials, step-by-step implementation guidelines, and troubleshooting tips.

Ways to use this book:

  • Create an interactive in-service for staff


This Staff Retention Library has discount quantity pricing. We will work with you to understand the unique needs of your organization and help you choose the best fit. In most cases, we recommend giving every staff member a copy of these books for self-study or for reference. We also offer customization for your organization—we can put your logo on the cover, do a special print run, etc. We will work with you to meet your needs!

Contact us at 410-337-9585 or to discuss what we can do for you.