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It’s Difficult to Build a Foundation of Stable and Consistent Care if Your Staff are Continually Cycling Through Different Positions

Frontline staff are the backbone of many industries, providing the essential services that keep our societies functioning smoothly. However, retaining these vital workers poses a significant challenge, particularly when dealing with new recruits who often view their positions as stepping stones to further their careers. This dynamic can lead to a high turnover rate which has consequences far beyond the capacity of most human resource departments.

 The Revolving Door Syndrome

Many new recruits enter long term care with the goal of advancing their careers and increasing their income. While these ambitions are valid and admirable, they can lead to what some call the "Revolving Door Syndrome" in the workplace. As soon as these workers arrive to the position, they are looking for the next opportunity to climb the career ladder not wanting to stay working as a PSW/HCA, which means the workforce is in a constant state of flux. The goal is to retain workers in their respective positions and allow them to build a career in something they take pride in, creating a consistent and effective workforce.

A Workforce that is in a Constant State of Flux

This turnover is especially problematic in sectors like healthcare, where consistent care is paramount. For residents, the implications are dire: the delivery of service can decline as new staff need to be constantly trained and acclimatized. This isn't just a problem for the residents, but also for the remaining staff, who must pick up the slack and often work under increased pressure, leading to job dissatisfaction and even burnout.

 The Management Quagmire

For management, high turnover means spending more time on recruitment and training, and less on actual management duties. They find themselves in an endless cycle of "putting out fires" caused by staffing issues, rather than focusing on improving services and staff development.

 The Desperate Need for International Workers

With these challenges, the need for international workers is undeniable. They bring fresh perspectives, skills, and dedication to the workforce. The mistake is not in recruiting international workers but in failing to create a work environment that encourages them to stay.

 Shifting the Paradigm

It's time to shift the paradigm from seeing positions such as PSW/HCA as a position that can simply be filled by anyone to a position that holds value and respect, where future staff are happy to remain for a career. This requires innovative recruitment and retention strategies that focus on building a consistent level of care and reducing the costs associated with turnover.

Strategies for Retention

Here are some strategies that could help improve retention:

1. Professional Development: Offer clear pathways for advancement within the organization, so that employees see a future in their current workplace.

2. Cultural Integration: Facilitate programs that help international workers integrate into the community, making them feel more at home and less likely to move.

3. Competitive Compensation: Ensure that wages and benefits are competitive to make the proposition of staying more attractive.

4. Feedback and Engagement: Create a culture of engagement where staff feel their feedback is valued and acted upon, which can increase their emotional investment in the organization.

5. Work-Life Balance: Provide schedules that respect workers' need for a work-life balance, which can reduce burnout and turnover.


Building a healthy workforce that is committed to their roles isn't just about hiring; it's about nurturing. By adopting a mindset that seeks to retain rather than continuously recruit, organizations can increase the delivery of service while fostering a workforce that views their position as more than just a job, but as a career and a calling. This approach can lead to a more dedicated workforce, improved care for residents, and ultimately, a reduction in the high costs associated with staff turnover.

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