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Is There A Way To Lower Staff Turnover? (RALA)

Is There A Way To Lower Staff Turnover?

“I quit,” are two words you seldom want to hear from your residential assisted living staff.

Lowering your staff turnover requires three simple steps; hiring the right leaders, nurturing happy team members, and practicing the 11 pro-tips for employee retention. 

These tips require people skills that your RAL business cannot afford to take shortcuts to avoid.

Senior living staff turnover rates are about 50% for both skilled and assisted living communities. 

According to a 2013 American Health Care Association report, the national turnover rate for skilled nursing facilities was 43.9% and 51.5% for CNAs.

According to Leading Age and Health, the overall turnover rate for assisted living was 32.4%. Turnover is not good for the assisted living industry.

It is expensive to recruit, train and integrate new staff repeatedly. Staff turnover makes it extremely difficult to build a caring culture in your RAL home.

Staff retention starts with good leadership. 


There are numerous reasons a person may not be the right fit for the assisted living industry. However, the relationship between a supervisor and subordinates is a significant factor.

There is no magic bullet to retaining employees. 

Although it is important to note that positive, supportive and present leaders increase the chances of employee retention. 

The right leadership helps define and maintain an engaged workforce. Without this none of the following strategies will be effective. 

Professional development is priceless for RAL leaders. 

With this in mind, when hiring and training RAL management, remember that this position is the primary piece of the puzzle for employee satisfaction. 

Leadership is also responsible for hiring new staff, and it is important to know the industry when doing so. 

How can you avoid hiring staff members that are likely to quit?

There are three most notable reasons why RAL homes experience high staff turnover:  

  • A large proportion of college students who don’t work the full year, 
  • Workers who are unable to cope with the stress of caring for seniors, and
  • Younger staff members exploring their first years of working.

The turnover comes at a high price for RAL homeowners, and nurturing happy employees is a great start to avoid resignation letters. 


RAL homes can leverage technology and training to improve their staff’s work experience and reduce employee turnover.

Creating rewards systems, giving positive feedback, building relationships and paying competitive wages fosters happy team members. 

We want to believe that every team member 

Employees want to do a good job and believing that they are doing the best they can make them feel productive and appreciated. 

A well-structured work environment promotes procedures and protocols that make employees feel connected to the mission of your RAL home. 

Do your caregivers feel like that actually matter to your business?

If not, being devalued is enough to make anyone quickly lose commitment. 

There are some effective pro-tip strategies to create an environment where employees find it difficult to disconnect. 

How many professional tips have your RAL home implemented to reduce employee turnover? 


1. Hire the Right People

Employee retention starts during the interview process. Hire people who are committed to the industry and avoid job hoppers. Search for employees who are empathetic, team-oriented and committed to customer service. Ask preliminary questions and look for indicators to ensure that the candidate is well-suited for the RAL industry. 

2. Give Positive Feedback

Maintaining a consistently high level of care can be challenging under certain assisted living circumstances. Employees require feedback. Constructive advice and positive feedback help employees stay motivated. Engage every employee on a daily basis. This means management must create daily touchpoints between staff and leadership. Interaction must be friendly, rewarding and aligned with the culture of your RAL home. Reinforce and reassure employees with performance management, communication, and collaboration modules.

3. Let Your Employees Grow

Many people enter the RAL industry without formal training. Provide training courses, workshops and online programs to enhance special skills. This is a great way to show employees that you are committed to their professional growth. Generate employee momentum and avoid feelings of career boredom – create new challenges. These are powerful incentives for employees to stay in for the long haul.

4. Challenge and Support Your Employees

Rewarding jobs are those that challenge employees while offering consistent support. Most people like to know what they are doing is meaningful, and this requires creating challenges. It is repeatedly proven that boredom leads to dissatisfaction. As a result, people transition to different jobs daily, seeking a sense of fulfillment. Strategic managers search for productive ways to encourage their employees to stretch beyond everyday routine. Push your staff to improve. People feel connected to jobs that lend a sense of life support. 

5. Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance

RAL jobs are demanding. Oftentimes RAL employees are required to work irregular and extended hours. This limits personal time with family and minimizes the opportunity for leisure activities. Management must remain conscious of creating an environment of healthy work-life balance. Demanding work responsibilities should go hand-in-hand with time off and flexibility. Do not take advantage of your employees – find ways to show appreciation and actively acknowledge their need for personal and family time. 

6. Offer Competitive Wages

Wages are diverse in the RAL industry. However, there is a correlation between compensation and employee retention. All employees want to receive competitive pay. Otherwise, they will consistently seek employment from the highest bidder. Offering higher wages may seem cost-prohibitive in the short term. However, considering the high cost of replacing employees, it’s often the best strategy in the long run.

7. Encourage Feedback 

Employees want to be heard. Sometimes employees feel frustrated when their opinions and ideas aren’t being taken into consideration. Management must maintain a level of interest in employee ideas. Always provide regular opportunities for feedback. In fact, encourage suggestions from employees. Allowing staff to share their opinions makes them feel valued.

8. Monitor Management

It’s often said that employees don’t quit jobs, they quit bad managers. If your managers do not create the kind of culture that employees enjoy, they will quit. Monitor management to ensure that they are communicating, and not just giving direction. Make sure that the employees are being heard. Otherwise, you are likely to experience a turnover problem and not know why. Just as your employees are expected to demonstrate effective soft skills, so is your management team.

9. Include Employees in Decision Making

Every employee wants to feel that they play a key role in contributing to the RAL home goals and objectives. Do not hesitate to allow employees to make low-level decisions. It is important to trust your employees with some level of authority. 

10. Be the Best

People want to know that they are working for a winning team. It builds a sense of pride. Be sure to build your RAL home brand in a way that makes employees proud to be a part of your team.


Staff turnover is expensive and leads to poor performance and management frustration. 

The Residential Assisted Living Academy teaches students how to succeed as new RAL homeowners, operators, and managers.

Does your management team know how to generate high staff retention rates?

During the 3-day course, instructors teach using an interactive live training approach that allows participants to walk away with successful strategies.

Visit to learn more about how to lower staff turnover.

Are you ready to employ a team of professionals that will take you RAL home to the next level for the long haul?

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