At CSG, we strive to provide the best services for those in our care and the best work environment for our team. CSG employees experience daily opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life, while gaining skills and experience that will help them develop and grow within our organization. We want every member of the CSG team to share their creativity and compassion with the individuals we serve so they can experience life to the fullest.
We recently partnered with a consultant to better understand, in today’s climate, what attracts people to a job and why they choose to stay with a company. We focused specifically on Direct Support Professional (DSP) and Direct Support Specialist (DSS) roles, positions at CSG with high turnover rates. We wanted to explore what was happening at a national level and at CSG, with the goal of developing solutions and resources to build a more positive, engaging experience. The research included analysis of both external and internal factors, industry trends, competition, and in-depth employee interviews.
We uncovered some industry-wide issues that are currently affecting most DSPs and DSSs. For instance, the number of individuals needing care is growing exponentially and individuals with IDD are living longer. Given current turnover and increasing demand, there are not always enough caregivers to meet the need. Because service providers do not have enough direct care workers to meet the need, many employees feel overwhelmed, resources are stretched, and staff are looking to supervisors for a higher level of support because of increased hours and limited staffing.
In addition to being stretched too thin, direct care staff spend their working hours caring for others, increasing the likelihood that they will experience Compassion Fatigue. This is a common experience for the human services profession, and when we fail to recognize or address compassion fatigue, it can result in employee burnout and turnover.
Through our research and conversations with employees, we found opportunities to help people feel more valued and engaged. We’re focusing on the employee experience rooted in the meaning, autonomy, growth, impact, and connection that employees feel (or don’t). We know that effective communication and a meaningful career path can mean different things to different people. Our diverse workforce is multi-generational and each person brings their own experiences, skills, and cultural perspectives, shaping the way they prefer to receive information and provide feedback. Varied backgrounds also mean varied professional development goals, requiring different training, supports, and tools. Meeting such a broad spectrum of needs is a challenge, but it is also a primary focus for CSG.
Based on what we have learned, we are continuing to focus on new and creative approaches to employee engagement, both with our current workforce and those new to CSG. We want to create an environment where employees choose to be engaged in their work. We were recently recognized by DecisionWise as a recipient of their 2019 Engagement Best Practices award. The recognition demonstrates that we are doing many of the right things, and that our employees are overwhelmingly choosing to engage in their work at CSG.
One of our top priorities is developing more effective channels of communication as well as ensuring that employees feel they can provide feedback on what’s important or concerning to them. In addition, we are exploring how we can provide continued training and development opportunities for all interested employees. For our new employees, we are improving our onboarding process to immerse them into our culture and the meaningful work we do. Above all, we remain committed to providing an exceptional benefits package, including flexible schedules, generous PTO, top-tier health benefits and opportunities for professional growth, and we strive to be the best in the industry.
At CSG, we are dedicated to being a healthy company where employees feel valued and engaged. We know that the role of a caregiver is both uniquely challenging and incredibly impactful. At CSG, we work every day to ensure that our DSPs, DSSs and all other employees know they are valued and are the heart of our organization. We want our employees to feel seen, heard and appreciated. When our workforce gets to experience meaning and joy in their jobs, the individuals we serve receive the excellent and extraordinary care that they deserve.