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United Church Homes has begun gathering critical data related to staff member engagement and satisfaction through the WeCare Connect pilot program at Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

WeCare Connect is a program that unites new and existing employees to their supervisors via phone, email or mobile app, and instantly sends an organization’s human resources team email notifications of any issues that may lead to a resignation. UCH’s goals for the program are to reduce staff turnover and to enhance staff engagement, leading to better quality outcomes for residents.

Through asking basic questions, such as, “Do you understand your job duties?” and “Did you receive adequate training?”, WeCare Connect checks in with all new staff members after two weeks of employment, then again at 45 days, 75 days and six months. Every six months after that, employees will receive questions related to job satisfaction. 

“So many organizations use exit interviews as their only mechanisms to solicit individual feedback,” said Scott Slutz, vice president of human resources at United Church Homes. “That’s what’s so appealing about this.” 

About two-thirds of UCH’s state-tested nursing assistant turnover occurs in the first year, with half of that in the first 90 days of employment, Scott said.

“If we can engage with staff on a more consistent basis in that period, we have a much better chance of finding out what’s working well and what’s not and retaining some of those staff that we may not have been able to keep in the past because they resigned,” he said.

Millennials make up a large portion of UCH’s workforce, and the employee experience matters to them. New staff members are assessing employers from the time they apply for a position through the application and onboarding process, during orientation and beyond.

WeCare Connect also helps ensure new lines of communication. Automated emails go to staff members with survey questions and if they don’t respond, a phone call from a call center may come next. Employers even have the option to send a text message with survey questions.

UCH will evaluate the pilot after collecting data for three to five months. 

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