CNA sitting on stairs with head in her hands.

Stress and burnout are top concerns of long-term care workers, according to the results of a newly released OnShift survey. 

Forty-nine percent of respondents named stress and burnout among their top concerns, compared with 59 % in the previous study. Seventy-two of those reporting extreme levels of burnout or stress in the latest survey indicated that they were less likely to recommend their workplace to a friend or colleague than in the past.

The research report from the Cleveland-based human capital management software company highlighted the findings of a June survey about workforce perspectives, with responses from almost 1,800 professionals representing assisted living (37%), skilled nursing (34%), memory care (7%), continuing care retirement communities (2%), independent living (4%), home health (3%) and other healthcare areas (13%). 

“These perspectives are critical as organizations continually evolve their workforce strategies to meet the needs of today’s workforce,” OnShift noted.

Although stress and burnout remain high, 38% of participants expressed a decrease in fear and safety concerns due to COVID-19 than a year ago, and 44% said they are feeling more satisfied or very satisfied with their organizations, a 13% increase from the 2021 survey results.

Diversity, equity and inclusion programs appear to be effective in senior living and care organizations, according to responses. Across all cohorts, 84% of participants said they agreed or strongly agreed that their organizations value DEI.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they have at least considered leaving their jobs in the past year, however. Temptations included better pay and/or benefits (52%), improved professional/personal life balance (34%), better career growth opportunities (26%) and other (9%). Caregivers indicated a slightly higher interest than other respondents in working outside of healthcare (17%).

Respondents haven’t changed their minds regarding which perks they value most at work compared with last year’s survey results. Bonus pay for working difficult shifts ranked highest (40%), followed by a rewards and recognition program for contributions at work (26%), a more flexible work schedule (24%) and additional time off (23%).

“Outside of pay and additional perks or benefits, staffing levels were the most significant driver of retention,” OnShift noted. “As such, senior [living and] care organizations should consider initiatives that allow them to maintain more consistent staffing levels and ensure workers are not left feeling stressed and burned out due to being overworked and over-scheduled.”