|After 23 years in the healthcare field, varying in roles in medical and pharmaceutical sales, Ken Helmuth purchased a 5-year old Right at Home franchise in the Durham/Chapel Hill area. Since taking over the agency, Ken has tripled his business, and attributes his success to focusing on building a dedicated internal team to creating a brand that is well-known and respected in his community.|
Internal culture breeds collaborative business practices
Ken’s business mantra stresses the importance of engagement and follow-up with his clients. Ken recognized he was bearing a lot of responsibility, making it difficult for him to prioritize the individual touch that had differentiated his business when he was just starting out. Since then, he has cultivated a dedicated internal office team who “really do make this agency run. I can leave and it can run.”
“We all trust each other. I think it's about being cross-trained and providing a team atmosphere where we're really there to support one of two things; Everybody in my office, they come every day to work to support the caregivers and the clients. We don't have one without the other.”
Caregiver recognition promotes caregiver retention
Ken believes that the amazing team he has in place helps his agency hire and retain great caregivers. His team is focused on continuously improving the caregiver experience. He makes it a priority to engage with the caregivers when they come in, but also go out to visit with them. They’ve also started a Hero Program, where every month, the team sends a shout out to all of the caregivers to announce who the Heroes of the Month. They hold regular all-hands meetings that include training for caregivers, and a celebration to recognize all of the caregivers at an employee appreciation brunch. As an added incentive, caregivers are on-the-clock when they attend the all-hands.
“We had a caregiver in the office the other day who has been here for six and a half years -- even before I bought the agency. Those are the kind of people you want to continue to reward... you do whatever you can to retain them.”
Agency transparency increases billable hours and new client referrals
Ken utilizes and encourages families to use ClearCare’s Family Room feature to ensure that clients’ families have visibility into the care that their loved one is receiving. The Family Room provides family members with 24-hour access to information on upcoming schedules, the caregiver team, medications, invoices, and even details down to the tasks that were completed during each shift.
Maintaining his professional brand as a leader in the community
Ken’s personal involvement in the community has given him the ability to connect with locals in the industry and build his business and Right at Home brand. He sits on the board for multiple organizations, including Carolina Villages, a nonprofit organization that provides a network of resources for seniors to age in their home. Currently, Right at Home is the preferred onsite vendor at an independent senior living location, and hopes to build these kinds of relationships and continue provide quality care. He partners with the community to provide additional one-on-one support to their residents so they can continue to live independently.
Ken has seen an increase of hours with existing clients, and has received approximately 15 word-of-mouth referrals in 2016 from seniors looking for care, saying that they heard from a family member or friend to call his Right at Home. He attributes this to the level of service his caregivers and directors continue to provide, as well as the market intelligence that he has been able to gather from his Home Care Pulse client satisfaction data. Ken knows that his brand may start with him but it ultimately reflects the care provided by his caregivers. He is highly engaged with his referral partners, to the point that they know that they can call him anytime on his cell phone, no matter if it is the weekend or the holiday.
“I'm engaged, and I'm accessible...it's my company, and ultimately I'm responsible for it. That’s what makes us different. Being engaged and involved gives my referral sources confidence that Right at Home lives up to our promises. My advice to owners is that nobody can sell your business like you can.