Why do workers leave your facility?

Probably for the usual laundry list of reasons, and perhaps for some that are uniquely yours.

If you are a shoddy operator who cheats people out of earned income, breaks, needed help, growth opportunities and adult supervision, stop reading now. You’re officially hopeless.

But if you are trying to do right while doing good, my guess is that you’ll want all the tools you can to lure qualified people into your building. More important, you’ll likely want to make sure that the real gems stick around for a decade or three.

If you happen to be behind door number two, an extremely valuable tool might soon be coming your way. 

The Labor Department is putting the finishing touches on a proposal that would make it easier for small skilled care operators to participate in joint 401(k) retirement plans. The measure, if approved, would essentially let smaller firms in the same state band together —even if they are composed of very different businesses. 

Think of it as a group purchasing organization that serves small-firm employees.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 4 in 10 workers do not have access to a 401(k) or similar plan. Surely, the total is much higher in this field, particularly for standalone facilities.

This measure could make a difference for long-term care operators in at least two important ways.

First, it would allow many small operators to offer a benefit that would help attract and keep better talent.

Then there’s this: It could also mean that many of your workers can look forward to more than Social Security payments after their last shift.

John O’Connor is McKnight’s Editorial Director.