Stabilising the aged care workforce: an analysis of worker retention and intention

Anna Howe, Debra King, Julie Ellis, Yvonne Wells, Zhang Wei, Karen Teshuva

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Concerns about the capacity of the aged care industry to attract and retain a workforce with the skills required to deliver high quality care are widespread, but poor conceptualisation of the problem can result in strategies to address turnover being poorly targeted. A census of residential and community aged care services conducted by the National Institute of Labour Studies (NILS) in 2007 provided a comprehensive empirical account of the workforce, and estimated turnover on the basis of retention: that is, the proportion of the workforce who had been in their job for 1 year or less. This paper adds the dimension of intention: that is, workers' expectations as to whether in 1 year's time, they would still be working in the same aged care service. The dual driver model that takes both retention and intention into account was applied in further analysis of the 2007 NILS data. Investigation of relationships between workforce instability and 13 variables covering worker attributes, organisational attributes and structural attributes of the industry demonstrated the usefulness of the dual driver model for reconceptualising and analysing stability and, in turn, refining strategies to address turnover.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Health Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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