It goes without saying that the demands on frontline care teams are changing rapidly. With workforce featuring as one of the top challenges most teams face across the country, the need to scale those teams underpins this.
Care workforce shortage and reforms uncertainty
Client demands are increasing as families demand more awareness. Teams are constantly facing change driven by these demands and more so with the uncertainty around reforms and other legislative changes across the sector. Management teams have the challenge of setting their teams up for success in this world, which is no small task given how busy the operating environments are.
Across a series of interviews with varying organisations across the country, most groups see this challenge in two ways:
- The ability to attract the right new staff.
- The ability to retain and nurture existing teams.
Whilst the two topics have different pathways, they share something in common. One problem impacts the other. Without focusing on empowering and retaining teams, the challenge of scaling and attracting new staff increases. Said another way, providers will need to recruit more staff under more pressure, not only to meet the growing demands but also to backfill members that have left.
With ~20% as the standard attrition rate across aged care and the average cost to replace staff at over $10,000 per team member (productivity and recruitment costs), it’s a big challenge and opportunity for teams to lock onto.
Imagine a team consisting of 100 care workers. With 20% (20 workers) leaving each year, this costs the organisation over $200,000 – per year.
So, what makes an engaged and satisfied care team?
Most teams cited the below as reasons for satisfaction:
- A sense of purpose
- Rewarding work with clients
- Relationships with co-workers across the company
- Streamlined and Simplified processes and technology usage across teams
One aspect that leaders recognised as fundamental to creating successful teams was communication.
Frontline teams are the eyes and ears of care organisations. The demands placed on them to drive “awareness” of client needs/conditions and feedback (in addition to following changing processes) is an ongoing challenge that most teams struggle with. From writing post-it notes, typing them up at the end of the day to returning to their car after a homecare visit and completing emails to get that critical information back to head office…the list goes on.
For customer service and scheduling teams, most of the time, their world is chaotic with endless mountains of work (usually email) that’s unorganised, un-categorised with no easy way to find details and move the work forward.
Setting up care teams for success needs technology, now
Connecting clients, families, and teams with the technology they already use today (SMS, email, phone, App) streamlines their world, setting them up for success, which drives satisfaction across the board.
Groups are opting to move away from email to tools like Hayylo that offer easy ways to communicate with everyone across the clients’ health network, simply and easily. In addition, the same tools provide ways to empower frontline teams when working with key processes, information in a changing environment and more so – each other.
Frontline teams rely on clients, families and their head office teams to provide the best support possible. Setting care teams up for success is a key focus across the aged and disability sector at the moment and is the foundation of all organisations teams.