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5 Essentials for Change Management in Disability & Aged Care

Hamish Matheson - Enterprise Healthcare Consultant, Lumary

Change management can make or break a digital transformation for disability and aged care providers. Hamish Matheson, Enterprise Healthcare Consultant at Lumary, breaks down the key takeaways from Lumary’s webinar on the Importance of change management for digital transformation.

In the first episode of our three-part webinar series, we looked at how to build a strong business case for digital transformation. In episode 2, I was joined by a panel of industry specialists from leading services provider I Can Jump Puddles and Lumary to discuss an agile approach to change management.

Change management can be a tricky process to navigate. Some words we hear regularly are: resistance, lack of support, confusion, and lack of direction. This is understandable when we look at industry research that says that over 70% of change management projects fail. The two most common factors are employee resistance and lack of management support.

Conversely, industry research also finds that 81% of projects with effective change management come in at or under budget and on time or under time. If done in the right way, there’s a lot that can be attributed to the power of effective change management.

Let’s dive into how you can set yourself up for success by implementing an agile approach to change for both your organisation and customers to achieve person-centred care.


1. Reframe the way you think about change

As Josh Pix, Lumary’s Director of Delivery, says in the webinar, “A lot of us are still stuck in the old ways of thinking about change. If one of the first things you think about when change management comes to mind is how to put a plan around it, you’re already setting yourself up for failure.”

We need to recognise that change is constant—particularly in the disability and aged care sectors. It’s impossible to create a change management plan for every change in your business. So, if your approach to change management has a defined beginning and end, you’re already behind the eight ball.

One way to do this is by reframing the way we think about change management by viewing it as continuous improvement. Consider it a catalyst for improvement and an opportunity to increase staff satisfaction, improve your business processes, and bring greater care to your clients.


2. Determine your ‘Why’

To achieve successful change management, ongoing communication around the reasons for the change is a must. Sam Boag, Founder of I Can Jump Puddles, shared that her number one piece of advice is to “work out why you’re doing it, and what your ultimate goal is.”

Once you’re clear on the ‘why’, the process of getting staff on board becomes a lot easier. For Sam Boag, their ‘why’ is increasing staff retention and satisfaction and improving client outcomes. As a sector, we still rely heavily on paper-based processes and spreadsheets, and the time-consuming administration is a big pain point for staff.

Sam found success in communicating that the implementation of an end-to-end care management solution would significantly reduce administrative burden and give staff more time to do more of what they love—working with clients to improve outcomes. This was a big selling point for engaging staff and resulted in high levels of tech adoption.


3. Consider the three C’s

When undergoing change management, consider the three C’s: collaboration, communication, and commitment.

Collaboration is an important first step. View your staff as valuable assets and tap into their knowledge and experience to get the most out of your digital solution. To start off on the right foot, involve staff at all levels of the organisation and as early in the process as possible.

Beyond the leadership team, your frontline workers are your ear to the ground as people who engage with the system and clients every day. By implementing an ongoing feedback loop, staff can share ideas about what they’ve heard speaking with clients or their own ideas about what can be improved.

When considering how you communicate, keep in mind that not everybody is tech savvy and it’s a good idea to break down the technical jargon into meaningful language that all staff can understand. This is where ‘change champions’ can be incredibly helpful. By instilling ‘change champions’ in various business units and empowering them to support their teams, you’re more likely to increase the adoption and effective use of your care management software and new processes.

For the third C, we’re looking at commitment from the business. One of the ways to do this is through regular measurement and pulse checks on the progress of the change and the impacts it is having on the business and the provision of care. The business must review and be willing to try new and practical ways to implement change based on the age, experience and technological maturity within the business.


4. Upskill your team

The proper training is absolutely essential for a successful digital transformation. Employees need to feel comfortable using new technology and updated business processes in order to achieve organisation-wide system adoption.

As Lachie Boag, IT Systems Manager at I Can Jump Puddles, discusses in the webinar, patience is critical. “There’s no one way of approaching change for everyone. Everyone comes from different backgrounds, learns in different ways and will take the process at different paces,” Lachie said.

As such, the resources you provide your workforce to help them through that change are critical. To accommodate all staff, engage with them about how they learn best—whether that’s a video explanation, a guide with step-by-step instructions or a one–on–one meeting—and create resources to suit the different ways your staff learn.


5. Collaborate with your tech partner

Technology partners play a vital role throughout a digital transformation, so it’s essential to choose the right tech partner when embarking on change management. A strong tech partnership will set you up for success.

Your tech partner will align with your vision and be willing to work with you to make the necessary changes to support the ongoing success of your organisation. A key part of this is a partner that is actively listening to your ideas and understanding your problems to guide you toward solutions that fit your specific needs.

However, it’s important to remember that your relationship with your tech partner shouldn’t mean that you’re completely dependent on them. The right tech partner should support and guide you with the tools to build up your own capacity so that you aren’t reliant on them after implementation.


The key to a successful digital transformation

Within the ever-changing environment of the disability and aged care sectors, embracing a culture of change is a must, even more so for those undergoing a digital transformation.

There may be some bumps along the way, but in those moments, look back at your ‘why’. By transforming your organisation and improving your business processes, you can achieve a happier workforce and better client outcomes.

I hope you found the summary above useful. You can watch the webinar on-demand to hear the full discussion from the knowledgeable panel, including our customer, I Can Jump Puddles, and Lumary’s Director of Delivery, Josh Pix.

If you have any questions or thoughts on the webinar discussion, feel free to connect with me or get in touch via hamish.matheson@lumary.com.au. To learn more about how Lumary’s software can support you, you can also connect with the Lumary team today.