How to reduce employee churn with aged care software
In the face of ongoing aged care reforms and home care package (HCP) changes, service providers need to reshape and reconsider their employee engagement strategy to better connect with their workers, lower staff turnover and improve their bottom line.
At the heart of any successful aged care provider business are effective, engaged and happy employees. However, the recruitment and retention of this critical workforce remain some of the industry’s biggest challenges.
According to HESTA’s ‘Transforming Aged Care’ report, an estimated 23% of aged care workers intend to leave the sector within the next five years – that equates to over 80,000 employees. (1)
This potential shortfall is significant as the industry needs to retain employees while attracting significantly more to keep up with the growing demand.
High employee turnover negatively impacts providers, staff wellbeing and the quality of care delivered. Churn creates a continuity gap in services, may force providers to turn away potential clients, and leads to poor staff morale and unreliable scheduling.
Incorporating practices to improve retention allows organisations to avoid the high cost associated with replacing employees, enhances consumer-directed client care and creates an environment that supports an engaged, fulfilled workforce to thrive.
Lumary works closely with aged care/home care providers and these are the three most common issues our customers report when it comes to unhappy workers.
3 reasons why aged care staff leave and how to change the pattern
1. Combatting staff fatigue with automation
Employee burnout isn’t an individual issue; it’s a company issue. If support workers are exhausted, clients will feel it – and what hurts clients ultimately hurts the bottom line.
Time constraints, an overwhelming workload and constant changes in regulation and reporting requirements lead to mental and physical fatigue – a major deciding factor for workers wanting to resign. It also means less personalised services and less time to connect with care recipients.
A 2019 survey conducted by a research team from the University of New South Wales, Macquarie University and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology found that 74% of people who were working in home care reported that they had insufficient time ‘to listen and connect with older people’. (2)
The Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report also suggests that the impact of time pressure on the capacity of personal care workers to provide high-quality care may be compounded by challenges associated with administrative tasks. (3)
There are many ways in which the right tech can support your staff. With cloud-based care management software, staff are able to access and record data in real-time which eliminates the need for doubling up on recording data manually and then again into the system.
Tech that enables the automation of claims and payment processing reduces manual processes so staff are presented with significant time savings when submitting claims, and organisations receive their funding quicker.
By leveraging the power of technology, providers can reduce pressure on their staff, cut back on costs, facilitate consumer directed care through accurate and accessible real-time data, and ultimately increase employee satisfaction.
During a conversation with Hello Care, Lumary’s aged care expert Karen Tansey explains, “Efficiencies in workflow are critical because they create cost efficiencies. A client’s needs can change quickly, and providers need a software solution that can convey these changes in real-time.” (4)
2. Prioritise professional development to keep staff motivated
Lack of training and skills development remain a big concern for the aged care workforce. With the sector moving towards a consumer directed care model and a global shift towards tech-enabled care delivery, this workforce requires the appropriate technology and training to facilitate their work.
Worryingly, in the Philips Future Health Index 2021 report, almost half (47%) of younger Australian healthcare professionals indicated they didn’t know how to use digital patient data to inform care. (5)
The report also indicates that 43% of Australian healthcare leaders see their staff’s lack of experience with new technology as the top internal barrier to preparing for the future.
To implement and operate tech successfully, organisations need to prioritise upskilling their staff, and in particular, through change management.
Training and education is also a powerful retention and attraction tool. It keeps employees motivated, shows their professional development is valued and leads to a more qualified workforce and greater efficiencies.
Another great way to encourage a culture of development is by instilling ‘champions’ in various business units and empowering them to support their teams in the adoption and effective use of aged care software and processes.
3. Empower employees with greater support
If staff feel unsupported or unheard, it may detract from a positive working environment and influence their decision to leave. This is especially true when it comes to the adoption of new systems.
Choosing a tech partner that understands the complexities of change management is integral to the satisfaction of your workforce. You need a tech partner that will support your team to digitise.
It’s why Lumary has in-house Customer Success and Customer Outcomes Management Departments. It ensures customers have access to the support they need.
Employees can also use Lumary’s online help centre, which is an excellent resource for everything they need, including step-by-step guides for easy reference.
Organisations should consider their staff when putting new systems and procedures in place – it is key to developing the relationship-based culture necessary for staff engagement and productivity.
During the change management process, it’s important to engage many different stakeholders to get buy-in from all departments and ensure they feel part of the process. When people feel supported and engaged, they are more likely to take pride in what they do and deliver better quality services.
“Digitally transforming your organisation can be challenging”, says Tansey, “especially for workforces who are often the ones having to learn new tech and adapt to new processes”.
Over the last few years, Lumary has supported providers and their teams to transition to a single connected care management platform and understand how important it is to include consultation, implementation, and continued customer support as part of their service offering.
An engaged workforce means better outcomes for all
Aged care providers are only as successful as their ability to attract and retain the best healthcare professionals.
For this reason, organisations should be mindful of their employees’ needs, incorporate digital processes to reduce staff pressure and prioritise staff development to keep employees engaged and committed to their work.
With more satisfied and empowered staff, there will be greater continuity in care and improved outcomes for service providers and the aged people receiving services.
If you’re a home aged care service provider and wondering if your existing tech is right for you, make sure you are taking the right steps to find a health tech partner that will support your organisation and staff. (6)