It’s no secret. At the end of the day, managing a staff schedule in a group home setting can be down right painful. Last minute call-offs and no shows can send your schedule into a frenzy. Filling open shifts can leave home managers chasing down staff to ensure they’re staffed consistently. And lack of visibility often leads to many wondering how well they’re actually utilizing the staff they have.
Staff scheduling doesn’t have to be so painful. Here are a few strategies for group home providers that can help.
- Document Preferred Shift Times
Last minute call-offs and no shows are one of the biggest scheduling pains group home providers face. While you will never be able to fully eliminate this headache, documenting and scheduling to each employee’s preferred shift times can go a long way in reducing them.
Many hourly employees are working second jobs, in school or have family duties they are trying to juggle. Working with your staff to create best-fit schedules can help them strike that balance, decreasing the chance they’ll need to call-off last minute in order to accommodate their other responsibilities.
Meet with your staff regularly to make sure the schedule they’re working today reflects when they are actually available. And be sure to track key attendance metrics such as call-offs and late punches. If you notice a pattern of attendance issues with any of your employees, pull them aside to see if the problem is scheduling related or something else.
If it is scheduling related, work with that employee to make any necessary adjustments. Not scheduling related? Take this as an opportunity to provide additional coaching and get to the root of the problem.
- Make Requesting Open Shifts Fair & Equitable
Including your employees in the scheduling process can go a long way in boosting overall staff satisfaction and engagement. But most importantly, it’s a great way to ensure you have the shift coverage you need—especially if the process for employees to request open shifts is fair and equitable.
Manually scheduling on pen and paper or spreadsheets can make this extremely difficult to do. Investing in a cloud-based workforce management platform not only reduces the amount of time it takes to create a new schedule but allows home mangers to instantly share them with their entire staff. Once posted, all your employees can see which shifts are still available and put in their requests.
Have certain shifts that are historically difficult to fill? Consider adding an incentive such as a gift card to those who volunteer. Or, if you have an employee rewards program, award bonus points to those who step up to fill those shifts.
- Share Staff Across Homes & Programs
Consistent care starts with consistent staffing. But with increasing demand for services, high turnover, fierce competition for talent and a growing workforce shortage, this consistency isn’t always so easy to achieve.
Providers who are operating multiple homes and programs can maximize the use of the staff they have by sharing employees across multiple sites, making it easier to fill shifts and ensure proper staffing.
Start by seeing which employees are willing to work outside their home base. Document which locations they prefer to work, as well as their availability. Next, make sure home managers have visibility into which employees are eligible to be shared and that employees have a quick and easy way to request shifts in each of their respective locations.
Workforce management platforms such as OnShift can provide the level of visibility home managers need to see efficiently share staff and ensure they’re able to staff consistently.