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5 Ways Tech Is Changing Employee Engagement In Behavioral Health

5 Ways Tech Is Changing Employee Engagement In Behavioral Health (1)Technology impacts everything we do. It helps us avoid traffic on our way to work. It allows us to binge watch our favorite shows while standing in line at the grocery store. It’s even changed the way healthcare providers care for patients. Yet, with all these advances, many organizations have failed to take advantage of all the ways technology can help them better engage their employees.

As turnover rates in the behavioral health industry continue to rise, engaging and retaining top talent has become a top priority for many organizations. Here are five ways technology can transform employee engagement for behavioral health providers.

1. Promote Work-Life Balance With 24/7 Schedule Access

Today’s workforce places a high value on work-life balance. And particularly for hourly workers, being able to achieve this starts with knowing when they're scheduled. It sounds simple, but for organizations still managing their schedule on pen and paper or spreadsheets, this can be difficult to achieve. Printed schedules get lost or changes happen that aren’t communicated. Master schedules posted in the break room can be difficult to read and can lead to employees showing up at the wrong time or even on the wrong day.

Cloud-based scheduling software, such as OnShift, gives behavioral health employees access to their schedule in real-time so they can better plan for life outside of work. This not only improves overall satisfaction, but keeps employees engaged by making it easy to keep their work schedule top of mind.

2. Reduce Notions Of Favoritism With A Fair & Equal Scheduling Process

Filling open shifts and call-offs is often a manual process for schedulers and managers. And in an effort to fill openings, many default to contacting those select go-to people they know will say 'yes' to a last-minute shift. Over time, this can create notions of favoritism among staff, leaving them less inclined to even try to volunteer for additional shifts in the future.

An important best practice is to create a fair and equal process for filling open shifts and last minute call-offs. Instead of manually calling down a list of employees, hoping someone will both pick up the phone and be available to fill the shift, send a single text message to all eligible and available staff. As replies come in, prioritize assignments based on those least at risk for overtime.

When it comes to filling additional shifts that remain once a schedule has been posted, transparency is key. The OnShift Mobile App makes it easy for staff to see and request open shifts right from their smartphone, giving them a sense of control over when they work while boosting engagement.

3. Provide Better Visibility Into Employee Performance

Particularly in a healthcare setting, it’s not uncommon for managers and supervisors to have more than 25+ staff members who report up to them. And for those providing residential care, managers and their direct reports aren’t always in the same place at the same time. This can make it difficult to consistently get that one-on-one time many employees crave.

Employee engagement software can help track performance by automatically monitoring key behaviors such as call-offs, no-shows and late punches. OnShift Engage provides managers an at-a-glance look at how each of their direct reports is performing so they can quickly congratulate and encourage high performers and identify coaching opportunities for low performers.

According to surveys, 80% of workers want feedback in real-time versus traditional annual performance reviews. Millennials and the growing Gen Z workforce crave constant feedback, and providing this can go a long way in engaging and retaining these employees.

4. Create a Systematic Reward Process

According to research by Globoforce, 84% of HR leads have found that employee recognition programs improve employee engagement. However, in order to be the most effective, the recognition employees receive needs to be both regular and consistent.

Employee engagement software like OnShift Engage allows organizations to take a systematic approach to employee recognition by automatically awarding points to employees for not calling off or clocking in and out on time. Managers can also award points for other actions, such as going above and beyond for a client or helping a new employee feel welcome. Employees can see when they’ve been awarded points and how close they are to earning their next reward.

What employees receive as a reward doesn’t have to be complex. Something as simple as a thank you note, a gift card or special recognition at the next staff meeting can go a long way in keeping your top performers engaged, while motivating other employees to earn their own recognition.

5. Allow Employees To Regularly Provide Feedback

Surveys show the majority of employees are more likely to stay at a company that acts upon their feedback. However, many behavioral health providers lack an efficient way to regularly collect the type of feedback that can really impact an employee’s day-to-day work life.

While annual surveys can give organizations an overarching view of employee satisfaction, they don’t often provide the actionable feedback managers need to implement the small changes that can have a big impact.

Automated weekly pulse surveys can give managers quick insights into how satisfied their employees are, while also collecting the actionable feedback they need to show employees that their voice matters.

The right technology can help you better engage employees so you can retain them long-term. It can also help you attract top talent by differentiating your organization and showing you care about creating a workplace culture that values their hardworking employees. 

Engaged managers drive an engaged workforce. Learn the 7 must-have manager qualities that drive employee engagement and boost organizational performance. 

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