Throughout 2020, we saw all of the ways that tech helped senior care organizations navigate and mitigate the pandemic, especially when it came to helping residents stave off loneliness and thrive during their time in isolation.
We saw iPads help residents virtually connect with family members and activity professionals conduct in-room programming for entertainment.
But technology has also played a huge role in supporting the industry’s frontline workers. Throughout the pandemic, we’ve heard gut-wrenching stories about the fear, anxiety, uncertainty, exhaustion and extreme stress that this beyond-brave group faced. In fact, 80% of providers say that burnout is the top personal challenge facing their employees.
That’s why organizations have made supporting their employees a top priority in 2021. And fortunately, modern technology makes this effort easier and more fruitful than ever before.
Based on our Workforce 360 Report, here are the top workforce technologies that providers plan to invest in and how those investments will help redefine the senior care employee experience and boost organizational performance.
Employee Scheduling Software
A top priority for 70% of providers
Whether evaluating their current software or bringing one in for the first time, employee scheduling solutions available today have a number of benefits for frontline staff. For example, mobile apps give employees on-the-go, 24/7 access to their schedules. This saving them from having to come in on their day off to check the paper schedule in the break room, while also holding them accountable to when they work. Many solutions even give staff the ability to pick up open shifts, swap shifts and request PTO right from their mobile devices. And it’s not only a win for employees. Managers that use modern scheduling software like OnShift Schedule can reduce the time it takes to create and maintain schedules by up to 70%. Additionally, they can gain deep insights into how they're scheduled both today and in the future, helping to avoid unnecessary overtime or agency usage while remaining properly staffed.
Employee Communication Systems
A top priority for 68% of providers
One of the biggest lessons learned throughout the pandemic was the importance of communication. Communication with residents, their families, and of course, communication with staff. Employees need to be updated on various and ever-changing regulations and protocols, PPE availability, COVID case counts and much more. And management didn’t stop there, even reaching out to staff to address fears and concerns and thank them for their hard work.
The need to be able to communicate with all staff in a quick and seamless manner become apparent early on. And providers who used OnShift's messaging functionality were able to do just that with the click of a button, earning praise from their staff for their transparency and commitment to keeping them informed during an uncertain time.
Employee Health Monitoring Technology
A top priority for 58% of providers
It’s no surprise that our survey indicated that employee health initiatives will take the stage in 2021. Throughout 2020, we saw frontline workers, who were already at risk of burnout, work harder than ever before. What’s more, recent research found that more than half of essential workers reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom from the pandemic and that 20% have had suicidal thoughts.
While we have yet to understand the long-term effects that the pandemic will have on people in terms of PTSD and other trauma-related illness, organizations will refine their health and wellness initiatives, implementing programs and technology to offer support, promote wellbeing and help employees live their best lives.
Employee Rewards & Recognition Software
A top priority for 51% of providers
There’s been no shortage of creative ways that providers have thanked and celebrated staff for their hard work throughout the pandemic. And realizing that this regular praise is one of the best ways to engage and help employees thrive, more than half of providers report they will make it a pillar of their culture.
Automated, points-based employee engagement software, like OnShift Engage, can help busy managers stay on top of this effort. Points are systematically awarded to employees for on-time punches, not calling off, going above and beyond and more. Plus leaderboards make it easy to highlight top performers as well as those who may need some additional coaching or encouragement.
Talent Acquisition/Applicant Tracking Software
A top priority for 49% of providers
The crisis has exacerbated the existing staffing crisis across long-term care and senior living. And as infections have risen and fallen and risen again, organizations have been tasked with providing extra care to a vulnerable population, scrambling to staff up as employees called off, quit out of fear and even contracted the virus themselves. As we move into our post-pandemic normal, providers understand they must kick their recruitment efforts into high gear – especially as the number of people entering care settings continues to grow at an exponential rate.
Talent acquisition software helps organizations more efficiently source, hire and onboard employees, all while providing a memorable candidate experience and helping recruiters streamline their processes. OnShift Employ users report results such as an uptick in applications, a 35% reduction in time to hire and $60,000 savings in annual recruitment ad spend.
Employee Survey & Feedback Systems
A top priority for 46% of providers
Survey data shows that 54% of providers cite difficulty managing fear and anxiety among staff. And the best method for learning exactly what those fears and concerns are is, to put it simply, to ask them.
Employee survey and feedback technology helps providers understand and address concerns as they arise. The staff satisfaction surveys in OnShift Engage allow management to gauge sentiment and collect feedback in real time. They can then take what they learn and work with employees to swiftly fix problems and assuage concerns. This technology has been extremely helpful for our customers during the pandemic. For example, one provider uncovered a discrepancy in their PPE order and was able to quickly address the problem.
Contactless Time & Attendance Software
A top priority for 42% of providers
In addition to being error-prone and expensive, traditional timeclocks became a potential hotspot for the spread of COVID-19 – since groups of employees often congregate around them before and after their shift.
Since infection control will continue to be a top priority in senior care settings, many providers are looking into modern time & attendance solutions. OnShift Time, for example, allows employees to punch from a personal device, eliminating that common touchpoint in the community. Our time & attendance software also uses customizable COVID-19 questions to screen employees for common symptoms of the virus at the start of each shift.
These small changes can make a big impact on ensuring the safety and wellness of both staff and residents. As an added bonus, modern and contactless solutions provide a seamless employee punch experience (no more arriving to work five minutes early to beat the line at the timeclock!) and save providers the expenses of hefty maintenance fees and excess hardware costs.