The world has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. And while we don’t fully understand the effects that it will have when all is said and done, one thing is clear: the elderly population, many of whom are currently in skilled nursing and senior living communities, are among the most vulnerable to the disease.
Recent events have added another layer of complexity and pressure to an industry that was already facing challenges around staffing. So, it’s no surprise that when the pandemic hit, these issues worsened. The fear of getting infected led employees to quit, while changing home dynamics increased employee call-offs by as much as 50%. This left providers scrambling to fill open shifts, ultimately leading to an increase in overtime.
However, the senior care industry’s commitment to its residents and staff was no match for the deadly virus. Based on what we’re hearing from customers and partners, as well as data we have analyzed in our workforce management software, you are all working diligently to support your employees during this time.
Many providers made increased communication with their employees a priority – keeping staff members updated on policies and procedures, PPE availability and the like. In fact, we saw a 28% increase in employee messages sent through OnShift from February to March. And many of these messages were simple ‘thank you’ notes to staff for all their hard work and other words of encouragement.
In addition, many providers committed to collecting more consistent feedback from their staff members to address their concerns. In March alone, we saw an astounding 300% increase in the number of surveys sent in OnShift Engage. These surveys have been used to ensure employees feel safe and to get insight into the personal challenges they may be facing.
And what’s most encouraging is that providers aren’t just measuring— they’re using the information they collect to determine the best ways to support their employees during this time. Many have implemented more flexible scheduling, free meals for staff and their families, transportation services and more.
And employees appreciate the steps their employers are taking. Several comments reflect gratitude for their support and transparency during this challenging time.
We created this new infographic to illustrate what employees are experiencing and what top providers are doing to support them during the coronavirus pandemic.
Thank You For Supporting Your Staff
At the start of this crisis, many industry thought leaders said that the providers who thrive beyond COVID-19 would be those who best supported their staff. And it’s safe to say that many of you are doing just that. Thank you for taking such excellent care of your hardworking employees.