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Innovative Senior Care Workforce Tactics Take Center Stage At OHCA '18

senior care workforce

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Ohio Health Care Association Convention & Expo (OHCA) in Columbus, Ohio. From attending sessions to wandering around the trade show floor, the energy was high, the content was outstanding and there was a lot of learning all around.

Plenty of attendees stopped by our booth, where insightful conversations about senior care workforce best practices were had with both new faces and happy customers. As an OHCA first-timer and newer member of the OnShift crew, it was pretty cool to hear our customers share how much they love using our software and how it’s made their jobs much easier.

As the landscape for senior care providers continues to change, I wanted to share some important takeaways and tips for success.

Payroll-Based Journal Reporting & Repercussions Continue To Evolve

Shelly Szarek-Skodny, CEO and President of Diversified Health Partners and Century Oak Care Center and OnShift’s EVP, Peter Corless, presented Five Star Staffing Strategies That Work. In a recent memo, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced they will start using Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) data to calculate the staffing measure rating for the Five-Star Quality Rating System.

The pair offered proven strategies for staffing to meet CMS guidelines, avoid risking your rating and remain cost effective. They also stressed the importance of cultivating a happy, stable employee base for better resident outcomes, higher occupancy, and a better bottom line. 

Meeting The Expectation’s Of Today’s Workforce Is A Must

Szarek-Skodny and Corless also highlighted how we’re now living in a different era with low unemployment (4.1% - the lowest since 2007), high turnover (51% median CNA turnover) and a massive amount of open positions (32,485 open jobs as of April 2018). This has lead to increased competition in the industry. In order to survive, senior care providers have to meet the expectations of today’s workforce.

Here are some questions providers can ask themselves to see where they stand. (Hint: the answer should be "yes" to them all.)

  • Do your employees have a good work-life balance?
  • Does your organization offer a collaborative culture?
  • Do your employees have a voice?
  • Are you recognizing your employees' work?
  • Do you listen to employee feedback?
  • Are the relationships between employees and managers strong?

For more information, download our whitepaper, Meeting the Expectations of Today’s Workforce here.

Provide Employee Guidance Upon Company Entry

In Staying Power: Why Your Employees Leave and How to Keep Them Longer, Cara Silletto, President & Chief Retention Officer, Crescendo Strategies, talked about the importance of offering immediate guidance for new employees. There are countless studies that link a solid onboarding program to better retention rates.

If you’re not sure where to get started, here are some tips to get the ball rolling:

  • Ask your candidate their favorite candy in the interview and have it ready for them on their first day
  • Prepare a scavenger hunt so they can familiarize themselves with the layout
  • Introduce them to their buddy and mentor for future questions
  • Set up all meetings in advance to meet with key staff members
  • Check in with them at the end of the week to see how their first week went

Don’t Forget To Delegate

One theme that regularly came up throughout the conference is senior care professionals wearing too many hats. It’s not always easy to get everything done and oftentimes managers like to safeguard their “to-do list." In a session titled Delegate or Suffocate, Margaret “Peg” Tobin, President, Tobin & Associates, presented on the importance of delegating to your employees on hand and the trust required to do so.

As is the case for many managers, trouble letting go revolves around job security and a belief they’re the only ones who can get the job done correctly. As mangers give staff more responsibility, they should continue to challenge themselves to delegate more and more as they notice employees’ progress over time. Doing so can significantly reduce stress levels and improve productivity.

What other skills and traits do successful senior care managers possess? Find out here.

If you had the opportunity to attend OHCA 2018, I hope you enjoyed it as much as the OnShift crew did. If you missed it, we will see you next year!

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