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Staffing To Meet The Needs Of Today’s Senior Care Workforce

March 21, 2018 | Mike Pumphrey

staffing to meet the needs of the senior care workforce The expectations of the senior care workforce are changing. Flexible schedules, a voice to initiate positive changes and regular recognition for hard work are no longer nice to haves, they are must haves if you want to attract, engage and retain staff. Here are six quick tips for ensuring you're consistently staffed to provide quality care, while also meeting the needs of your employees.

Provide Some Consistency.
While employee schedules may need to occasionally change due to fluctuations in occupancy or resident needs, being able to provide each employee with some consistency in their schedule can help improve overall staff satisfaction and engagement. It takes the guesswork out of their expected income and allows them to plan their life outside of work.

Looking for more senior care staffing tips? Get the full Staffing Like A Champ In Senior Care whitepaper today. 

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Prioritize Employee Shift Preferences & Availability.
Understanding and assigning shifts that employees prefer can go a long way in eliminating future scheduling headaches like call-offs. Document shift preferences for each employee and understand which additional shifts they are available to work. This provides the insight needed for schedulers to make assignments that meet the needs of employees and provides a targeted list for potential shift replacements.

Be Flexible With Shifts.
Given the current staffing challenges in senior care, it’s hard to say ‘no’ when an employee can only work certain days, times or shift lengths. Consider implementing more flexible scheduling options by allowing employees to work part of a shift, or offering flexible shift times.

Recognize & Reward Top Performers.
Everyone likes to be recognized for a job well done. Boost engagement and motivate staff by recognizing and rewarding employees for positive behaviors such as not calling off, filling an open shift, punching in/out on time and going above and beyond the call of duty.

Communicate To The Max.
Communication between employees and managers is a key component in staff satisfaction. Keep a constant dialogue going with pulse surveys—a fast and frequent way to capture employee feedback and satisfaction in real time. Use the feedback to adjust policies and procedures and address issues. Give employees a say in when they work by allowing them to view and request open shifts and instantly reply to call-offs. And rethink how you communicate. More and more, workers rely on text messages and mobile apps for instant communication.

Put Schedules In Your Employees’ Pockets. 
Providing on-the-go schedule access can have a major impact on employee satisfaction. Implementing scheduling software like OnShift gets everyone on the same page with access to schedules through the web and mobile apps. With real-time visibility into schedules, you can eliminate phone tag with employees and get your shifts filled quickly and efficiently.

“OnShift has been a hit among staff. They are smiling more. This is apparent to other employees, our residents and their families.”

– Ben Thompson Executive Vice President Senior Living Communities


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About Mike Pumphrey

Mike Pumphrey is Vice President of Product Marketing at OnShift. His expertise in staffing and labor management strategies in long-term care and senior living is foundational to his role leading OnShift’s Product Marketing team. Mike works hand-in-hand with state and national associations, senior care providers, and with OnShift’s Customer Success and Product teams to create impactful best practices aimed to help solve the daily workforce challenges in senior care. Mike shares insights, research and recommendations to improve clinical, operational, and financial outcomes through regular blog posts and conference speaking engagements.

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