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Driving productivity in social enterprise with purposeful staff scheduling

Driving productivity in social enterprise with purposeful staff scheduling

Are you and your team spending hours on staff scheduling? Are last-minute changes and incorrect rota generation affecting staff morale?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. These are the pressing concerns that we hear from social enterprise and healthcare businesses all the time.

According to our HR Metrics Impact Report, the Health and Social Care industry has one of the highest 90-day turnover rates (14.50%) and an annual turnover rate of 19.22%. To add to this, a recent NHS Staff Survey found that 32% of staff often think about leaving their job, and less than half feel that their organisation is committed to helping them balance work and home life.

Clearly, the social enterprise and healthcare workforce is in a state of crisis, and if we want to retain our employees, we need to take action. One way to do this is by making staff rotas as easy, seamless, and as flexible as possible. However, doing this manually can be a logistical nightmare. We are only human, and there is only so much we can do alone.

Thankfully, we live in the digital age where investing in technology can be like having an unrelenting employee at our beck and call.

So, in this article, we’ll discuss how HR and people managers can create more effective rota schedules with HR tech solutions like elementsuite’s workforce planning tool.

Matching staff capabilities to service user needs

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. This couldn’t ring truer when it comes to matching staffing needs to those of service users. You may have a shift that only requires someone with a specific qualification or skillset or within a certain radius of a location. However, without knowing the skills, qualifications, location, and availability of your staff (which could take hours sifting through outdated Excel sheets and CV documentation), it is easy to fall behind.

But what if you had a tool that could give you all that information within seconds? Imagine how much you could improve service levels.

Take, for instance, elementsuite’s workforce planning tool. It helps you organise your support staff by skillset, location, and role, providing you with instantaneous insight into underutilised team members who are qualified and available to fill recurring shift gaps.

With the ability for your staff to update their availability, qualifications and experience whenever they want (in accordance with local policy, of course), you can easily match shifts to certain requirements, and only those who meet those requirements will show as available for shift.

No more stress or running around. You can finally have peace of mind knowing that you have the right staff in place to provide high-quality care.

No more last-minute scheduling

If you’re constantly creating schedules for your staff at the last minute, it can be virtually impossible for them to make other plans regarding their lives and responsibilities outside of work. And as much as we want dedicated staff members, they have lives outside of work – family, friends, and important commitments that they shouldn’t have to constantly rearrange.

You want them to be happy and motivated while providing the best care for clients, so it’s important to avoid making their lives more complicated. While we recommend scheduling at least two weeks in advance, with elementsuite in your arsenal, you can easily achieve a four-week rota in advance with our labour modelling capabilities. 

But let’s be realistic – there will still be times when you have to make changes to schedules due to unplanned absences or changes in service user requirements. These last-minute changes can really throw a wrench in your plans.

But what if we told you that you don’t have to lose sleep over a gap in your workforce? What if we told you that as soon as you are notified of an absence or change, available staff who match the requirement will be alerted through their (and their line manager’s) mobile phone app almost instantaneously?

Wouldn’t that be a game-changer? With the help of technology, you can finally take control of your staff scheduling and ensure that you have enough coverage when these inevitable changes occur.

Shift swapping made easy

Shift swapping is part and parcel of healthcare scheduling. However, it can be made more costly and troublesome with the wrong communication methods and a lack of notice.

Just imagine the tragedy of your specialist staff swapping shifts with a colleague who is not qualified for the role – it could be disastrous. So, to mitigate this risk, you resort to manual ways of waiting for manager approval, which can be time-consuming and frustrating for your staff.

You want to empower your staff to have ownership of their schedules, but you also don’t want to risk any logistical errors that could be fatal.

With elementsuite’s staff scheduling application, you can make this dream a reality. Staff members can only swap shifts with colleagues with certain service user requirements. By this, we mean swapping shifts only with other staff members who hold the necessary qualifications (right-to-work validity, up-to-date qualifications, etc.).

The approval of any changes will still lie with line managers for added security. However, this is one of the easiest ways to ensure that you have enough coverage when last-minute changes arise (as they often do!).

Plus, think of the added benefit of enhancing collaboration and communication with your team, which is crucial for employee engagement and productivity.

Eliminate payday woes

Unlike most industries where employees are simply paid an hourly rate, the occasional time and a half for overtime or bank holiday working – the social enterprise and healthcare pay structure is much more complicated.

You have to factor in pay premiums for working night shifts, additional premiums for staying overnight, and different rates depending on whether an employee is required to wake up during an overnight shift. Certain service user shifts may even offer higher pay than others, and if your staff are only paid from the time they arrive on-site (and not during their commute), this can make even the best payroll team want to bury their head in a mountain of paper timesheets.

Save both your staff and your payroll team the headache by streamlining this process with elementsuite’s workforce planning tool. With its geo-tagging capabilities, employees will only be paid when they arrive and leave on-site, accurately calculating every hour, minute, and premium shift start and finish time.

All information is stored on the platform and sent to managers for approval. And with our HR demand forecasting capabilities, when an employee is allocated to a certain shift that holds a premium pay rate, this is automatically calculated as well.

Timesheets have never been easier, saving time and effort for your team. No more end-of-the-month panic to get everyone’s hours and pay correct, and think about the impact on your environment (and desk space) when you stop using paper timesheets altogether.

Work smarter, not harder

With all the challenges facing the healthcare industry, staff scheduling should not be one of them. By utilising elementsuite’s workforce planning tool for rota generation and staff scheduling, you can easily match staff capabilities to service user needs, avoid last-minute scheduling changes, make shift swapping a breeze, and eliminate payday woes.

The result? Happier employees who are more motivated and productive while providing high-quality care.

It’s time to take the stress out of staff scheduling and focus on what really matters – providing exceptional care for those who need it most.  Let us help you help people. Book a demo today and start creating more effective rota schedules for your healthcare team.

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