If you’re in this business, you’ve likely been very busy grappling with issues like Covid and the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. One major problem facing Australia’s aged care sector is ensuring there are enough employees with the right skills to provide quality and safe care. As PwC Australia note, the royal commission’s final report emphasised the key role of our aged care workforce. It also recognised that recruiting, retaining and developing a workforce capable of delivering the quality aged care Australian consumers expect is a complex task. Moreover, skills shortages are rife and only going to increase. In January, aged and disabled personal care workers and registered nurses topped the National Skills Commission’s list of jobs projected to grow the most by 2025 – with combined demand expected to lift by 40%. To rise to the task of delivering the level of quality care consumers and the Australian government require, service providers need to set their aged care workers up for successful and sustainable careers in this rapidly growing industry. Whether you’re a homecare or residential aged care provider, workforce management technology can help you attract and retain talent, deliver quality aged care, meet federal government requirements and improve your operational efficiency.
To succeed in business, residential aged care providers need to deliver high quality care. Clearly, this necessitates having enough staff to cover at least all the minimum daily tasks to keep aged care homes performing well. To gain a competitive edge, however, your employees need to be highly engaged and motivated to truly support the health and wellbeing of aged care residents.
Quality workforce management platforms can make delivering your employee value proposition (EVP) efficient and easy. They can convey important values like collaboration and autonomy in a way that was impossible with paper-based solutions. Humanforce’s mobile app, for example, supports seamless communication with your teams, giving them a sense of belonging and value irrespective of their location. It also transforms workers’ devices into secure, contactless clocking kiosks and enables them to access timesheets and payslips from anywhere, fostering a greater sense of control and autonomy.
The Great Resignation has underscored the importance of work-life balance, with employees increasingly seeking greater flexibility around their working lives. Workforce management tools, like Humanforce’s easy to use rostering software, gives your aged care workforce more control over their schedules. Your workers can input their availability and work preferences, block out times they’re unavailable, and bid for unfilled shifts. This gives your teams the flexibility they want while ensuring your shifts are covered and reducing reliance on agency staff. Additionally, using workforce management software for aged care makes building demand-based rosters easier by giving you oversight of staff requirements, leave, availability and aged care qualifications. Capacity and demand-based warnings also help you maintain correct staffing levels to ensure your people aren’t overstretched. These features add up to a better experience for your aged care workers and the older Australians they’re caring for.
Significantly, the Royal Commission found over half of Australia’s aged care residents were living in care facilities deemed to have unacceptable staffing levels. As a result, the Australian government has set minimum staff time standards for residential aged care. These become mandatory in October 2023. Aged care workforce planning is therefore crucial if providers are to maintain Aged Care Quality Standards, including the standards for human resources and personal and clinical care.
As part of the plan to deliver better care for older Australians, the Aged Care Workforce Strategy outlines 14 actions the industry needs to take to “change attitudes to caring, attract and retain a skilled aged care workforce, and ensure the workforce can meet aged care needs now and into the future”. Among other things, these include:
addressing workforce competency gaps
implementing new workforce attraction and retention strategies (which the PwC Australia report highlighted as a key action providers can take to support the future of our aged care workforce)
developing an updated workforce relations framework that better reflects the changing nature of work.
Workforce management tools like Humanforce’s aged care solution can support your workforce planning process. For example, error-free scheduling helps keep your clinical FTE rates on track and helps ensure you’re providing high-quality levels of care. Automated award interpretation simplifies maintaining compliance requirements while reducing the potential of human error. Queensland’s Rockpool Residential Aged Care, for example, uses Humanforce to efficiently organise staff documents before and throughout their employment, making onboarding easier while helping to fulfill compliance obligations.
When it comes to choosing workforce management aged care providers can implement effectively, it’s important to consider integrations with your existing software. Look for seamless integration with many of the aged care sector’s standard systems, including over 100 payroll partners. The Humanforce API means we can work with your existing technology to ensure a smooth integration that leads to enhanced data security, reduced double-handling and improved productivity. The time and energy liberated from performing routine tasks can be used to work on higher value activities, such as workforce development and quality aged care planning.
Moreover, Humanforce provides a custom dashboard builder that makes it easy to discover insights and visualisations that can transform your business. With simple drag and drop functionality, you can create a centralised data hub that focuses on what’s important to your organisation, with visualisations that highlight key insights in a meaningful way.
We know that to understand what’s truly going on with your workforce, it’s vital to have visibility over your aged care workforce and how their day to day is going, without micromanaging them and reducing employee job satisfaction. Look for key aged care workforce management platforms which have powerful reporting capabilities, allowing you to easily analyse and interpret your most critical aged care workforce data. The actionable insights uncovered will help you identify and resolve any workforce issues before they cause ongoing problems for residents. Alongside optimising rosters, and keeping strong oversight of your care business or charity costs. Visibility tools also allow you to recognise and reward great work, resulting in improved staff performance, efficient management and quality outcomes. This will then have a ripple effect through the business, sending signals that staff are looked after and recognised for their efforts, which in turn can only positively impact elderly residents.
Humanforce has been intuitively designed for organisations that support the health and wellbeing of older Australians. In summary, aged care workforce management software can help you to:
attract and retain motivated and engaged aged care employees
enhance employee engagement and staff morale, with positive flow-on effects for care delivery
maintain compliance with the Aged Care Quality Standards
gain greater visibility over what’s happening in your organisation
easily discover actionable insights to improve your efficiencies and care delivery.
Our innovative digital system helps you deliver quality aged care while building a successful and sustainable business.