How to optimize handling work schedule conflicts with three easy tips
You can create a perfect work schedule for your home health agency, but sometimes conflicts are unavoidable. Even your best employees may need to call off at the last minute, need to take a leave of absence, or take a planned vacation. The result is you look through staff files, calling anyone who might be able to come in, spending hours trying to cover the visit. If you can’t fill in the gaps immediately, your clients will be left unhappy and potentially uncared for. You need a way to successfully manage work schedule conflicts so you don’t spend endless administrative hours working on scheduling issues. No matter what, your clients should get the quality of care they expect.
1. Stop spending hours calling your staff
You want to react quickly to employee call-offs, but that’s impossible if you work with a paper-based system or have to manually reach out to potentially available employees. After all, it’s not a matter of calling in any available home health aide. You also need to match specific skill sets when you’re shift planning. A mobile app that tracks staff expertise lets you pinpoint the most relevant employees to fill a shift. You can quickly reach out to your entire team or get in touch with the key employees you need at that moment.
2. Engage employees in covering shifts
Employee call-off’s are the emergency side of the work schedule conflict equation. Many of your gaps will be well in advance due to vacation or other planned time-off.
You can cut down on the time you spend working on handling future work schedule conflicts by allowing your home health aides, caregivers, RNs, CNAs and LPNs to initiate the process of swapping shifts amongst themselves. Mobile apps allow you to automate this process, while still being the ultimate decision maker on approving or declines swaps.
Encouraging your staff to proactively handle shift changes provides them a sense of control, while reducing the time you spend on the process. It is a winner for both sides of the relationship!
3. Speed up the entire process
The biggest problem with handling work schedule conflicts in home health is reaching employees when you need them. Your field team can be particularly tricky to reach since they are generally too busy to respond to phone calls. If you have a system with other communication methods, such as email, text and mobile app push notifications, you can get the attention of your field team when you need them the most.
Mobile apps give you the ability to expand your communication channels in a way that was impossible before. Instead of calling multiple numbers, texting and sending emails manually, you can use a system that broadcasts to all of these channels at the same time. Your employees can respond via the most convenient channel for their current situation, and you can improve the chances that available employees see your work schedule conflict messages and respond quickly.
Don’t hesitate, take action!
Work schedule conflicts can be frustrating to deal with, but the right system can take the pain and time investment out of last-minute call-offs. Whether your employees handle shift swaps on their own or you leverage employees already out in the field, you can improve your team’s agility and deliver seamless care to your clients.
To learn more about how Swift Shift can help your home health agency, contact us now.
About the Author:
Derek Frer is the Customer Development Director for Swift Shift a workforce management software company based in London. If you would like to receive blog posts to your email sign up here or follow him on twitter.