Last year saw unique opportunities and challenges emerge in the home care industry.
These included a significant rise in the demand for home care services, alongside staffing challenges that made it difficult for many agencies to meet this increased need.
Rapid growth in the demand for home care is predicted to continue throughout 2022. Therefore, agencies wanting to scale and take full advantage of this growth must find operational strategies that will help them manage their employees more efficiently.
Many agencies are turning to technology, such as employee management tools, to help.
What are employee management tools?
Employee management tools can offer unique solutions to help agency owners significantly improve caregiver engagement and enhance their caregiver experience, ultimately increasing productivity, performance, retention, and profitability.
In addition to storing and managing confidential employee data, these tech solutions can automate, streamline and enhance many employee-related processes, including:
- Recruitment and hiring
- Onboarding and offboarding
- Training and development
- Information management, e.g., timesheets and attendance, payroll, and performance management
- Compliance (federal, state, and local)
- Employee engagement and retention, including reward tools.
Here we look at five tech solutions that can elevate your employee management, enhance your caregiver experience, and help you build your strongest team yet.
1. Recruitment, hiring, and onboarding
With the right software solution, such as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), automating many stages in your recruitment, hiring, and onboarding processes is easy. From job posting, screening and background checks, tracking and managing candidates through the pipeline, to timely personalized communication with all applicants throughout the process.
In addition to securely storing all candidates’ information in a single database, the right technology will also provide advanced search capabilities, proof of compliance (including EEOC), and data insights to help you make better HR business decisions.
The benefits to your agency include:
- Attracting and engaging the best caregiver applicants
- Growing your agency talent pool with the right people for your agency
- Streamlining recruitment and hiring processes – saving time and cost
- Providing a positive and engaging candidate experience
- Reducing time-to-hire and cost-to-hire
- Providing proof of HR compliance
- Elevating your agency’s reputation/strengthening employer branding.
Examples include Smartcare Software’s new ENGAGE Hiring Hub, a comprehensive hiring platform designed to address the unique challenges in home care of attracting and onboarding top caregivers, allowing you to focus on effectively growing your talent pool.
2. Caregiver engagement
Research shows that engaged caregivers are more motivated, committed, and loyal to a home care agency. They also have improved performance and increased productivity that can help an agency grow and be more profitable.
Caregiver engagement is influenced by many factors, including agency culture, career development opportunities, good communication, and recognition and rewards. Investing in the right technology can help your agency hit all of these engagement drivers in a cost- and time-efficient way.
For example, embedded loyalty tools can significantly impact caregiver engagement and boost motivation by ensuring they are automatically recognized and rewarded for their daily efforts. Smartcare’s Caregiver Rewards system is just one example of how tech solutions can be utilized to help your agency better manage your caregivers’ experience and improve outcomes.
3. Communication channels
One important area where many home care agencies need to improve in employee management is communication. Poor communication has repeatedly been a top complaint from caregivers in numerous benchmark studies over the years.
Thankfully, there are many tech solutions available to help remedy this problem, which can be accessed by all office staff and caregivers, anywhere and at any time – guaranteeing everyone is kept in the loop.
In today’s world, staying updated and having access to the latest information in real-time is essential to your employees. A mobile app is crucial for caregivers and remote staff on-the-go and provides multiple ways to keep your teams connected, including:
- streamlining and organizing all communication, including shift schedules
- communicating internally and externally, with secure messaging and chat
- adding and sharing documents, data, and care information securely
- automating caregiver notifications and reminders
- enhancing communication between caregivers, clients/patients, and families
- supporting effective team management and collaboration.
While low-cost solutions like FaceTime, WhatsApp, and Zoom are readily available, they are not HIPAA compliant and can compromise client/patient confidentiality and data security. If you’re looking to improve employee management through enhanced communications tools, it’s worth investing in tools specifically designed for home care.
4. Care management, including scheduling
This is another crucial area where agency owners can benefit from introducing tech solutions to improve employee management, significantly impacting caregiver engagement and productivity.
Replacing outdated paper-based systems for scheduling and other care management processes will save your staff time with flexible mobile access, remove the need for micro-managing, and maximize resources to help them focus on delivering the highest level of care to your clients/patients.
When matching caregivers to clients, and managing shift coverage, keeping track of employee skills, availability, and certifications in a digital environment makes it far easier and quicker for your team to access the required information and work with it.
The right technology can also provide solutions to simplify care management and task recording – optimizing workflow efficiencies, providing real-time access to care plans, schedules, documentation, route details, time tracking, and much more.
Smartcare Software’s Scheduling Tools are just one example of a tech solution specifically designed for home care that will help your schedulers stay on top of organizing and optimizing care plans and better managing your caregiver teams.
5. Payroll compliance
Another significant headache for agency owners, in a long list of employee management challenges, is calculating and processing non-standard payroll correctly and consistently for multiple caregivers.
Tech solutions can help you manage and automate payroll effortlessly, reducing manual errors. As a result, they ensure all your employees are compensated accurately and transparently while making sure your agency stays compliant with your local tax laws.
Payroll software will track each employee’s working hours, travel time, overtime, attendance, expenses, sick days, vacation, etc., and calculate any additional benefits due. In addition, you can run payroll reports, approve pay, and send to the payroll provider of your choice.
Payroll tech solutions also benefit your employees by allowing them to access their full payment history, review hours worked, choose their preferred payment method, and get paid correctly and on time.
These five tech solutions can support home care agencies looking to automate, streamline and structure employee management processes. They can be purchased as individual software tools or as one complete, integrated package with additional features.
Whichever option you choose, the best employee management tech solutions should:
- be cloud-based and mobile-friendly
- be user-friendly and easy to implement
- provide audit trails and role-based access
- include an employee self-service portal
- connect with other third-party tools
- provide automatic notifications to stakeholders
- offer dynamic, visual-rich insights and reports.
If you’d like to know more about Smartcare Software’s complete home care platform, please call us today or request a free demo. We’d love to help you resolve your employee management issues, scale your business, and gain a competitive edge in 2022 and beyond.