It’s no secret that COVID-19 has helped us to identify many of the cracks in our LTC system, but the one that stands out the most through it all has been staffing.
Many of the LTC homes we’ve connected with over the course of our decade in operation have often said to us ‘we don’t use staffing’, and until COVID-19 hit, I think many homes truly believed they were doing ok. And why shouldn’t they believe that? When things are running quasi-smoothly and you have a compassionate and hardworking team who leans in because they like their workplace, their colleagues, and their residents, why change things?
And then COVID-19 reared its ugly head and many of our homes realized that while they were operating adequately, if something drastic happened, their home would be crippled by the hit.
That’s when the calls for a staffing partner started to come in. We’ve had more ‘reactive’ sign-ups in the past four months than we have in the entire decade that we’ve been talking about our Long Term Care Staffing Strategy to Ontario’s LTC sector.
It’s clearer to our LTC homes now more than ever – a good staffing partner will help you do more than fill shifts. Did you know that working with a staffing partner can help you boost your own internal staff engagement? There are a variety of additional reasons to sign up with a staffing partner now — even if you don’t necessarily need staff at the moment.
Here are some of the benefits to working with a staffing partner:
- A staffing partner can help your organization grow. Is your organization looking to open more beds? Do you want to invest in more LTC/retirement properties to keep up to the demand of senior care? With a list of almost 37,000 people waiting for beds, let your staffing partner help you grow.
- A staffing partner can help you to keep all of your beds open. We know that lack of staff can put your home in a tight spot without notice. A plan in place will make sure that you always have optimal bed-to-care ratios in a pinch.
- While healthcare is rewarding work, burnout is extremely common – in fact as we have been fighting COVID-19 for almost four months, we are recognizing that our front-line staff are exhausted. This is a good time to grant your staff some much deserved time off and we can help.
- Turnover is hard on your team. Does your staff feel like they are constantly orienting new employees? Having some ‘regular’ supplemental staff means that there are other people on the floor who can help out with some of the orientation.
- Resident care must be the number one focus every day. When your home is working short, it’s common that important documenting and paperwork gets missed – these are the things that often impact your funding/CMI. We can focus on the care so your employees can make sure that charting, documentation and paperwork is always up to date.
- In many cases, staffing is more cost-effective. Screening, recruiting, interviewing, training…and then the staff is gone…only to have to start all over again. There are many hidden costs to this cycle, not to mention that the cost of overtime is often comparable.
- Recruit from your pool of supplemental staff. Open up a line. If they fit with your home’s culture, the woo is on. Know how you can hire from your staffing partner and consider your supplemental staff in a “working interview”.
- Plan ahead for your peak seasons – approving time-off requests in health care is a gift for front-line staff! Plan ahead and let your high-performers have time off on statutory holidays, during the summer, March Break, and Christmas. They’ll thank you for it and it’s a great retention tool!
- Part of working as a licensed healthcare provider means staying up-to-date on the latest medical technologies, continuing medical education, attending relevant conferences and conventions, and maintaining licenses. Investing in your staff is important but it can require them to be away from work for a few days. Let your staffing partner help so you can deliver career-enriching experiences to your staff.
- A jovial workplace – what it comes down to is having employees that want to stay, giving you the benefit of a dedicated, long-term team. Staff need to know that you have their back and by doing your best to make sure they don’t have to work short, you are showing them just that.
Staffing has to be at the top of your Long Term Care home’s list of priorities. Let a good staffing partner help you attain your staffing goals! Connect with me today to learn how Plan A can help your home: strategy@jointheAteam.com.
~ Sheri Tomchick, President, Plan A Long Term Care Staffing & Recruitment and StaffStat, Inc.