Australia has a shortage of at least 110,000 direct aged care workers to redress in the next decade, revealed a recent report from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). To improve retention and attract staff as aged care workforce shortage challenges continue, Sydney’s Montefiore has implemented Smart WFM, a workforce management system to replace a number of disconnected manual processes and improve employee experience.
Montefiore’s Director of People, Culture & Learning Anna Santikos says the system has helped it manage staffing more efficiently in alignment with its organisational philosophy – enabling continuity of care for residents and reducing reliance on agency staff.
With the new solution, it aims to ensure seamless reallocation of shifts, especially during the pandemic, when staff needs to self-isolate or have been unable to attend Montefiore due to single-site working arrangements in place for the sector. With over 1,100 staff, the provider cares for over 700 residents in campuses across Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and North Shore as well as offering independent living units, home care and day care services.
Additionally, the workshops enabled Montefiore to review and consolidate its various workflows, ensuring consistency across the various areas, with the technology then aiding these.
The rollout of the system has even led Montefiore to create a new, and rare in the industry, Workforce Logistics Leader role to collaborate with staff and ensure they’re adjusting to new processes under the system. This includes managers, administrators and general staff users of the system, providing a tailored approach to support.
Montefiore didn't just go ahead and buy new technology, they drove a company-wide HR transformation and focused on change management. To complement the new digital solution they also streamlined their processes and also captured employees' feedback. The team communicated with different departments, from the C-level through to clinical staff, made all the difference.
“The way in which we have deployed the system supports our ‘Neighbourhood Model of Living’ philosophy, whereby we roster consistent staff to look after the same residents, enabling them to build meaningful relationships and fostering familiarity,” said Santikos.
“Agencies are part of the mix of course, but a real risk of the former system was that it could almost encourage an overreliance – it was easier to call an agency than to call 10 staff to fill a shift. Now it’s seamless, supporting that philosophy and reducing costs," she added.
The case reiterates the need for companies to focus on the full digital transformation journey and keep their staff at the heart of it. This is the kind of modern people innovation we need to see more of across several industries grappling with talent shortage.