Staff turnover can sometimes have a snowball effect. One person becomes frustrated or unhappy and leaves the organization, followed by another and so on. Turnover and instability (real or perceived) can breed anxiety among the remaining staff. What begins as a single event could progress into a toxic work environment and patient care will ultimately suffer.
There is usually no single issue that leads to high turnover. While each organization has unique challenges, staff scheduling difficulties are among the most frequently-cited contributing factors, especially in healthcare.
This is where an interactive application like ABILITY SMARTFORCE® Scheduler can make all the difference. Several of the frustrations surrounding scheduling are eliminated when you make the switch from paper to electronic scheduling. Read on to discover how the latest innovations in healthcare staff scheduling can improve staff morale and reduce turnover.
Staff are active participants in scheduling
Interactive, cloud-based scheduling engages staff in the process, leading to greater overall satisfaction. Employees can view schedules, pick up extra shifts, swap shifts with coworkers or request PTO, all from their mobile device.
This is especially important as the healthcare workforce continues to skew younger. The bulk of their communication happens electronically, and they appreciate the opportunity to interact with coworkers and management in a casual way. The interactive platform can even be used for shout outs and well wishes for birthdays and anniversaries.
Easing the burden on schedulers
There are a lot of variables to keep in mind when creating a schedule – managing overtime, accounting for time-off requests and ensuring that staff are properly credentialed for their assigned shift locations/ departments. A cloud-based, electronic application ensures you have the information you need for fair and accurate scheduling at your fingertips.
Schedulers no longer have to spend their day on the phone trying to get shifts covered. With one text, they can send a notification to the whole team about open shifts and staff can respond immediately. This convenient alert system eliminates the need to call employees on their day off and guilt them into coming in, a common complaint from healthcare staff.
Data that does the calculations for you
In a hospital setting, schedulers know that a Saturday night in the emergency room is generally much busier than a Tuesday afternoon. In a skilled nursing facility, the number and conditions of patients can also fluctuate. Instead of being thrown by these variations, be prepared with custom templates based on patient volume.
In an electronic scheduling platform, data can be aggregated and used to predict staffing needs based on a number of criteria, saving the scheduler a significant amount of time. Striking the right balance ensures happy staff and the best possible patient care.
Turnover is an expensive problem. A simplified, streamlined scheduling process is an easy way to address some of the most common contributing factors, ensuring increased satisfaction for both staff and management.