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How to Streamline Rostering for Supported Living

27/06/2024 minute read Health and Care

The background

In our latest Care Trends Report 2024, 45% of supported living providers told us they struggle to manage complex shift patterns and/or payroll categories. It's understandable why, what with all the nuances and complexities that often need to be considered when managing a schedule for community-based care. But it doesn’t have to be the case.

In this article, we’re looking at why having an effective rostering process is so important in supported living, and how you can master your organisations’ scheduling.

Why effectively managing your supported living roster is so important

Care Continuity

As you know, care continuity can be an incredibly important part of providing high-quality care to those using your service. That’s because having that familiar face helps build trust and establish a strong relationship between your client and their support worker. Yet 42% of supported living providers who took part in our Care Trends Report 2024 find it difficult maintaining the same staff visiting the same clients.

In supported living, your teams help with all kinds of daily tasks; whether that’s accessing community services, completing housework or running errands. And when your staff get to visit the same clients, they’re able to fully understand any needs, preferences or development opportunities that individual has outlined in their care plan. All of which helps maintain a routine and that valuable connection.

Resource Allocation

Demand for care continues to rise, adding pressure to providers who may already be finding it hard to effectively meet client needs with the resources they have. And this may be particularly difficult during times of high vacancy rates or unexpected leave when you’re scrambling to update the schedule without compromising care quality.

Yet being able to effectively manage your resources can mean you’re able to see exactly what work has been done in a particular location, giving you a clear picture of how your budget is being allocated. And at a time where many providers are tackling high care delivery costs and significant agency use, being able to efficiently manage you resource and control your spend can be vital.

Care Quality

Each of your clients will have their own care plan and independence levels. Some may live in their own home; others may share accommodation with people with similar needs. No matter the case, every single user will require person-centred care. And in order to provide this, your service needs to be able to roster the appropriate support worker with the right qualifications and skills to effectively meet those individual needs.

Although making sure you have the right people in the right place can be a challenge – particularly if your clients have unique needs or you’re keeping an eye on your budget – it’s incredibly important for delivering personalised care every single day.

How to master your supported living roster

1. Empower Your Staff

Managing a complex supported living roster can be a pain, but you can take some of the pressure of your care coordinators by giving your staff more control over their schedule. Plus, involving your support workers in the schedule planning process helps ensure a good work life balance, which can play a key role in preventing burnout.

Time and attendance software can help to empower your teams by offering Employee Self Service. This is where your teams can access their schedules, clock in and out of jobs and even pick up overtime all from their mobile, giving them more control over their day. And because tracked hours and breaks are more accurate, you can better ensure payroll accuracy and labour compliance.

2. Map Your Employees’ Skills

It’s hard enough to find cover for a last minute change to a roster, and even harder to make sure you’re scheduling in someone with the exact qualifications or skills needed to provide the right care. Skills mapping can help you here. That’s because you’re able to see exactly who you have available to fill a shift or cover sick leave and assign the right support worker to the individual needs of your client in a matter of minutes.

Being able to efficiently allocate your staff and match their skills for your immediate needs helps to ensure high quality care is always being delivered, but it also helps you identify where your organisation may be lacking in certain areas. And because of this, you can then work to train or upskill your current workforce so your organisation can continue providing highly personalised care.

3. Schedule Strategically

There will likely always be last minute updates to the schedule, with tweaks being made here and there to make sure you’re always covered. But you don’t want to be making a new roster from scratch every single week. Time and attendance software can simply this for you by automatically rostering your teams based on your organisation’s specific needs.

That way, you can easily create a schedule, taking into account all your support workers preferences, availability and skill sets. And by doing this, you can better optimise your operating costs by making sure you have exactly who you need - in the right place, at the right time - without going overbudget. Plus, because you can do all this ahead of time, you can be in a better position to plan the schedule without needing to rely on last minute agencies for expensive cover.

Time & Attendance Software for Supported Living Providers

Managing rosters and absences might be a handful it doesn't have to be a headache! Our Time & Attendance software solution helps you set up your schedules, make quick shift updates, and keep tabs on staff absences – all while getting real-time data and handy productivity insights.

Get in touch today to see how Time & Attendance can work for you!