It’s no secret that retention is an issue in the senior living and long-term care industry and beyond. With the baby boomer generation aging out of the workforce, millennials are projected to make up for 50% of the workforce by 2020. With tens of thousands of jobs to fill, recruiters are relying on this generation and changes must be made to prepare. One major answer to how to recruit this essential population? Technology.
Fifty-nine percent of millennials would reconsider a job that doesn’t utilize updated technology. In order to attract and retain millennial talent, long-term care managers must implement technology that streamlines communications, delegates task management, ensures employee safety, and enables purposeful work to be performed. Millennials are tech-savvy and progressive and companies that are not adapting to these advanced approaches are missing upcoming generations that can bridge the employment gap in the industry.
So how can technology support millennial retention at your community?
Connectivity. Keeping millennials (and all of your staff) engaged enables them to deliver a superior level of care. The millennium impact report proves the generation is intrinsically motivated by the desire to do good and help solve social issues to leave a lasting impact. They want to do great work and have a desire for the tools to do them. Giving them the latest technology not only connects the platforms they already use, but also allows them the opportunity to improve the quality of care they are providing to fuel their purpose-driven mindsets and combat turnover.
Millennials rate personal safety as a number one stressor on the job — and considering, providing building technology can ensure employees maintain peace of mind knowing it’s more than a security guard monitoring what’s going on in the building.
Employee safety devices are discreet technology tools that can be kept on individual persons that work one on one with other people. The devices allow for employees to alert security personnel of their need and location with the push of a button if s/he feels unsafe or is experiencing an emergency situation.
Additionally, environmental monitoring technology can detect building emergencies, such as elevated carbon monoxide levels, intruders or elevated smoke levels. Sensors installed directly into facilities will send alerts to proper emergency response individuals, such as fire or police departments.
Technology can work to help provide accountability tools for employees. From tracking response time to how many tasks individuals complete, technology provides a means for leadership to see employee performance first-hand, keeping employees motivated to perform at their highest levels. In one case, response times at Tilbury Manor Long-Term Care Home were nearly cut in half.
If utilized properly, technology can allow for employees to be recognized for their hard work and ensure that staff members feel valued for their skill sets. It also provides touchpoints for the leadership team and staff, ensuring that employees remain engaged and feel like they understand how their success is being measured.
Providing direct recognition for high performing individuals boosts morale while also motivating employees to show up and operate at their highest levels every shift. Technology can help to provide a structure of accountability and make your long-term care staff feel like a team.
With task tracking and allocation, technology can help to track how many patients an employee is helping per shift. This can detect shifts that are over or understaffed and can allow leadership to make adjustments backed in real-time data. The same technology can also eliminate overstaffing, allows for managers to pull individuals off shifts where they’re underutilized, ensuring optimal stimulation.
Making sure to adjust staffing based on workload can help to avoid employee burnout. For example, if there is only one nurse working the night shift, but data shows a trend that there are more patient requests on the night shift, it can allow for management to allocate a second employee on that shift to disperse the workload while also improving patient care.
When a new employee is hired, it can be difficult to become acclimated to procedures and patients. Technology allows for quicker familiarity for new workers by creating a streamlined database of patients and their files for new hires to become familiar with during onboarding.
For example, new employees can see which patients are the top alerters. Understanding which patients call for more attention can help set expectations for new hires and feel more familiar with expectations when they enter the patient’s living space. Technology can also provide alerts with context, allowing employees to get relevant supplies and level set expectations when providing care.
Working in circles is frustrating; communicative technologies can help employees divide and conquer tasks in a way that eliminates overlap. Technology can provide a checklist of open patient requests organized by need and location, allowing workers on the floor to “check off” patient requests nearest to their vicinity.
The ability to claim tasks on a shared dashboard can allow staff members to divide and conquer active tasks efficiently, ensuring more productive care and a streamlined workflow. Eliminating overlap on tasks ultimately decreases feelings of frustration.
By boosting long-term care facilities with tools to ensure safety, accountability, and operational efficiency, industry leaders create a progressive environment in an industry that is traditionally viewed in the opposite light. Technology provides a two-fold solution in boosting employee retention and increasing operational efficiency, taking a step in the right direction to bolster the longevity of long-term care.
Danielle Myers is the General Manager at Status Solutions.