Undoubtedly, care agencies can act as a true life-saver for people who need assistance. However, this is usually a challenging and difficult task for both the patient and their caretaker(s) for several reasons.
Care agencies face a plethora of challenges that can make daily operations a time consuming and arduous task. For example, manual pen and paper form completion or scheduling that leads to too much paperwork and oftentimes mistakes or errors. Care agencies also face high employee turnover rates, poor communication, a lack of engagement and more.
That’s why we decided to focus on how and why hundreds of care agencies have turned to Connecteam to help them overcome these challenges. With Connecteam, care agencies can dramatically improve their operations, communication and engagement with their caregivers and throughout the whole team. In doing so, caregivers can focus on providing the best possible care to their patients and upper management can concentrate on efficiently running daily operations and procedures.
Challenges Care Agencies Faced Before Connecteam
All key paperwork is completed via traditional methods like paper forms. This is an inefficient process as these forms need to be seen and acted on by management immediately, but care agencies don’t always get these forms.
Additionally, care agencies also send out a lot of information and attachments over emails to employees; taking up too much time.
Information Scattered in Multiple Places
Materials that caregivers need on a regular basis are either in the office or are lugged around to each location. It’s inconvenient and a mess. Any time care agencies need to update these materials, you have to print out new papers and hand them out to each caregiver and that’s not always easy with everyone’s schedules. It’s impossible to be sure each caregiver has the latest material.
Lack of Employee Engagement and Communication
Staff isn’t able to communicate with each other easily, most of the other carers are saved on employees’ personal phones or aren’t at all.
Updating carers takes too much time, whether it’s a birthday wish or an important procedural update, agencies are either sending mass emails or text messages. Tracking who reads your message or email is tedious and takes too long.
Time Lost on Training and Onboarding
Care agencies tend to have a lot of carers leaving within the first six months so all that time they spend training and onboarding them is irrelevant. Care agencies need a more efficient and quick way to do this, while still ensuring the new carer is professional and ready to go.
“Phoenix Homecare and Support objectives were to improve employee engagement, digitize our paper forms and create a central company hub. Connecteam has helped us to achieve all these objectives. Our employees are engaging on the app on a daily basis and completing important forms more frequently than before. As a Domiciliary care agency, it’s important for us to be able to give our carers the tools they need to be able to do their roles effectively.” – Garrett Williams
Based on all the challenges listed above, caregivers understand that with the right caregiver app, they can streamline daily processes so they aren’t caught up with too much paperwork. Instead, the right solution allows them to focus on the patient. This is why so many caregiver agencies turn to Connecteam.
Connecteam Caregiver App Ends Common Challenges, Here’s How…
For dispatching and managing a service user’s calls, care agencies utilize Connecteam’s job scheduling feature in order to provide all relevant information to their caregiver easily and swiftly:
- Assigning caregivers for services based on different requirements.
- Providing all relevant information including start time, address and special instructions.
- Records of when an employee clocked in and out, plus their location.
- Managers and employees can add shift notes with comments and photos if necessary.
- Allowing employees to accept and reject shifts (optional – can be disabled).
- Create shift tasks so you have total oversight on your team’s progress and your employees know exactly what they need to do.
- Employees can directly message managers when clocking into their schedule directly from their phone if anything is unclear or missing.
- Receive an automatic notification if anyone is approaching overtime so you can handle the matter immediately.
- All job scheduling information is saved and reports can be created to review employee performance, attendance and time spent at each client.
- Mistake free scheduling with your own customizable limitations.
In fact, Capterra reviewed the leading caregiver and nurse software solutions and they rank Connecteam as the top solution for efficient scheduling.
Communicating with caregivers is critical, but not an easy task. With the majority of the team on the go, keeping everyone on the same page and engaged can pose a real challenge.
Here are some of the best communication methods and tools used by care agencies/care providers utilizing Connecteam:
- Real-time push notifications for updates and announcements: for both formal and informal communication. From celebrating birthdays and events to sending a CEO memo, to updating on new services available, shift changes, or new openings in the company.
- Targeted communication: providing each employee with the relevant information they need. Easily differentiating between probation, hourly, interim employee, care service managers, caregivers, or sites. Managers can easily see who didn’t read or view important announcements or messages and can reach out to them privately. Management can also review at what times are the best for posting company wide announcements or updates based on employee usage.
- Employee directory: make it easy for employees to search for contact information with a digital employee directory. Caregivers can search by name, location or even job role.
- Chat groups and channels: streamline day-to-day communication easily and efficiently. Allow caregivers a direct channel of communication with their respective manager or create group chats to disseminate information to a group of caregivers.
Boost Employee Engagement
Care agencies often feel the need to put the caregivers in the center and to uplift the general employee engagement in the companies.
Some of the common practices used to achieve improved employee engagement include:
- Periodical surveys – whether it’s a simple two-question feedback survey or a robust employee satisfaction survey, care agencies use Connecteam to allow employees to share their feedback with ease and efficiency.
- Trainer feedback – allowing the caregiver to provide feedback on the trainer and the training session.
- Newsletters – newsletters are an efficient way to keep the team on the same page, providing recent updates on the business, activities, growth, etc.
- Photo albums and images – sharing of photos and images from key events with the team.
- Suggestion box – often used to let all team members share their ideas and thoughts in real-time for how to do things better and raise improvement ideas.
- Open door policy – care providers with an open door policy allow their caregivers to address key stakeholders (service managers, leadership, HR) with questions or issues, providing a direct channel that is trackable and efficient.
- Quizzes – create quizzes and review employee answers to give them feedback on what they can improve on.
- Events – post company wide events, like a company fun day or happy hour to keep employees engaged and connected.
Better Compliance Company-Wide
As compliance is a big part of care agencies and care providers day-to-day, ‘Read and sign’ forms are common, and are often utilized by compliance officers for individual acknowledgment of company policies and regulations.
Commonly used Read & Sign compliance documents used by care agencies include the following:
- Opting out of the 48hrs working time directive
- Medication policies and procedures
- Administration of medication policy
- Assistance in self-administration of medication policy
- Auditing and monitoring of medication policy
- Collection of prescription policy
- Controlled drugs policy
- Medication away from home policy
- Medication error and near-miss policy
- Over the counter medication
- Safe Disposal of medication policy and procedure
- Storage of medication policy and procedure
- Training and competency policy and procedure
- Sexual harassment policy
- Other read and sign documents.
Automate Checklists & Reports
Day-to-day operations are often accompanied by relevant paperwork. Care agencies using Connecteam can digitize daily forms, checklists, and reports. By digitizing and automating daily forms, checklists and reports, care agencies can reduce friction from day-to-day activities, automate information flow, improve response time, and gain better oversight.
Here are some popular examples:
- Supervisor inspection summary report for a caregiver
- Fall risk assessment
- Medication risk assessment
- Hoist checklist
- Bed rail assessment
- Equipment visual check
- Night worker assessment
- Incident report
- Annual leave
- Mileage tracking (weekly or monthly)
- Expense reimbursement
- Employee performance review
All entries submitted by employees are digitally logged, can be automatically sent to a predefined email address as a PDF copy, and can also be exported in an Excel supported format.
Plus, you can receive automated reports that are sent to any internal or external personnel with all the information they want to receive based on the filter feature. In addition, you can use manager fields to monitor and give the user feedback on daily forms. Furthermore, managers can also give live feedback to employees directly from their submitted form to ensure everything is done properly. Connecteam is trusted by 1,000+ care agency companies – Start with the free plan now!
Smooth Onboarding Process
The need to deal with high employee turnover and to provide a high level of service leads care agencies to build an in-app onboarding process to make the team growth development more efficient and quick. In addition, you can also archive old employees so that their data is never lost. Usually, this involves:
- A formal letter welcoming the employee to the company
- Employee handbook
- Company policies
- New employee checklist
- Personal information form
- Opting out form (the 48hrs working time directive)
- Declaration of pre-booked holidays
- Uniform order form
- Information for company badge
- Training summary feedback
- Read & sign appropriate forms
Build Professional Skills Through Training
In-app training is used by care agencies to provide all relevant training materials for individuals of the agency. Keep caregivers up-to-date with continuous training that they can complete directly on their mobile device. In addition, monitor employees progress through the training with real-time updates on completed courses.
Common training practices include both professional and compliance-related training:
- Dementia training
- Stoma care training
- First Aid training
- Hoist training
- Abuse Neglect Exploitation (ANE) training
- Sexual harassment training
- Tests and quizzes.
Transfer Company Policies to Connecteam
Care agencies often make digital resources available for their teams so they can easily find the information they need in one place. By providing easily accessible digital resources to your caregivers, care agencies can reduce confusion and mistakes, ensure all caregivers are on the same page and improve employee satisfaction.
The most common resources usually shared with the teams include:
- Policies and protocols
- Employee handbook
- ‘How To’ guides (electronic equipment usage/login to a web service etc.)
- Code of ethics
- Sexual harassment policy
- Uniform policy
Human Resource Needs
HR teams and executives in care agencies leverage Connecteam for automating processes and for better control over workforce-related issues:
- Refer a friend; makes it easy for the workforce to recommend friends for a position which helps increase their recruitment reach.
- Personal information form for on-boarding new employees such as personal information, contact information, emergency contact, documents such as tax forms and photo ID, etc.
- Updating contact information such as address, name, mobile number, email, bank account information and more.
- Employee satisfaction surveys or performance reviews.
Accurate Time Tracking
When it comes to accurate time tracking and payroll sheets, care agencies rely on Connecteam to make this a smooth process.
- For clocking in and out of shifts with a GPS location stamp so employees are clocked in at the correct location.
- Sending push notifications to remind employees to clock in or out.
- Utilizing notes and tags to address specific needs (like filtering by the customer or specific dates).
- Exporting payroll sheets, per shift or as a total.
- Viewing current and past timesheets.
- Requesting time off – employees receive an alert the second a request is approved or denied.
- Add shift attachments.
- Signing off timesheets, adds extra security for managers to reduce employee time theft.
- Upload files to the time clock.
In addition, you can use the geofence capability so users can only clock in once they actually are at the client’s home, thereby reducing time theft.
The Bottom Line
Connecteam is a leading all-in-one employee management app with various capabilities designed to help scale your care agency business. With Connecteam, care agencies simplify job scheduling, streamline communication, improve employee engagement, ensure compliance, automate checklists and reports, efficiently onboard new employees and train existing employees with new skills, and accurately track and store employee hours and timesheets.
Plus, Connecteam’s pricing options are a no-brainer, so start with the free plan and to learn more, check out this link and feel free to book a free product tour to see if Connecteam meets your business needs.