Workforce management consultancy Smart WFM has deployed a new workforce management system from UKG to aged care provider Montefiore.
Based in Sydney, Montefiore manages the care of some 700 residents in campuses across the city’s eastern suburbs and north shore through its 1,100 staff, and also offers independent living units, home care and day care services.
The new system from UKG was brought in to help automate workforce logistics processes like rostering, replacing a manual system that involved phone calls to individual staff with a mobile app using push SMS to record availability.
UKG, or Ultimate Kronos Group, was the result of the merger of Ultimate Software Group and Kronos. Smart WFM is a long-time Kronos specialist and now has the combined offering.
Smart WFM said the rollout also accommodated COVID-19 restrictions, allowing easier reallocation of shifts when staff have needed to self-isolate or adhere to single-site working arrangements. Staff could also use the system to identify themselves as essential workers when stopped by authorities.
The rollout also prompted Montefiore to create a workforce logistics leader role to work with its staff, after the previous workforce management deployment had issues with usability among staff and lack of engagement overall.
“Communication with different departments, from the C-level through to clinical staff, made all the difference,” Montefiore workforce logistics leader and aged care manager Andrea Van Gramberg said.
“It’s really common that new tech is rolled out without factoring in the professional needs of users. Smart WFM worked with us through a series of workshops with many different stakeholders participating to seek feedback, uncover pain points, and ensure they were addressed – that was a first.”
Smart WFM also ran workshops to enable Montefiore to review and consolidate its various workflows and ensure consistency across its business.
Montefiore director of people, culture and learning Anna Santikos said the system helped the company manage staffing more efficiently in alignment with its organisational philosophy, enabling continuity of care for residents and reducing reliance on agency staff.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
Santikos added Montefiore is better placed to retain and attract staff as aged care workforce shortage challenges continue.
“People are at the centre of our HR and workforce management,” she said.
“It’s easier and faster to apply for leave, change shifts, accept shifts, meaning it’s easier for them to do what’s important outside of work too. We’ve built the model now so we’ll continue to incorporate our staff’s needs into the system as we further develop it.”
Smart WFM added Montefiore also added costed roster functionality to provide managers visibility of the labour costs associated with their scheduling decisions in real time. The payroll team also reported more streamlined processes, no longer needing to work late nights during pay day.
Smart WFM chief executive Jarrod McGrath said Montefiore is raising the bar for the healthcare industry in creating a digital operating model built upon the needs of today’s modern working environment.
“When something isn’t working, it’s easy to chalk it up to ‘that’s a tech issue’,” McGrath said.
“Our experience is this is rarely the case – it’s more likely the providers or consultants implementing the tech have failed to align to the people and processes in place.
“Montefiore has gone through a full digital transformation journey and put its staff at the heart of it. This is the kind of modern people innovation we need to see more of across the aged care and healthcare industries.”