In any industry, it’s true that happy and supported staff are more productive, motivated and loyal. And this is particularly important in the aged care sector, where higher job satisfaction in staff will undoubtedly drive better care and overall happiness of residents too.
“Satisfied staff” is a topic of increasing interest in aged care thanks to the current Royal Commission, plus the reality that the near future will see a higher number of residents entering care facilities. As our population ages, it’s likely that these new elderly residents will expect a high level of flexible, independent, industry-leading care – and without happy staff, this is hard to promise.
The reality of staff satisfaction
Many factors lead to overall staff engagement or happiness. Supportive and approachable management. Correct goal setting and clear career progression. Adequate pay and work life balance. Feeling like what you are doing has an impact. Suitable learning and development opportunities. The list could go on.
Studies have found that happy employees are up to 20 percent more productive than unhappy employees. Further, 57 percent of employees who said they were stressed at work felt less productive and disengaged. Overall, productivity improves by 20-25 percent in organisations where employees are connected.
This all sounds achievable but, all too often, employees don’t feel valued at all. Why not?
In an industry with very high turnover, the aged care sector sees many staff members come and go – perhaps indicating that at times staff are overlooked. Facilities are also overloaded with residents, leading to high pressures on carers and increased stress levels. Many companies, and perhaps the aged care industry is guilty of this too, are overly focused on what they do and, as a result, they overlook who is doing the work, as well as how and why they are doing it.
How can technology play a role?
Implementing smart HR systems into aged care facilities can allow them to not only track time and attendance of their staff members but also monitor and streamline each staff member’s personal performance and goals, log the shifts that they are working, accurately record compensation and provide collaboration tools to increase a worker’s job satisfaction and motivation. Ultimately, companies will be able to track how a staff member is feeling and performing – flagging to management if certain staff members require a little more support to get them to the happiness and productivity levels they need to be at.
Technology can also make learning and training more feasible, allowing staff to develop and grow. Automating record keeping and introducing certain technologies to assist with resident procedures can help to reduce staff stress levels. Plus, smart rostering systems can ensure that there are adequate staff-to-resident ratios at any one time, allowing carers to focus their efforts on a manageable number of residents and deliver them greater care, rather than being stretched across multiple.
Technology might be a small cog in the overall job satisfaction resolve, but it certainly is an important one. Implementing systems that automate and make things more streamlined and flexible will have an overall positive affect on an aged care facility’s employees.