As a home health agency or home medical equipment owner or operator, you know that chaos can strike any time. Between satisfying patients and their families to managing a large hourly workforce, you may spend more time battling fires than growing your business. Identifying efficient business processes and outsourcing administrative tasks can ease stress, while also freeing you up to focus on what matters. Here are five ways to help navigate some of the challenges.
Outsource Administrative Work
An hourly workforce with significant turnover creates administrative work. Wage verifications, unemployment claims, drug screens and more can bog down progress. Your focus should be on recruiting the best employees, training staff and providing exceptional customer service. Consider getting help with administrative tasks such as W-2 processing and distribution, responding to garnishments, developing an employee handbook, conducting training on key HR and compliance topics, dealing with unemployment insurance claims, and creating hiring and firing guidelines. An external HR resource can handle these tasks, among others, while you concentrate on providing outstanding care.
Use an Applicant Tracking System
A strong economy has made it difficult to find staff, so you may spend a significant amount of time trying to find qualified candidates. Utilizing an applicant tracking system (ATS) is an efficient way to post jobs and find and screen potential candidates. These systems can sort through résumés online so you don’t have to. Some systems also communicate with potential candidates, schedule interviews and even extend offers. Companies that choose to implement an ATS into their recruiting process can stay organized and on top of each candidate’s information from the beginning.
Go Digital for New Hire Paperwork
At most homecare businesses, new hires have to complete a lot of paperwork. Having employees view and sign documents online through a human resources information system will shrink the amount of time it takes them to complete intake information and will keep files organized from the start. It also provides the opportunity for the employee to “self-service” their needs when it comes to changing important information, viewing their paystub and requesting time off. Having all of your employees’ information in a digital format removes the need for paper documentation and makes your job—and your employees’ lives—much easier.
Invest Time in New Hires
Spending time with new hires from the start is critical. Even if they are experienced, make sure they understand your company’s operations. Giving them time to understand the company culture and the history of the business helps them feel valued. Show them why you hired them and establish a policy of open communication so they feel comfortable coming to you if a conflict arises. Building a bond early on makes new hires feel like they are part of the team. If you make an effort to properly welcome and onboard new employees, it proves you’re invested in their careers and provides a way for them to pay it forward with future new hires.
Consider Culture Over Benefits
Candidates prefer a solid benefits package when considering a job opportunity, but that doesn’t mean that benefits will be the primary factor in a candidate’s consideration of an offer. Most hourly employees cannot afford a full suite of benefits. Health insurance and retirement plans might seem affordable to you as a manager, but may not be realistic for employees making minimum wage. Inexpensive benefits like flexible scheduling, additional paid time off and flexible payment methods can be just as valuable to many employees as hard benefits, and contribute to an employee-friendly culture. Ultimately, creating a great place to work is the best way to retain employees.
This post originally appeared in HomeCare Magazine.