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How Can Senior Care HR Leaders Use Data to Drive Change Within Their Facilities?

06-30-2021
Nadia Hercules

There has been significant turbulence and change since the start of COVID-19, affecting individuals, businesses, governments, cross-industry operations, and the skills that employees need to succeed in the workplace worldwide. The pandemic has accelerated further technological adoption in most companies as well as the ways we work, and the technologies we use are being redefined and rethought in many ways.

Against this background, the role of human resources (HR) leaders has never been more important, as employees will play a key role in shaping the future of organizational models in the years ahead. Given these unavoidable changes and in light of a recent article by McKinsey, we felt it was important to touch on some key points. How can senior care facilities use data and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track their progress on their unique paths of transformation, and how can HR help build an organization’s future through a special lens?

Let’s begin with 3 basic steps.

Data to Diagnose: Where Do I Start?

There are so many areas you can look into to establish what your “normal” and “unusual” patterns are. As you sit in leadership meetings and the following questions are asked, don’t you wish you had data to point to that could help answer some or all of them?

Employee Turnover

    • Are you noticing more or less turnover than usual?
    • Is turnover concentrated in a single location or department?
    • Does turnover correlate with a job title or role?

This year, it was reported that turnover for senior care employees increased from 44.05% in 2019 to 53.11% in 2020. Having turnover data can help you answer questions that will enable you to focus your time on what’s working and what’s not so you can tackle your turnover rate.

Pay Rates and Overtime Cost

    • Are you paying your employees fairly?
    • Which employees are working the most overtime?
    • Why?

This will help you understand how much your facility is spending on overtime and whether you are paying your employees fairly as well as if you are staying in compliance with federal, state, and local pay laws.

Demographics and Diversity

    • Do your employees represent your patient base in regard to age, gender, ethnicity, etc.?

Demographic data can help you answer the above question and also help guide your communication efforts.

For example, different generations have different perspectives on health and wellness, and they also consume information through different channels. To effectively explain health plan options and utilization as well as provide ongoing education and support, employers must first know who they’re talking to. Knowing this, you can refine outreach efforts, ensuring your message is heard throughout the facility.

Employee Benefits

Knowing your demographic data can also help you with your benefit offerings and help you answer the following:

    • How many employees participate in the benefits being offered?
    • Are employees taking full advantage of benefits being offered?

Tracking your benefit offerings and demographic data can be helpful when considering what types of health care plans to offer your employees: younger employees may want a plan that helps them prepare for future costs, like an HSA, while older employees may be more concerned with minimizing the out-of-pocket costs of their current health care spend. This data will also tell you which employees are eligible for what benefits.

After employees have chosen their benefits, that information along with the associated product details, such as HSA contribution amounts, make up your enrollment data. By analyzing this data, you can get a clear picture of which benefits are resonating with your employees.

Besides eligibility, claims data has the greatest potential to help you design a health plan and benefits strategy that can significantly drive down costs – for you and your employees.

This data is highly valuable because it can clue you into the effectiveness of cost-controlling programs, like smoking cessation initiatives and employee wellness solutions. Without this data, it’s nearly impossible to determine the ROI of such programs. This data also helps you draw a clear line from usage to effective plan design. If you’re providing employees with a robust health care plan yet employees aren’t utilizing your plan to the fullest, you may be overspending.

Paid Time Off (PTO)

74% of employees searching for a job say PTO/vacation policy is extremely important to them in their job search; that means PTO is the second most prioritized benefit for the American workforce, only behind health care. Just like benefits, tracking the usage of your employees’ PTO can help determine the ROI of the program and how it’s affecting your employees’ overall performance and feelings about your facility.

    • Are employees using their PTO?
    • Are managers seeing more or less requests during certain times of the year?
    • Is there a correlation between tenure and PTO taken?

Data Leads to More Questions, Then Action

Management

When you notice trends like turnover in a particular department or facility location, this could be a management development opportunity. Don’t jump to conclusions right away; it doesn’t mean you have poor management – it could be an opportunity to develop better interviewing skills to match the right talent with the right job.

Human resources managers can also monitor whether their organization is successfully developing talent or not, and they should consider measuring the impact and outcomes of employee experience initiatives. KPIs need to be viewed in the context of corporate culture and values, and identifying and monitoring trends over time will help them change that.

Programs and Processes

Do you have the right programs in place to help improve any gaps you see in the data? For example, if nobody is participating in benefit programs, you could ask yourself: “Do we have the right plans in place for the type of employees who work here? Are the plans too expensive, or do they not cover the right types of benefits?”

Through the data, you can see if your employees may want to participate in programs like pay cards, easier access to pay, or more learning opportunities to further do their job.

Other than financial freedom programs and learning, your employees may also be interested in work location flexibility. Based on a Statista report, the rise of gigs is another trend that turns traditional working models upside down. Employees want the best of both worlds: 70% of employees want flexible working opportunities, 65% want more collaboration in person than in the office, and 70-80% want more flexibility. While your employees don’t necessarily work in an office setting, the same principle applies – they want more flexibility with choosing where and what hours they work.

Similarly, you could also explore your PTO plans and see whether your process helps managers most effectively manage their employees’ time off requests or if improvements could be made.

Purpose, Culture, and Values

HR managers should make sure that the purpose of their organization is communicated at every stage, identify key moments that are important to employees, and ensure that the company delivers at these critical moments. The importance of employee experience is already recognized; 78% of HR managers agree that it is the most important factor for employee satisfaction, and a Gallup study shows that companies that rank in the top quarter of employee experience tend to respond more to employee needs compared to others.

They should also obtain feedback from employees through regular surveys. The result of a great employee experience has a positive impact not only in regard to sales and profits but also employee satisfaction, performance, and retention.

The Proof is in the Data: Back to Monitoring

After tracking and analyzing your data, what did you learn? Did you implement any changes on how you were doing things? Did these changes work? If they worked – based on the data – can they be optimized? If the data shows that they didn’t work, what went wrong? What’s not working?

As an HR administrator, not only is it great to track these data sets but also analyzing and implementing change based on what the data says.

But it’s not just that the data speaks – you also have to be listening.

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