By James Shields - 22th Jan 2020
Read time - 5 minutes
"We are happiest at work when we’re surrounded by people we know and like, and we feel valued by our leadership team."
Does this statement ring true for you? If so, read on…
The nature of working with people can result in unforeseen circumstances causing last-minute changes to availability, both for staff and for patients. Here at Circular Wave, we understand this, as well as changing working patterns. We use new technology to help a growing number of health organisations build and utilise their own staff banks to fill gaps in their rotas left by such unforeseen circumstances and fluctuating patient demand.
Staff banks are great because they enable hospitals to fill shifts with their own staff. This is hugely beneficial compared with agency staff, who would traditionally fill empty shifts – and save a whopping 20%.
Because bank staff work flexible hours, management of bank staff isn't just about recruitment and retention, it’s also about engagement. Engagement is the amount of time a bank staff member offers to work at an organisation – and clearly the more engaged your staff are, the more your organisation benefits. There are plenty of factors which affect engagement and these can be the difference between a thriving and healthy staff bank and a struggling agency-filled rota.
So why not look at ways to increase the engagement of your staff bank as a method of increasing your workforce capacity? In this blog, we look at the simple methods to increase capacity of your workforce through increasing engagement in your staff bank. We will take you through the following tools: e-Noticeboard features; instant payments; notifications and online chat forums; and leaderboard reports. You will see how these simple methods encourage more availability and happier bank staff.
1. Create community
An organisation doesn’t necessarily equal a thriving community.
We help NHS trusts and health organisations take a sustainable approach to staff recruitment – we want to see your staff there and with smiles on their faces tomorrow, next week and next year. We help organisations to employ staff who are rooted in the local community because we feel that staff and patients both benefit from such an approach.
Someone is far more likely to work with you if it’s close to home, and patients like to see a familiar face. We think that this sustainable approach in turn benefits employers, because workers are committed to completing long-term tasks and going above and beyond their day-to-day duties. Both staff and patient moral is lifted by friendships and familiar faces, and this in turn raises productivity.
Building a community requires effort, and this is particularly true with flexible working staff because people are not always working at the same time. Simple steps like monthly meet-ups, online forums and chats, like our e-Noticeboard feature, helps to build this sense of involvement and community. We take the easing of these activities through our digital platform as just as important the other aspects of effective management.
2. Instant payment
We don’t believe that people are motivated by money, however prudent and transparent payment show that you value your staff and the high standards of care that they provide.
Instant payment - staff being paid on completion of their shift - takes this to the extreme and has a wealth of benefits.
We don’t like to keep our staff waiting for their money, so instant payment is a great feature to be able to incentive your staff. This offers staff prompt and transparent pay to enable them to keep on top of their finances and reduce the risk of missed or late payments at the end of the month.
Additionally, there are plenty of studies which show in the flexible working economy, instant payment encourages people to take up more shifts – for example if you’re looking for some extra cash to enjoy the weekend.
3. Effective communication
Effective communication is people receiving information as and when they need it, and clearly understanding what is required of them.
We strongly believe that effective communication is key to high productivity and therefore it also affects engagement. Communication between flexibly working staff needs to be as easy as possible or it won’t happen.
It also affects staff members impression of their employer and the ease in which they consider working for you. To resolve this, we have developed a new “apply for part of a shift” feature, where we’ve radically simplified the process for a candidate who can only work part of the shift - this is better than them not working at all – and makes this negotiation as simple as possible
Notifications are a large part of automated systems communication and something we spend a lot of time on. When, what and how to notify people best. Following our research, we now release a weekly report to all our staff containing personalised and relevant available shifts, encouraging them to communicate their availability on a weekly basis and drive engagement.
Our goal is to make work administration (what, where and when) easy with our quick and easy-to-use online communication.
4. Insightful reporting
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
We ensure that the right people have access to the right information, to enable better decision-making. And don’t worry, you won’t receive this in a scrambled format that only a tech geek (i.e. us) can understand – this will be in easy to interpret infographics. And this goes for all levels of reporting needs, from the senior executives to the workforce coordinators.
Leaderboards are a great way for managers to incentivise and manage their workforce. We give the information that is most important to each user, to each user. For example by clearly showing Ward Managers who their most and least engaged staff members are, helping them support each individual.
Circular Wave's wraparound reporting come with granular information like the number of applications, number of views, number of cancellations so that staffing requirements can be better forecast with issues mitigated. You can track individuals engagement over time and see if that matches their expectations. You can identify which individuals you need to support further and which to reward – and if that’s not enough we provide unrestricted access to you structured and document data where you can perform your own analysis.
From our experience, we’ve found it remarkable the impact that small things can have on the engagement of a staff bank. Many organisations overlook staff bank engagement because full-time staff are traditionally the focus of HR and Workforce Manager. However, staff banks create new ways of working which need different methods of management. Applied effectively, these can make a real difference to the effectiveness of your staff bank and help your organisation best utilise its workforce.
To book a demo or discuss further, please do get in touch either by email [email protected] or give us a call 0333 987 4045.
CEO - Circular Wave
For all enquiries or to request a demo contact [email protected]