Posted by : Margi Kenny
Knowing Your Workforce
During my years as a supervisor of multiple employees, one of my greatest, and on going challenges, is adapting to the individual needs of clients and caregivers. When a client changes their requested schedule, for whatever reason, my problem solving skills and negotiation skills kick in. I discuss with my client the need for the change, make sure it is or is not because of dissatisfaction from their caregiver, and remind them I need time to find a new caregiver for their case. Will they want substitutes while I am restaffing their care? I find out if their is flexibility with arrival times for the caregiver or days of service, etc...Then, taking a look at the caregivers with availibility to match those days and times of the clients, is the next step. Most of my caregivers have regular client schedules, and they care for one to three people per day. Fitting someone new on their schedule, or finding someone with open slots for a new client, is where the puzzle begins.
This is where knowing my workforce is vital. I have such an open communication with my caregivers, and know them professionally as well as personally, that I know who and how far they are willing to drive to accept work. I know which one of my caregivers truly want to work and accept most assignments and who do not. I have notations on their schedules of whether they can tolerate smokers, pets, etc...Then of course, matching the skill of my caregiver to the need of the client is next. Do they have training and experience in transferring clients? Do they have the mentality to help folks with toileting issues, or do they prefer the simpler cases and perform basic household duties? Who is willing to work weekends? Who works evenings? Who is reliable with meeting their schedules and duties? Who calls in sick, or who has personal problems that sidetrack their work ethics. These factors all play a role in the major portion of my job...providing quality care.
This attitude of knowing your workforce is important in all industries, whether it is a service based business, or a product based busienss. You still need to know who you can count on. You need to know who has quality work ethics and a positive attitude, or who is challenging to work with. Let's face it, all industries have positive and negative employees. Knowing your workforce is what will matter, in order for you to do your job.