Your nurses work hard taking care of residents every day. In their precious free time, they want to look after themselves. Enabling them to conveniently balance work and personal responsibilities strengthens their focus on resident care, increases their productivity, and reduces the likelihood they’ll seek employment elsewhere.
With a mobile workforce management app, you can provide your nurses with the tools they need to easily access their schedules and request open shifts from their smartphone. A nurse scheduling app empowers your staff to remain dedicated to your residents by streamlining communication among your team and reducing complex tasks. Let's dive into how to use a mobile app to enhance employee productivity and engagement.
Why Does Nurse Engagement Matter?
Engaging health workers and reducing turnover is more relevant and challenging in long-term care and senior care than ever. Nurse turnover continues to rise, with the senior care industry reporting an annual staff turnover rate of over 53%. Disengaged employees seek to leave their roles in search of better opportunities, while lowering morale and contributing to overall nursing staff turnover rates.
This discontentment can even contaminate your recruiting efforts. Research indicates that nearly 70% of workers would decline a job offer from an organization with a negative reputation. Engaged staff members are also more productive and committed to your organization. Their dedication can influence their co-workers and create a positive atmosphere.
Highly engaged staff members are also more than 85% less likely to leave their jobs, which can help facilities reduce turnover and build more meaningful, long-term connections with co-workers and residents. In long-term care and senior care facilities, nurse engagement directly correlates with the level of care they give residents. For instance, higher nurse engagement associates with improved patient and workforce outcomes.
How Can Mobile Workforce Management Help?
Fortunately, you can remedy employee disengagement. Effective engagement practices and tools like mobile workforce management apps can inspire senior care nurses to do their best work and find meaning in it, enhancing staff retention and quality care. Engaged workers also foster engagement among colleagues.
With a mobile workforce management solution, your team can stay connected about scheduling changes, attendance, open shifts, or time-off requests with the touch of a button. Perhaps you're a nurse manager and need to make a last-minute change to the schedule. Instead of trying to track down your entire team to let them know, you can update them in real time on your nurse shift app. Any schedule changes will prompt a phone notification so they know what to expect on each shift.
Real-time schedule updates prevent issues like too much overtime, nurses having to show up to cover a last-minute shift, and having too many staff members on shift. Immediately alerting your staff when these changes occur enhances agility and operational efficiency, helping your skilled nursing facility maintain your competitive edge.
Additionally, tasks like scheduling, tracking attendance, and filling out timesheets can be very time-consuming. You may spend more of your day trying to create next week's schedule and double-checking who has requested time off when you could focus on supporting your nurses and investing in their well-being. The less time you have to spend on manual, repetitive administrative tasks, the more time you can spend building employee satisfaction and helping your nurses feel connected.
Read 8 Simple Ways to Boost Employee Engagement in Long-Term Care and Senior Care for proven tactics.
What Your Nursing Staff Wants
The factors driving staff engagement often seem intangible, such as feeling valued, included, and inspired by meaningful work. However, tangible tactics and intangible perceptions link more closely than many of us realize.
When you leverage mobile workforce management to create an environment that helps nurses succeed, eliminates unnecessary frustrations, and provides easy access to the information they want, you foster engagement and help your nurses feel valued. A mobile workforce management tool can also help your staff work more efficiently and even manage work-life responsibilities.
Consider typical workplace dynamics in many long-term and senior care facilities. Tedious and manual processes continue to thrive, as many workforce management systems prove challenging to use. In addition to caring for residents, the nursing staff must hunt down schedules, forms, and HR information from different physical or online locations to perform simple tasks. These manually intensive workforce management processes disengage nurses, who are looking to get what they need quickly so they can focus on a priority—your residents' lives.
Millennials find these practices and legacy workforce management tools especially frustrating, since they expect technology to automate simple, manual tasks. In other words, they know there must be a better, mobile-friendly workforce management system to support their activities but feel frustrated that it’s not an option. To learn more, read Is Your Organization Wasting Its Most Valuable Resource?
The converse is also true. Delivering intuitive, mobile workforce management technology that requires little or no learning curve immediately engages nurses. When you use this type of workforce management system to deliver the features they desire and in a way that makes their life easier, you keep them engaged and help them feel valued.
1. More Control of Their Schedules
Since nurses often rotate between shifts and facilities, they want to plan their schedules and stay informed of changes. When your nurses can use a mobile workforce management app to find and respond to new schedules well in advance, they can more easily balance work and family responsibilities. This flexibility makes them feel better about their job and their employer. A mobile workforce management app can also let them review schedules anytime and prevent scheduling conflicts.
However, giving workers access to static information isn’t enough. To boost staff engagement, you need to deliver a unified workforce management approach that helps workers understand their scheduling options and their impact. The right mobile workforce management app enables your staff to balance work-life responsibilities. When they receive an invitation to pick up extra hours, employees want to know how the additional time would affect their schedule and pay.
Likewise, if they cannot work a scheduled shift, they want to be able to quickly determine how taking time off would affect their PTO balance and paycheck. A mobile workforce management app should automatically display this information or make it available in one click.
In addition, long-term and senior care nurses should be able to quickly access the mobile workforce management app to get their schedule, find new information, double-check when and where to show up for work, and even fix any issues they see. For example, if they notice they didn’t punch out one shift, they can use the mobile workforce management app to easily adjust the punch and submit the fix for administrative approval.
2. Flexibility and Mobility
If they can’t work a scheduled shift, nurses should also be able to use a mobile workforce management app to notify the correct people and submit PTO or swap shifts. In addition to accessing their PTO balance, they need to find qualified and available co-workers to switch shifts and immediately send them a swap request from their mobile workforce management app.
Likewise, when a colleague offers to swap shifts, they want to see how it affects their schedule before deciding. In addition, nurses don't want to run to their manager every time they're considering a shift change, but rather use their mobile workforce management app to request approval at the end of the process. They also want the app to immediately notify them when their manager responds.
These capabilities drive staff engagement by helping them make the best decisions for their lives while also closing scheduling gaps and preventing unexpected open shifts.
Most importantly, nurses want to quickly see and do everything they can to manage their responsibilities on a mobile workforce management app. These capabilities drive staff engagement by helping them make the best decisions for their life while also closing scheduling gaps and preventing unexpected open shifts.
3. Ability to Track and Understand Their Finances
Since their hours and pay vary from week to week, long-term care and senior care nurses want to quickly access timecards and detailed pay information and fix any errors. Providing a mobile workforce management app that gives them 24/7 access to important financial information helps them manage their lives. For example, when applying for credit, they want to immediately print or download paystubs without contacting HR or logging onto a personal computer. Likewise, they want to update employee data themselves on the mobile workforce management app.
When a mobile workforce management app helps workers better manage their priorities, they will notice and appreciate it. Empowering nurses with the ability to make informed financial decisions strengthens their commitment to you, increasing engagement and retention rates.
Specific solutions can streamline the payroll process for you and your management team to ensure your nurses get paid on time and provide incentives to boost retention. For example, same-day pay makes your facility more attractive to nurses by reducing financial stress and helping them budget and balance their personal life.
Instead of coming to work stressed about paying upcoming bills, your staff can better focus on their job when they know they'll get paid by the end of the day. This job perk can also help you reduce absenteeism, as almost 60% of workers report they would work harder for the benefit of same-day pay.
4. An Intuitive, User-Friendly App
Technology that is difficult to use can only make your staff more frustrated when trying to request open shifts or see their schedules. When you provide nurses with an intuitive mobile workforce management app that works with any device, they can instantly start using the tools and features to view their schedule, pay, or messages with management. A user-friendly mobile app eliminates the need for your staff members to dig for features or take tutorials to learn how to use it.
An intuitive solution will make it easy for your staff to find what they need so they can quickly contact you or another member of your management team about schedule changes, time off, sick days, or other essential information.
5. Improved Work-Life Balance
It's no secret that nurses often feel overworked in a short-staffed or poorly scheduled environment. A workforce management mobile app helps improve staff work-life balance by enabling real-time schedule updates and accessible, on-the-go communication. You can empower your team with this solution and ensure everyone is on the same page throughout the day, making it easier for you to address staff needs, coordinate shifts, and support your nurses in creating a more balanced schedule.
With a scheduling app for nurses, you enable your staff to:
- Swap or pick up shifts
- Communicate with co-workers and management in real time
- Manage payroll inquiries
- Request time off without having to contact HR
- Access their pay stubs and personal data
- Maintain a high degree of autonomy and visibility into their work life
- Gain flexibility over their schedules
How a Mobile Workforce Management App Supports Business Goals
If you want to improve nurse retention and productivity while simultaneously reducing turnover and disengagement, you can take advantage of a scheduling and HR app for nursing to help you reach your operational goals.
Quickly Close Scheduling Gaps
A fully functioned mobile workforce management app helps managers close scheduling gaps by informing them when gaps occur and who’s qualified and available to work. The workforce management app should enable managers to notify each worker in their preferred method with the click of a mouse.
It should also track who signed up for a new shift, who’s swapping shifts, and how new requests would impact each team member’s work week and overtime hours. Managers should be able to see this information at a glance in an intuitive interface and approve or deny requests in a couple of clicks.
Management also needs the mobile workforce management app to integrate seamlessly with scheduling, attendance, and analytics to ascertain the business outcomes of their decisions, know who’s approaching overtime, and be able to limit requests for more hours.
Easily Track and Equip Remote Nurses
Since a growing number of workers travel to different sites to care for post-acute and long-term care residents, employers want a mobile workforce management app with the ability to authorize remote locations and enable workers to punch in there while tracking their whereabouts to ensure compliance.
Increase Productivity and Reduce Turnover
Healthcare organizations that deploy efficient workforce management solutions can better identify areas of improvement, adjust hiring and onboarding practices, and build nurse retention. One study found that 62% of workers feel that mobile devices play a critical role in helping them be more productive at work. Another study noted that workforce management implementations successfully reduced staff turnover while increasing employee satisfaction within a range of 30% to 60%.
Additionally, this research noted that facilities reduced total payroll spend by at least 5% by leveraging analytics and coordinating optimal shifts. A mobile workforce management solution can also reduce the time managers spend on making schedules by at least 75%, improving productivity for the entire team.
These results reflect the potential that workforce management has to improve your facility productivity, from your individual staff members to your entire administrative team. Providing your nurses with a valuable mobile tool puts them in control and continues to benefit their lives and your facility.
Learn more, read How to Improve Employee Engagement with SmartLinx Go.
See How Smartlinx Can Transform Nurse Productivity and Engagement
We created the SmartLinx Go mobile workforce management app to engage nurses and help them access the tools and information they desire most. In addition to enabling employees to conduct requested work-related tasks on their phone or tablet, the mobile workforce management app helps streamline scheduling, attendance, and HR functions. We had a diverse array of skilled nurses review each function to ensure our mobile workforce management app could meet the needs of dedicated, hardworking staff members.
The SmartLinx Go mobile workforce management app quickly engages nurses by giving them access to what they need, when they need it, regardless of where they are. Enabling employees to take better control of their work-life balance and finances frees them up to focus more fully on their work.
We designed the SmartLinx Go mobile workforce management app based on input from long-term and senior care workers. Nurses, administrators, certified nursing assistants, directors, and managers weighed in on what their ideal mobile workforce management app would do and how it should look and operate. We continued to seek their input throughout the process and adopted an iterative approach in which we designed, tested, and revised each feature based on actual employee input.