It takes a lot of effort to keep your home care agency running smoothly, and a lot of tasks happen behind the scenes. Managing home care schedules is crucial for building team morale and giving quality care to clients; it can also be one of the most stressful tasks of your week. Here’s the good news: creating and managing home care schedules doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need the systems to make it more effective and efficient.
Fortunately, you can learn from the mistakes of other home care agency executives who struggle with scheduling their caregivers. Here are some of the most common mistakes beginner and veteran schedulers make, along with how you can sidestep their pitfalls.
Making Analog Schedules
Creating and managing home care schedules used to be done in pencil and on paper. However, this does not allow real-time adjustments or the ability for other managers to make shift switches while out of the office or in a client’s home. If you are not already using software that allows you to create staff schedules for your caregivers as a shared document, you are missing out. Don’t have the extra money for specialized scheduling software? Start by using Google Sheets – it’s free!
Waiting Too Long
Your caregiver schedule is not a task you should save until the last minute. If you are a procrastinator by nature, challenge yourself to create your staff schedules ahead of time. Waiting too long can not only frustrate your staff who are waiting to make personal plans, but can also add pressure that can cause you to make mistakes.
Not Having a System for Requests
If you don’t have a system for staff to request time off and a policy that accompanies that system, you can end up feeling frustrated while attempting to schedule your team. Your request-off policy and system do not have to be complicated; it just has to be consistent.
Not Taking Client Requests Into Consideration
Some caregivers just don’t “click” with clients, and that is okay. If you have a client who requests a specific caregiver, start with that assignment and build your schedule around those requests. It’s an easy step to take toward client satisfaction.
Not Automating the Process
Some home care agency managers don’t automate the scheduling process as much as they could, which leaves them spending extra time on the task. Try to automate as much of the scheduling process as possible by setting time aside weekly or monthly on your calendar to work on it. You can also build a master skeleton schedule online and then use it as your template every time you sit down to work on the task.
Not Delegating the Task
Real talk? Executives and managers are not always the best schedulers. In fact, some of the best scheduling comes from experienced caregivers or nurses. Delegate the scheduling task, or parts of it, to designees throughout your agency. It’s a great way to cut your workload as well as to empower and acknowledge superstar staff members.
Scheduling doesn’t have to be hard! You can make the task much easier when you implement just a few of our tips.