Manual callout processes are time and resource consuming. The manual callout process generally follows these steps:
- Record absence
- Build an appropriate call-in list
- Phone first name on the call-in list
- Ask the employee if they want to work shift
- If yes, the process stops, if no call next employee
- Repeat step 4 until an employee says yes
- Inform the department of employee change
Not only is this method resource and time consuming on the person/persons who are performing it, but also for the department who is experiencing the absence of an employee, as they have the greater pressure to delivering quality care while short-staffed. The good news is, this pressure can be relieved by automating some, or all, of the above steps. More good news is the method of communicating unfilled shifts to employees can be done by not only a phone call, but also through SMS text messaging, email, and employee self-service through integrated websites. Even more good news, all these methods can communicate unfilled shifts to employees within a few minutes of each other and without the need for a staff scheduler, scheduling clerk, or employee to be on the call-out end.
Phone Call/Interactive Voice Recording (IVR)
As mentioned previously, with automated callouts, there no longer has to be a staff scheduler, staffing clerk, or an employee, on the callout end. This task can now be performed by the Interactive Voice Recording (IVR) system. The IVR computer-generated voice reads unfilled shift information to the employee from pre-written script and the employee has the option to:
- Hear the shift again
- Apply for the shift
- Move on to next unfilled shift
Employee responses are recorded through the phone call and automatically entered into the system.
Short Message Service (SMS)/Texting
As more and more people move towards SMS/texts as the primary means of communication, it is important for work opportunities to also be communicated via the same method. When looking at streamlining communication to employees, distributing information via SMS text messages is a must. The accessibility and convenience of SMS text messaging make it much easier to get feedback from employees on time-sensitive matters such as expressing interest in picking up a vacant shift. Additionally, there is an audit trail of interactions that can be easily reviewed at any time.
Although email is not the fastest form of communication and not given the highest priority, not all unfilled shifts are urgent. Unfilled shifts, urgent or not, may be emailed to employees with all the shift details included. Links included in emails allow employees to be immediately directed to the employee self-service webpage to apply for the shift. Which brings us to our next point…
Employee Self-service/Andgo Systems website
Employees may login to their self-Service website to view and apply for unfilled shifts of all priorities. This information is accessible to employees 24/7 via computer terminals, tablet devices and mobile phones. Integrated self-service systems can also display the employee scheduled work calendar, so they can see what upcoming shifts are on their schedule. Advanced systems provide employees with the option to apply for annual and general leave requests.
Four methods of communicating to employees. All Automated.
When unfilled shift data enters the system, the programming handles all the old methodology from the manual callout and contacts the employees with the unfilled shifts according to employee preferences. If your employee prefers texts over phone calls, then there is an option for your employee to select this preference. The employee is happier with being contacted for shifts via their method of choice. Conversely, the organization is happier because their scheduling staff/staffing clerks are now free to do more value-add work. Automating callouts saves time, resources and improves employee satisfaction with scheduling.
When it comes to automatically notifying employees of available shifts Andgo Systems have been doing it for years. Manually communicating available shifts to employees is an error-prone, labor-intensive process that does not scale and costs healthcare organizations every day.
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