What is IVR?

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is an automated phone system. It can be customized to meet individual organizational needs. It is a technology that helps guide employees through an interactive menu to ensure they are reaching the department they need. The messages are pre-recorded and prompt employees to use their touch-tone keypad or speak up so that voice recognition can navigate them through a custom system. This ensures all of the employee’s information gets where it needs to go.

IVR is often used for calling in sick in the workplace. The easy to navigate system allows employees to submit their absence and rest assured that the information is getting to the right department. Another common use for IVR is in shift replacement. Employees can call into the system to find out what shifts are available and place bids immediately.

In organizations without IVR systems, an employee may call in and leave a voicemail on a manager’s line. What if the manager is away on vacation or out sick as well? How does the employee know their message is being heard and if required, their shift being filled? An IVR system removes uncertainty. The system exists to ensure information is passed to where it needs to be. It provides employees and employers with peace of mind. IVR intelligently routes incoming employee calls, ensuring their message gets to the right person or department. 

 

Quick Dial          quick dial

Quick Dial is an IVR system that directs incoming employee calls. It alleviates pain points in a scheduling department by automating and sorting incoming shift-related calls. Through Quick Dial, incoming calls are captured, organized, and filtered through configurable categories on a dashboard where department Managers and Scheduling Staff prioritize and process them.  Each call and corresponding action is logged and can be reviewed in a searchable audit trail. Quick Dial optimizes the way scheduling departments receive, direct and process incoming phone calls.

Andgo’s Quick Dial IVR system is also able to capture basic information about the caller. This allows for important information required by managers and schedulers to be collected. The system is completely customizable and easy to set up. It manages the filtering of incoming queries and frees up time for managers and schedulers, allowing them to focus on meaningful work.

Quick Dial can be expanded to other areas of operations where a large volume of incoming phone calls are received. Each call is automatically supplemented with additional information such as employee name, number, home department, and time of the call.  This eliminates transcription errors and data replication.  

Quick Dial processing follows the same workflows as the Smart Call and Automated Shift Bidding modules.  Incoming call categories, menu options, and voice messaging can be configured to unique organizational requirements. Also, Employees have the option to connect directly with Scheduling Staff.

 


Are you looking for a way to quickly and efficiently route incoming calls from staff regarding shifts and scheduling queries? Contact us to see how Andgo can help you save time, increase transparency, and improve staff morale with our smart absence management software.

What back to school means for shift workers

It’s that time of year again. The weather is cooling off, the leaves are starting to change, and our little ones are returning to the schoolyard. The major difference this year? COVID-19. For many the return to school is often anticipated and exciting, however this year there’s an air of unease. Return to school protocols are constantly evolving with the changing landscape of regional COVID-19 cases, and parents are left wondering what it means for them and their families.

For many workers, especially shift workers, there’s an unease about what the protocols are for working with sick children. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while the positive cases of children have remained low, they are not exempt from contracting COVID-19. Schools, therefore, needed to consider this when creating safety regulations. Many schools have enforced strict policies requiring students to remain at home for 14 days (and until their symptoms have disappeared) if they show any signs of COVID-19

So, what does this mean for parents?

Some employers and workplaces are fortunate enough to enable their employees to work remotely. However, that isn’t the case for everyone. Hospitals and other shift-work employers need to ensure they are properly staffed to serve their patients and customers. These organizations can’t function without employees physically in the workplace. Employers need to adopt strategies to keep their employees informed and their shifts filled.

With the strict ‘stay home’ regulations in place at schools, there is a greater risk of an increased number of employees calling in sick or taking personal days to look after their children. Employers need to have an efficient system in place to fill those shifts. 

What happens if an employee or their child test positive for COVID-19? 

The CDC encourages employers to implement contact tracing to help prevent the spread of the disease. This is another issue employers must prepare for. They need to have smart systems in place to properly trace employee contacts as well as notify their employees of potential infection rates.

In order to ensure a safe and healthy workforce, employers need to adopt strategies and methods to communicate with their staff and fill required shifts. Keeping staff up-to-date on COVID-specific issues and contact tracing information is important. This will help to assure employees and let them know their employer values their safety. In order to keep production running smoothly, and patients properly cared for, shifts need to be filled with healthy employees. 

While returning to school is a little more complicated this year, there are solutions employers can put in place to keep their workforce strong and healthy. Adopting strategies for contact tracing and effective communications with employees are two ways employers can maintain support, safety, and productivity in the workplace.

 


How Andgo can help

Our smart absence management software was designed for complex scheduling environments. Broadcast allows customers to easily communicate one-time alerts, bulletins, and/or instructions to employees.  This keeps employees up-to-date on what’s happening in the workplace. Smart Call automates the communication of available immediate need shifts to eligible employees, streamlining the shift-filling process. Quick Dial is an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that optimizes the way scheduling departments receive, direct, and process incoming phone calls.

Read more about how Andgo’s absence management solutions can help your organization during COVID.

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Want to see how Andgo can help your organization? Contact us for more information.

Feature Update: Partial Shifts & Calendar

Partial Shifts

Andgo is excited to announce the release of a new Partial Shifts feature as part of its Smart Call and Prebooking modules. Currently, employees are only notified of and able to bid on full shifts through these modules. With the introduction of our Partial Shifts feature, customers will be able to optionally allow employees to bid on portions of shifts, adding another valuable way for organizations to fill unplanned absences.

partial shift

The Partial Shifts feature includes:

  • Support for partial submissions through text, call or online
  • The ability to allow partial submissions on a per shift basis
  • Ability set a system-wide minimum for partial submission length
  • A new option to sort by submission length on the Scheduler processing screen

To use this valuable new feature, contact your Andgo support team and let them know you’re interested in Partial Shifts. The newest version of the Unfilled Shifts upload introduces an additional column that captures whether or not you want a given shift to accept partial submissions.

Coming Soon

To further maximize your organization’s ability to easily find employees to work
unfilled shifts, Andgo is planning on expanding the Partial Shifts functionality to allow schedulers to award multiple partial submissions on a single shift. Stay tuned as we look to release this valuable additional functionality in the near future!


Calendar Update

Andgo’s calendar is an integral part of our platform — it’s the central hub for employees to view their schedules or bid on shifts through Smart Call or Prebooking. We’ve given both the schedule calendar and unfilled shift calendar a fresh new look that includes:

  • An improved mobile-friendly experience with less scrolling
  • Modern icons
  • Shift times are now displayed on the calendar so employees can view
    important info quickly
  • Streamlined, easier-to-read shift details
  • The ability to capture partial submissions when bidding on shifts

To accommodate the new style of icons, we have created a new version of the Calendar Events upload. This new version (v2) has a set of user-centric icons for you to choose from.

calendar updatecalendar update

 

Check out more Andgo features here.


More about Andgo

Andgo Smart Absence Management was developed specifically for complex scheduling environments. By working with Andgo, you get the benefits of working with a knowledgeable and experienced team familiar with complex scheduling processes, procedures, and requirements.

Andgo’s Smart Absence Management system has created immense value for each of our clients through the automation of complex scheduling workflows. At Andgo we understand no two organizations are the same. With this in mind, we have designed our system to accommodate the unique requirements and use cases of your organization.

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Improve employee engagement and mental health through enabling meaningful work

Automation and the use of AI to streamline and innovate scheduling practices not only create operational savings, but it also gives valuable time back to scheduling staff which can be used toward more meaningful work. In working closely with our Healthcare customers, we understand the demands on scheduling staff, and what aspects of the jobs and tasks associated with scheduling prove to be most challenging. 

The following outlines some of these challenges and showcases how Andgo’s solutions can help.

Avoid burnout due to repetitive manual tasks

Employee burnout is becoming more and more common amongst all types of organizations. Within the scheduling environment, burnout tends to occur when scheduling staff is overburdened with tasks, especially when they are remedial in nature. 

Andgo can help reduce scheduling staff burnout by automating a large number of remedial, often mundane, and manual workflows. This allows for scheduling staff to focus on more meaningful,  thoughtful tasks that create value.

Reduce stress

Healthcare scheduling can be a very stressful occupation. Stress factors related to scheduling usually stem from an overwhelming workload which can have far-reaching effects throughout the organization. When shifts are not filled, departments are not fully or appropriately staffed. This means that patients might not get the care that they require. The consequences of errors or missed workflows can be critical, which can cause a lot of stress for all healthcare workers.

Andgo’s ability to automate the absence management and employee communication process from end-to-end significantly reduces time-consuming jobs and tasks. This saves scheduling staff time and allows them to continuously add value.

Eliminate employee boredom and associated negative effects

Boredom in the workplace is often prevalent but rarely discussed. Causes of boredom in the workplace can result from having to perform repeated and remedial work, not finding meaning in tasks performed, and feeling burdened by work volumes. The consequences of workplace boredom are increases in workplace accidents and errors, depression, anxiety, and disconnection between the employee and the organization.

Andgo can help reduce workplace boredom in the following ways:

  • Automating workflows, eliminating a large number of remedial tasks and providing a clear and comprehensive processing dashboard for scheduling staff
  • Workflows can be customized to provide job differentiation rules allowing for employees to benefit from more variety in their shift work (ex. Inter-departmental shift variability)

Andgo’s solution to enable meaningful work

Andgo’s personalized dashboards allow employees to book shifts ahead of time. This reduces the number of days they submit for on-call or short-call shifts and reducing some of the associated risks.

Andgo’s Smart Absence Management system can help your organization improve employee engagement and mental health. Our solutions will help your employees avoid burnout due to repetitive tasks. Employees will experience less stress and boredom, and fewer negative side effects due to on-call and short-call shift scheduling.

Contact us to find out how our solutions can help your workforce management.

Diversity and Inclusion at Andgo

At Andgo, we’ve been having many conversations around diversity and inclusion. We’ve been discussing ways in which we can promote and hire a diverse and inclusive team and elevate minority groups in our industry. The conversation is still happening, and we’re excited to see where it leads. We want to use this momentum as a catalyst for actionable change.

Identifying areas of improvement is one thing, but now is the time to convert awareness into action. Here are a few of the initiatives we’re working on at Andgo.

Supporting organizations who make a difference

There is an opportunity to improve diversity in the tech world and we want to do our part.  We commit to supporting organizations whose goals are to educate and enable our youth and improve opportunities for BIPOC in our industry and the world. The organizations we’re thrilled to be supporting are Black Girls Code, The Hidden Genius Project, and Indspire.

Black Girls Code is a US-based organization whose mission is to increase the number of women of color in STEM. They hold workshops and after-school camps to provide in-demand skills in technology and computer programming for young women of color. It’s an invaluable organization, educating our next generation of coders.

Another great US-based organization whose mission is to prepare black youth for a future in technology is The Hidden Genius Project. Their goal is to train and mentor black male youth in technology creation, entrepreneurship, and leadership skills. They do this through immersive mentorship programs as well as events and workshops. 

In Canada, Indspire is an amazing organization that invests in education for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. Through the funding they receive, they’re able to provide financial awards, deliver educational programs, and share resources with educators. 

Current Actions

We’ve started open and honest conversations internally about where we’re at, and what we can be doing. This has opened our eyes and created awareness on the issues that exist and how Andgo as a company can help. There is a lot to do. The good news is we’ve identified some areas we can make an impact right away. Initiatives we’ve started include furthering our education, sharing resources, and adding additional educational resources on diversity and inclusion to our company library. Also, we’re reviewing our internal and external documentation and terminology.

Until recently, we have not paid much attention to the deeper meaning or origin of the terminology used in developing software. This out-dated terminology is a perfect example of how deep-rooted these issues run. We’ve found the Google developer documentation style guide to be a helpful resource in this endeavor. We’re still in the first steps of this transition, but we’re happy to be moving in the right direction. We plan to begin updating the language and terms in our documentation to be more inclusive in the very near future.

Future Actions

It doesn’t end here. We are excited about the impact we can make in our organizations and community to improve diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. This is an area where we are just getting started and we look forward to sharing our plans with you as we take further action. 

 


We would love your feedback!

If you have ideas or recommendations for actions we can take to improve diversity and inclusion we want to hear from you! Contact us at the link below to share your ideas and suggestions.

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