Montefiore adopts Smart WFM's automated workforce app

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Human capital management (HCM) consultancy, Smart WFM, has announced it has supported the implementation of a new workforce management system to Montefiore.

The new system will support the Australian aged care provider to automate rostering.

Montefiore has over 1,100 staff that care for over 700 residents in campuses across Sydney’s eastern suburbs and north shore. It also provides independent living units, home care and day care services.

Montefiore said deploying the cloud-based UKG system has replaced a number of disconnected manual processes with a simple application to manage workforce logistics, including rostering.

Managers previously had to call all potentially available staff when reallocating a shift. The app that is available to all staff has automated this to a simple push SMS system, with staff recording and managing their availability via the app to pick up extra shifts and provide better visibility to managers.

The rollout of the system across all operational areas of Montefiore has also been very timely in the context of the pandemic. It has enabled seamless reallocation of shifts when staff have needed to self-isolate or have been unable to attend Montefiore due to single-site working arrangements in place for the sector.

The benefits also extended to staff residing in an LGA of concern who said that the app was useful when commuting to or from work during the lockdown – if stopped by enforcement authorities, the app could clearly demonstrate that they were essential workers and had a permissible reason to leave home.

“Communication with different departments, from the C-level through to clinical staff, made all the difference,” said Andrea Van Gramberg, workforce logistics leader and aged care manager of 13 years with Montefiore.

“It’s really common that new tech is rolled out without factoring in the professional needs of users. Smart WFM worked with us through a series of workshops with many different stakeholders participating to seek feedback, uncover pain points, and ensure they were addressed – that was a first.”

Montefiore’s director of people, culture and learning Anna Santikos said the system has helped it manage staffing more efficiently in alignment with its organisational philosophy.

“The way in which we have deployed the system supports our ‘Neighbourhood Model of Living’ philosophy, whereby we roster consistent staff to look after the same residents, enabling them to build meaningful relationships and fostering familiarity,” said Santikos.

“Agencies are part of the mix of course, but a real risk of the former system was that it could almost encourage an overreliance – it was easier to call an agency than to call 10 staff to fill a shift. Now it’s seamless, supporting that philosophy and reducing costs.”

Another positive benefit of the system has been the costed roster functionality, giving managers visibility of the labour costs associated with their scheduling decisions in real time.

Smart WFM CEO and author of The Digital Workforce Jarrod McGrath said, “When something isn’t working, it’s easy to chalk it up to ‘that’s a tech issue’.

“Our experience is this is rarely the case – it’s more likely the providers or consultants implementing the tech have failed to align to the people and processes in place. Montefiore has gone through a full digital transformation journey and put its staff at the heart of it. This is the kind of modern people innovation we need to see more of across the aged care and healthcare industries.”