If you are up against legal troubles, struggle to keep up with changing regulations, or need to establish more consistency, outsourcing human resources duties can dramatically impact your operations and staff.
Understanding Unique HR Challenges in Assisted Living
Centers that focus on elderly care have many jobs to juggle, and many people forget that they need to care for their staff too. Nursing homes have staff dedicated to direct patient care as well as accounting, administrative support, security, and management. So who helps them while the core focus is to help patients? Often, the answer is that staff are under-supported, which leads to a few recurring issues.
It is possible to reduce your turnover rate while providing support. It is possible to manage your staff levels to promote compliance. However, many facilities struggle because these things feel out of reach. It feels as though it is impossible to provide enough support to impact turnover in a way that will allow staff levels to keep the facility compliant.
A 2017 study found that the median nursing home turnover rate was 94%. Why? Nurses and other staff are frequently looking for new opportunities with centers that might provide better benefits and working environments. This turnover rate is pre-COVID-19, so it’s reasonable to believe it may have increased alongside the increasing demands of elderly care.
Turnover rate is something that directors and management have some control over. Offering desirable benefits and support is a starting point. Then, providing clear expectations, consistent protocol, and of course, a clear path for successful ratings. Our team believes that this happens through transparent support, easy access, and consistent documentation.
Many states and counties require certain staffing levels, such as having so many LVNs or RNs on staff at a given time. Other requirements may include that certain staff needs to work so many hours consecutively or that facilities must keep a specific staff to patient ratio. Although you might maintain compliant levels now, what would happen if you had two or three staff members leave within a week?
For example, in Florida, the absolute minimum expectation with certified nursing assistants is that each resident receives at least 2.5 hours of direct care each day.
Supporting Staff and Your Ratings
Ratings for elder care are becoming more important and more difficult to manage. Government entities, the public, and families of residents expect the best for the elders in our communities. Unfortunately, when staff doesn’t receive the support they need, facilities struggle to maintain ideal ratings. It becomes a cycle of staff needing support while the rest of the facility focuses on improving ratings while still relying on overworked or under-served staff.
The good news is that if the administration can intervene so that the staff that makes quality care possible and positively impact the facility’s ratings. Where can you start? HR outsourcing allows the in-house administration to focus on performance initiatives. It’s about much more than delegating a few tedious tasks. Businesses that deliver elder care can dedicate their time to helping patients.
There are a few ways that an HRO can help support all employees of assisted living or nursing home facilities:
- Dedicated employee care centers for answering common HR questions such as how to use PTO, file a report, or request HR information.
- Managed payroll and benefits administration ensuring equal and easy access to benefits and support.
- Reviewed and revisited documentation to ensure expectations are clear and compliant with regulations.
Resolution for staffing troubles – keep compliance.
Staffing is a massive challenge for nursing homes, but it also impacts compliance. Not keeping adequate staff levels isn’t just about providing care. There is also the element of meeting regulation expectations.
Of course, it’s difficult to manage staff levels when you have high turnover rates, and you’re trying to operate with what your facility needs. But, when you hire accordingly, comply with regulations, and add some fluctuation to accommodate staff changes, everything can get a little easier.
Ultimately, cultivating a culture that promotes employee engagement and reduces turnover can help keep compliance. That compliance is often the first step to improving ratings, and minor culture shifts and changes to managing regulatory compliance can resolve the rollercoaster effect with staffing levels.
Build-in quality on physical and clinical factors with clear and concise policies, procedures, and documentation
Clinical and physical factors severely impact staff, but the use of documentation can not only help create consistency but loyalty. People like knowing what to expect and what people expect from them. Of course, it’s almost impossible for administrative staff to manage policies, procedures, and additional documentation such as work instructions while regulations change so frequently.
The solution is to rely on an outsourced team that can draft, monitor, and updates documentation. Our team at Corban OneSource helps to establish a benchmark for compliance expectations.
We do this through reviewing and assisting with employee manuals and more. Documentation isn’t just putting expectations to paper, but to help staff know exactly what they can do, should do, and where to go when they need help.
Providing the Benefits and Answers Your Staff Deserve
What can you do to help your staff access support that can help them perform well? The same thing will help staff build trust and loyalty in their employer. If a facility or nursing home is struggling to answer employee questions and connect them with benefits, then it’s time to consider outsourcing.
Even large facilities can struggle with employee benefits and HR support. Typically, HR teams are small and overworked. It’s reasonable and even beneficial to outsource at least the more tedious elements of HR, such as medical benefit enrollment. It is even possible to outsource all the standard human resources duties.
Wider Access to Desirable Benefits
Outsourcing human resources can help your business provide staff with the benefits you promise and quick answers to their questions. It can also help you provide a wider variety of benefits and options because we pool our resources together. That way, medical care, and benefits are easier to access, change, and update whenever needed. Outsourcing has allowed many companies to make benefits immediately available to new staff and easily up or downscale the benefits as their staff fluctuates.
At Corban OneSource, we use a variable cost model, which ensures that our clients only pay for the staff they have currently. If your staffing fluctuates, we will too. This model helps upkeep.
The other element worth addressing here is the ability to control benefit costs. Our team audits and reconciles bills to ensure you are not paying more than what you should.
Easy HR Support
An HR outsourcing solution should always help improve the employee experience by providing direct employee support, reduce paperwork, and act as a welcoming team. It should always be easy for staff to contact their Human Resources team. But that’s not usually the case.
When it comes to HR support, you should rely on an employee care line, as well as direct help with filling out enrollment forms and getting the most from their benefits. At Corban OneSource, our team provides a direct phone support line for your staff members. That way, every staff member can ask questions and get answers.
What it comes down to is providing the employee experience that these hardworking staff members deserve. Working in assisted living centers or nursing homes is demanding work, so it is reasonable that they expect decent benefits and accessible support. As you change this element of the employee experience through outsourcing, you should see a positive impact throughout the business.
Facing Legal Matters and Regulation Changes
If your center or facility faces legal matters regularly, then it is time to outsource because you can mitigate or hopefully eliminate the most serious risks. Whether it is facing a regulatory body, or a lawsuit, reliable documentation and proven staff performance are the best way to move forward. Although it is easier said than done, policies, procedures, and diligence can serve as a strong starting point for any business in an uncertain legal position.
Then there is the matter of regulation changes. Some states frequently change regulations, while others have not revisited elder care requirements for a few years. The standards and laws will continue to change. We see movement towards reducing infection rates and reducing isolation regulations. Can your in-house team keep up? Is there someone consistently on the lookout for changes or new laws? How quickly can you spring into action? These are worries you can set aside with an outsourced HR team.
Legal Matters Arising Often
Directors know that legal issues such as audits and lawsuits will always come up. Starting strong with clear documentation such as employee manuals, policies, procedures, work instructions, and reporting requirements can showcase what you intend for day-to-day operations. Document creation and auditing responsibilities fall to the HR team, but a small team may take years to build all the documentation you need and have no opportunity to audit what they have already created.
Knowledge Centers and Support
When it comes to internal legal issues and regulations, you need to look for a few key ingredients. First, they should offer complete federal and state compliance for payroll. Then, they should completely understand the process of administrative and progressive discipline. Finally, the HRO should know all the ins and outs of ERISA and ACA.
The Corban OneSource team provides resources and support to employees and the administration. Everything from payroll compliance to reasonable discipline progression can reduce unnecessary legal battles with former or current employees. We achieve this because of our extensive knowledge set and through focusing on ongoing support.
Outsourcing does not need to completely replace your existing in-house HR team. Instead, outsourcing HR can help support your in-house team by providing another layer of legal compliance.
Regulation Changes and Immediate Action
Regulations will always change, and it is not realistic to expect any small or medium-sized in-house team to keep up with every update or new law. Then there’s the matter of taking immediate action.
Many changes or additions to the law on elderly care will require updates or amends to your existing policies, procedures, and employee handbook. Job descriptions may need to change. Additionally, the administration may need to look at necessary changes to staffing level requirements.
How do you plan on navigating these changes? Everything from staffing requirements to honoring resident’s rights changes often requires immediate action. The HR and compliance staff often have to jump into action to decide what changes are necessary and how to implement them. Ideally, outsourcing HR would provide support and insight into these changes quickly and effectively.
Establishing Consistency in All Practices
Outsourcing can provide the consistency and support that in-house teams cannot because we work with larger teams, larger talent pools, and larger benefits pools. If you have seen a struggle with legal matters, high staff turnover rates, or compliance, then it is time to evaluate your HR outsourcing options.
The Corban OneSource team handles HR with an unbiased approach. We act separately from your organization but serve to provide the employee experience that you always wanted to deliver. We handle everything from screening and recruitment to ongoing employee support while helping establish clear documentation to support you through legal matters.
We understand that trust and quality are always top-of-mind with assisted living centers and nursing homes. The elders in our communities deserve outstanding care, and the people who make that possible should have an outstanding employee experience. It all starts with Human Resources. Get in touch with the Corban OneSource team today to learn more about what we can do for you.