Montefiore teams up with Smart WFM for UKG implementation

20 December 2021 Consultancy.com.au 4 min. read
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Working together with Smart WFM, Montefiore has been able to better navigate workforce shortages and manage the impact of Covid-19 across its Sydney campuses with the ability to reallocate shifts for staff in isolation, automate rostering, and provide better staff experience.

Deploying the cloud-based UKG system, human capital management consultancy Smart WFM helped the aged care provider replace a number of disconnected manual processes with a simple application to manage workforce logistics, including rostering.

Managers would previously have to call all potentially available staff when reallocating a shift. With the app deployed, a simple push SMS system enables staff to record and manage their availability, supporting them to pick up extra shifts and create better visibility for managers.

Montefiore teams up with Smart WFM for UKG implementation

The implementation has been very timely in the context of the pandemic, enabling 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 during the lockdown – if stopped by enforcement authorities, the app could clearly demonstrate that the staff member was an essential worker and had a permissible reason to leave home.

Rare in the industry, the rollout of the system has also led Montefiore to create a new Workforce Logistics Leader role. Difficulty with use and a lack of engagement among staff had been a key issue with previous workforce management deployment, and Smart WFM encouraged the organisation to find a leader to champion the system, and that’s where Andrea Van Gramberg stepped in.

The Aged Care Manager of 13 years at Montefiore was appointed to the new role and she said communication with different departments, from the C-level through to clinical staff, made all the difference.

“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 & Learning Anna Santikos says the system also supports a ‘Neighbourhood Model of Living’ philosophy, whereby consistent staff are rostered to look after the same residents, enabling continuity of care and more meaningful relationships between carers and residents.

“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.”

Overcoming a talent crunch

With a recent report from the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) indicating Australia has a shortage of at least 110,000 direct aged care workers to redress in the next decade, the implementation has proven invaluable for Montefiore’s ability to attract and retain staff.

“People are at the centre of our HR and workforce management,” Santikos said. “It’s easier and faster to apply for leave, change shifts, accept shifts, meaning it’s easier for them to do what’s important outside of work too. We’ve built the model now so we’ll continue to incorporate our staff’s needs into the system as we further develop it.”

Smart WFM CEO and author of ‘The Digital Workforce’ Jarrod McGrath says Montefiore is raising the bar for the healthcare industry in creating a digital operating model built upon the needs of today’s modern working environment. “When something isn’t working, it’s easy to chalk it up to ‘that’s a tech issue’,” said McGrath.

“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.”