Prevention is better than cure – How to build and maintain a healthy casual workforce
The Australian Industry and Skills committee has identified that the Health Care and Social Assistance industry is the largest employing industry in Australia. Its states that in 2021 there were approximately 1.8 million people employed in this industry, with a projected increase to more than 2.0 million by 2025. Focusing on the disability services sector, the ‘State of the Disability Sector Report 2021’ released by NDS, states that 70% of employers surveyed had problems when recruiting suitable skilled and qualified staff, up from 59% in 2021. It gave the impression that employers felt these issues would continue in 2022 and beyond, especially as the workforce was becoming more casualised (33%), and with 79% of permanent staff holding part-time roles. So how do you maintain the casual workforce you have?
How to get the most out of your casual workforce?
Service providers in the disability sector have faced significant challenges due the COVID-19 pandemic, as demand for services and staff continue to increase. So how do you optimize the time and skills of your current workforce, especially casual staff, since it is so hard to find new ones? A few strategies to maintain your casual workforce.
Ensure that all casual staff members understand their roles, responsibilities, and schedules. Regular communication with casual staff can help to foster a positive working relationship and reduce misunderstandings. Casual staff members should be recognized and appreciated for their contributions to the organization. This can include regular feedback, performance reviews, and rewards and incentives. Setting the expectations for both parties creates clarity and prevents disappointment and dissatisfaction later on.
Staying connected creates a more loyal and dedicated workforce
To prevent this you can consider a using a system that helps you manage that. One of those system is Platform for Care It will assist providers increase workforce productivity, whilst supporting the retention of staff through complex and sophisticated people management, rostering, timesheet approval and payroll. Not only this, with an emphasis on managing the ‘availability’ and ‘unavailability’ of workers, you will be able to optimise the hours of work for casuals, and part-time staff looking for additional hours. By staying better connected to your workforce and optimising rosters, you create a loyal and dedicated workforce, therefore decreasing attrition rates, recruitment cost and agency costs. Because after all preventing is better than cure.
Casual staff members often have other commitments, so it’s important to offer flexibility in their schedules where possible. This can help to retain staff and ensure that they are available when needed. The downside of a flexible working arrangement is that organisations do not optimize this pool of employees. No set work pattern or work location makes them hard to track across multiple sites and utilise their availability fully, risking that they don’t make enough hours and go somewhere else. A loss for the support provider in an already difficult market.
A bit of a no brainer but casual staff members should be paid fairly and in accordance with industry standards. Providing competitive rates of pay and paying staff on time can help to attract and retain staff members.
Training and Development
Providing training and development opportunities for casual staff members can help to improve their skills and confidence. This can also help to create a supportive and inclusive work environment. NDS offers a broad range of workshops and (online) learning options, ready for your staff to use
A Positive Work Environment
Creating a positive work environment that is inclusive and supportive can help to retain casual staff members and improve their job satisfaction. This can include providing access to resources and support, promoting a healthy work-life balance, and encouraging collaboration and teamwork.
Managing a casual workforce is a skill on itself and comes with challenges. If you are looking for a solution that can support you with this while reducing admin time for staff that handle rostering, client billing, compliance, award interpretation and payrolling we can help. Get in touch and book your free online demo.