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Manage Your Senior Care Facility’s Overtime In 3 Steps

manage overtime

Overtime can kill your budget. But in an industry where employee turnover can be an issue and ensuring your schedule is fairly distributed, sometimes overtime is inevitable…or is it? Managing overtime at your senior care facility can do wonders for your budget and also help to improve employee morale and company culture. 

But how do you manage overtime while managing your schedule, staff issues, and other fires that pop up throughout the week?

Use a Scheduling System

A scheduling system is the gold standard in overtime management for senior care facilities and other healthcare communities. The number one complaint that nursing administrators and executive directors bring to our team at Instant Nurse is the fact that their overtime budgets are out of control.

When choosing a scheduling tool you’ll want to make sure you look for the following:

  • A sharing option to send shifts to your team via text (the easiest way for a quick response)
  • Auto-close feature to allow for the shift to only be claimed by one person
  • The option to manage swaps and vacation days with the click of a mouse
  • Team messaging to allow for open communication

Our affordable scheduling system was designed to offer those tasked with scheduling employees an intuitive and easy to use system that helps to limit overtime.

Offer To Your Lowest Cost Option First

Regardless of whether you have a scheduling system or not, the easiest way to manage overtime is to offer open shifts to your lowest cost options first. These are individuals who have less than 40 hours already accrued for the pay period. 

Oftentimes, individuals who are part-time are more willing to pick up an extra shift here or there and don’t cost as much as relying on a full-time employee. Just remember, these employees need to be kept in the loop and made to feel appreciated. When you do that they’re more likely to respond to open shift requests.

Instant Nurse makes this easy. You can simple point and click to direct shift opportunities to underutilized staff and our simple messaging tool makes communicating with teams and individuals easy. 

Set Realistic Goals

The probability of completely eliminating overtime is slim, especially in the world of senior care. But you can drastically reduce it. The first rest to reducing overtime is by setting a realistic goal of where you want it to be. 

Follow the SMART guidelines for setting your goals.

S – Specific | make the goal clear

M – Measurable | ensure you can measure whether you’ve met the goal

A – Attainable | make sure the goal is possible to attain
R – Relevant | ensure the goal aligns with your mission

T – Timely | set a deadline

Just saying you want to reduce overtime is not enough. But clarifying that you want to reduce overtime by 25% by the end of your third quarter meets all of the above guidelines and gives you a clear idea of what you need to accomplish. This makes setting up a system to reach that goal possible.

Overtime shouldn’t kill your budget. And managing it shouldn’t be a time suck. By utilizing a simple scheduling tool to organize your schedule and shifts you can prevent your budget from going over and can offer a more inclusive workplace by giving part-time employees the option to pick up extra shifts.

Need help with your scheduling? Instant Nurse is trusted by healthcare communities to make managing their schedule and improving team communication as simple as it can be. Learn more here or schedule a demo today.

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