OnShift Survey Reveals High Employee Burnout, Fear & Safety Concerns As Hiring Becomes Top Workforce Challenge In Senior Care

OnShift, a leader in human capital management software for post-acute care and senior living, today announced the results of its latest Workforce 360 Survey. This survey details the perspectives of over 2100 long-term care, senior living and healthcare professionals on the top workforce challenges facing the industry today, as well as the impact COVID-19 is having on their employees and their organizations. Across all demographics, finding and hiring qualified job candidates (67 percent) was reported as the top workforce challenge, followed by employee turnover (57 percent).

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This is a slight change from OnShift’s 2019 Workforce 360 Survey, in which employee turnover was reported as the top challenge and finding and hiring staff was ranked second. This suggests that while turnover remains a major issue, hiring qualified candidates has become even more difficult throughout the pandemic.

Respondents also recognize the impact this crisis is having on the lives of their staff. Employee burnout (80 percent) and fear and safety concerns due to COVID-19 (65 percent) were reported as the top personal challenges facing the workforce today.

In response to both the struggles they face organizationally, and the growing challenges facing their workforce, respondents indicate their organizations have prioritized investments in technology to better support their staff. Employee scheduling (70 percent) and employee communication (68 percent) top the list as high-priority technology investments, followed by employee health monitoring (58 percent) and employee rewards and recognition (51 percent).

“Providers recognize the tremendous sacrifices their employees have made during this unprecedented time, and they understand the impact these sacrifices have had on their team’s well-being,” stated Ray Desrochers, President and COO at OnShift. “In response, they are working to quickly adopt new technologies that will help to streamline and simplify their staff’s day-to-day work experiences while simultaneously adapting many of their programs and policies to better meet the long-term needs of their workers. We are excited to be uniquely positioned to support this important industry transformation.”

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Other key findings from this survey include:

  • From 2019 to 2020, there was a 50 percent year over year increase in respondents citing staffing to meet resident care needs (47 percent) and managing excess labor costs (33 percent) as top workforce challenges.
  • Current struggles are also impacting providers in terms of their ability to grow, with the majority of respondents citing difficulties maintaining or increasing resident occupancy (64 percent) as key concerns.
  • Respondents overwhelmingly indicate difficulties consistently filling shifts (74 percent).
    • As a result, many rely on overtime to fill shifts (73 percent), depend on managers to work open shifts (37 percent) and adjust employee roles to cover staffing needs (31 percent). Despite these efforts, a large portion of respondents also noted they often work shifts without enough staff (33 percent).
    • Providers also find themselves relying more heavily on staffing agencies, with 24 percent of respondents indicating they often rely on agency resources, a 22 percent increase from 2019.
  • The majority of respondents believe the challenges of retaining employees (65 percent), finding qualified employees (71 percent) and managing labor costs (68 percent) will remain the same or worsen in the next 3 years.

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