People come and people go. Turnover is commonplace in any workforce environment and while we hope to avoid it, it will inevitably happen. Whether it’s a leave of absence, resignation, termination, or a promotion you will one day find yourself wondering, “How did we get here and who are we going to hire to fill this role?” The answer to this question isn’t always simple. A good starting point though is to take time to plan ahead.
Analyze Your Current Situation – In order to know what you might need in the future you need to know what you have right now. Understand the job, skills, and requirements needed for each position. One person can do the work of five people, but the load that that one person is bearing will most likely be unknown until they are no longer carrying the weight on their own. If it takes more than one person to effectively do a job, be sure to know that. This will allow for improved accuracy, increased productivity, and proper forecasting analytics on your side.
Predict Your Future Environment – Look at trend information. What are your past and current turnover rates? Is there a particular department that has higher turnover than others? Is there a time of year that your census consistently spikes or plummets? Is scheduling more challenging for a particular shift or during certain times of the year? Is there a position or skill set that is often challenging to find candidates for? What is likely to happen if…? While predicting the future sounds like something you see in a movie, doing your best to predict your future environment by looking at the data you’ve gathered will help you prepare for even the most uncertain times.
Map Out Your Plan – Develop a plan to ensure that the right people are in the right place at the right time. Talk to your managers about their department. Ask for and listen to feedback from the staff on the floor. Who better to hear from than the employees living the job day in and day out? Improved communication will allow for a better understanding of what’s truly going on and it will help you with clear decision making when the time arises. This will also help reduce stress levels for you and your staff.
Be Proactive vs. Reactive – By not forecasting or planning ahead for future needs, you are ensuring at least one outcome. Your next set of actions will be purely reactive! You took the time to map out your plan, now review it and enact it! Ask yourself, “Do I have a good plan in place? Can I supply staff when the demand increases? What is the financial impact this will have on my department? How will this affect patient care?” If you’ve orchestrated a strategic plan, you will be able to confidently answer these questions and potentially save yourself from the turmoil of last minute staffing.
While forecasting isn’t the answer to all staffing concerns, it’s certainly a valuable tool to have on hand and it will allow you to better manage your resources, assist with budgeting and cost savings, and help you navigate the stormy weather of staffing!
Laura is the Business Relations Consultant for FocusOne Solutions, focusing on a variety of needs throughout the MSP organization. She has been in the staffing industry for five years, starting her staffing career as an Account Manager with Aureus Medical Group before joining the FocusOne team in March of 2015. Prior to her current role, Laura spent her time as the Manager of Client Relations for FocusOne. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling. She is also the proud dog mom of her Shepard Retriever, MacDougal.