Improving efficiency and productivity in health and social care requires active reviews of your current systems to reduce admin, increase staff support, and maintain an open and collaborative environment.
With work life being so busy, we can all benefit from improved efficiencies within our teams and wider organisations. In this week’s blog post, I explore some of the things you can do to implement those improvements.
1. Review roles and responsibilities
I have always said that people working in social care are the jack of all trades and jump in to support with whatever needs doing to ensure people’s needs are met. However, this doesn’t always aid effectiveness, and you should ensure that people’s roles are clearly defined.
Through this review of roles and responsibilities, you may establish that your team are doing more than they should be and have time for, and this allows you to introduce a new role to reduce workloads. Or it could be on the other end of the scale where you find you do not need as many staff as you have.
During this review, you should also look at the processes and workflows that your organisation has, and check if any of these needs updating, could be done better or if there have been any workarounds put in place that you need to encompass.
2. Train and develop your team
We all know the impact of staff training and how important upskilling is, and this will only aid efficiencies. Make sure people know how to do their roles, spot check to identify weaknesses and develop training programmes to enhance their skillset. This can include face to face training, shadowing and distance learning.
Training is not the only way to develop your team and you can look at how you upskill them with time management tools to help them set priorities, introducing productivity tools such as Asana or Slack.
In order to train and develop your team, you need to ensure that they have the correct tools and resources to be able to do what is expected of them. Make sure you continuously touch base with them to make sure they have everything they need to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
3. Conduct regular performance reviews
Social care is great at upskilling staff with qualifications relating to their role, but not great at setting targets and goals to stretch people’s growth and development. You should set clear performance and personal development goals for each staff member, and review progress on a regular basis throughout the year.
Performance reviews do not have to be linked to a monetary reward. Instead, you can also offer things like rewards or extra days’ leave.
4. Don’t meet for meeting’s sake
Ever been in one of those meetings where it’s the same old thing being discussed, and you feel like you are wasting your time and day? We all have.
Now stop and think about whether your team feel this way about any meetings you are hosting. Could any of the meetings you do host be combined? Don’t meet for meeting’s sake.
5. Enhance your communications
Life and work are fast paced, and it is easy for things to slip through the net, so it is important to tighten the communication channels. As part of this review, you should ensure you review both written and verbal communication, digital and handwritten.
Effective communication is a two-way street and as well as looking at how you are giving out information, you should also look at how easy it is for your team to give information back to you.
6. Reduce administrative tasks
In a field full of risk management comes a sea of admin duties.
You should look at how you can automate administrative tasks, whether there are any tech products you can use to streamline tasks, utilise data or remove processes that serve no purpose.
7. Implement digital care software
We live in a digital world, and by 2025 the government has set a target to have 80% of all CQC-registered adult social care providers go digital by providing funding assistance. You should involve your team and look into whether you have systems in place already that can analyse the data it stores to inform decision-making.
If you’re still using paper and don’t have a digital care system in place, or the care software you currently have is not meeting your needs, you should involve your team to review these and look at other systems that can improve the efficiency of your service.
8. Gather feedback through surveys
What better feedback on efficiency than speaking to those affected. We have covered involving your team above in a number of ways, but you should also consider reaching out to those you support, their representatives and other stakeholders.
Seek their views on:
- How efficient they believe you are
- How responsive you are to their requests or needs
- What they feel could be improved
Embed that feedback to develop and improve your service.
It won’t take much to improve your efficiencies, but the key is to seek feedback from those around you on what is working well, what could be improved, what could be implemented and what isn’t working that needs to stop.
Listen and act on that feedback, and you will see the efficiency and effectiveness of your team improve.