Why Performance Management is Crucial to your Aged Care Workforce Strategy
An ageing workforce, looming skills shortages and increasing competition for talent are just some of the challenges facing aged care employers over the next 30 years.
Current projections suggest that the aged care workforce will need to triple by 2050 to meet the needs of 3.5 million older Australians. Recruitment and retention is set to be an ongoing concern as staff with specialised knowledge and diverse skillsets are increasingly sought after. As consumer expectations change, employers will also need to upskill, retrain and develop existing staff in order to deliver new services.
How performance management improves retention and productivity
Over the coming months, an industry led taskforce will be consulting with providers, higher education and training organisations, and government agencies to develop a workforce strategy to address these issues. Maximising the availability of skilled workers and driving workforce productivity improvements will be high on the agenda.
Staff retention and turnover is a significant problem in the aged care sector. Estimates peg average turnover at 25 per cent. 1 NACWCS data shows that more than 50% of providers are also struggling to replace workers, with more than 72% of regional and remote area operators reporting shortages of applicants with suitable skills and qualifications. 2
Peak industry bodies argue that significant reform is required on issues like education and training, industrial relations, and migration policies if there is to be enough skilled workers to meet demand. However, with the potential for critical labour shortages threatening their businesses, providers will also need focus on retaining the talent they have.
Implementing performance management processes can give employers the edge. Staff that receive meaningful feedback about their performance are less likely to leave an organisation. One study revealed that turnover was reduced by 14.9%  when employees were given feedback that helped them understand and develop their own capabilities.
Effective performance management has a development focus. It helps build skills and knowledge that maximise talents and lift performance. Teams that have implemented more effective performance feedback processes have seen productivity improvements of 12.5%.3
Increasing workforce productivity reduces the number of workers required to deliver services. This is a competitive advantage in a market with overwhelming skills shortages.
However increasing the productivity of staff working in aged care is not as simple as delivering services more efficiently. It is also about matching skills to consumer needs and preparing people to work with technology that complements and enhances care.
As we move into the future, there will be ongoing developments in aged care services dictated by consumer demand. Staff will need to adapt to new ways of working in jobs that continue to expand and require new skills over time.
Managing workforce change through performance management
Transitioning a workforce to new jobs and skills is a complex change management task. It requires high levels of consultation and communication to adequately explain what changes are being made and what it means for each individual.
Identifying the skills required to make a successful transition, and working with staff to develop new competencies has become a critical part of modern performance management.
Is it time to take your performance management process to the next level? We think so, that’s why we’ve developed a whitepaper specifically for the aged care industry to revolutionise your organisation. Complete the form below and download it today!
2016 National Aged Care Workforce Census and Survey – The Aged Care Workforce, 2016