Managing a network of care homes is about balancing competing priorities. Everything from maintaining the care and health standards to proper staff training, ensuring sufficient bank staff for when staffing levels fall short and the most important job of all – ensuring residents’ care. When care homes leapt to the first line of defence against COVID-19, Millennium Care Services turned to Planday to take the guesswork out of its staff rota planning, communications and payroll so its staff can focus on what really matters. We sat down with Julie Leach, Millennium’s Finance Administrator, to see how Planday makes her day work.
About Millennium Care
Millennium Care is a family-run business in England’s northwest that consist of a group of seven care homes. There are around 350 staff in the homes and 6-8 people located in the head office.
“We wanted a user-friendly system with easy access to the rota. We love the accessibility of Planday on the app on the phone and the clocking-in system on a touch screen for staff to use,”
One system for seven care homes
“Millennium Care is a group of seven care homes and I am the go-to-person in the company for all things Planday, particularly on the payroll side of things,” Julie says.
A family-run business in England’s northwest, Julie says sharing information and systems between the care homes helps the organisation run smoothly and focus on its goals.
“There are around 350 staff in the homes. And then between 6-8 people in head office. We work in close proximity between the homes and we share processes and procedures, so everything is running on a similar way in each home,” Julie says.
“I am currently in the process of setting up the department budget and revenue side of things and will shortly be working with each of the homes to implement Planday as a reporting and budgeting tool.”
Julie says Planday has helped the organisation standardise performance and helps protect against disruption if one location’s administrator is unable to work.
“The initial idea of using Planday was that we get something that would help head office get oversight and introduce more performance monitoring and measuring performance between the homes,” Julie says.
In an industry where professional standards and care requirements are a big part of accreditation, having a single system to manage reporting and performance in a uniform way makes a big difference.
“Using a uniform system like Planday makes the company less vulnerable then, because there is only one administrator per home. So if suddenly that one person became ill then using Planday we are all using the same system and we all know how it works, so it is easier then for someone to just jump in and pick up from where they have left off.”
User-friendly experience gets the data right and means there’s less time spent chasing
“They can just jump into Planday and find the information themselves, especially HR. It frees up the admins a bit when it comes to reporting and sending information to the head office.”
Julie says Planday’s accessibility makes it easy to use for staff.
“We wanted a user-friendly system with easy access to the rota. We love the accessibility of Planday on the app on the phone and the clocking-in system on a touch screen for staff to use,” Julie says.
“Planday is more efficient and easy-to-use than the previous scheduling system we used.”
Communication to help improve resident care
More than the day-to-day benefits of a streamlined communications system, Julie says Planday also helps share information about new residents to the homes so the outstanding service and care people deserve can start straight away.
“We can contact our staff instantly and get messages out with information when they need it. News such as ‘new residents have arrived’ is shared in Planday, so our staff know straight away who they are and what room they are in. Sharing information like that is really useful,” Julie says.
When the Millennium team need to share other shift information quickly, Julie says Planday’s easy-to-use system makes sure the message always gets to the right people right away.
“Most people have their phone with them all the time, so we know even when our staff are not on shift, we can contact them instantly and get messages out there with the information they need,” Julie says.
Planday has modernised the old staff noticeboard
In a busy care home with several hundred staff, it’s a fair bet that by the time you’ve printed something and pinned it on the noticeboard, it’s already out of date. Julie says this makes planning shifts and availability so much easier for Millennium’s carers and other staff.
“We used to have a staff notice board, so not everybody could see their shifts straight away,” Julie says.
“Sometimes they would wait a few days and wouldn’t know that at the same time as everybody else who is on their shift. So feeling in touch and in contact with each other is the most beneficial for our staff.
“Staff like being able to see their rotas instantly and feel they know what is going on with the communication feature. They also say that time-tracking and Punch Clock, for them being able to do it on their phone is easier.”
Staff also feel more connected thanks to Planday and can access the company policy information they need straight away, Julie explains.
“Our staff feel more connected and now have easier access to all information which they haven’t had before,” Julie says.
“Obviously, better communication and the accessibility makes a difference, but we also use it for things like uploading the staff handbook onto the system. So that is something they have access to instantly.”
Payroll is now painless thanks to Planday
As the Finance Administrator, Julie is responsible for more than just being the go-to-person for Planday. Running payroll – a task which was previously very manual – is where Planday makes the biggest difference to Julie’s day.
“I love the import possibility to the Sage payroll system. That that saves me a lot of time,” Julie says.
“I just have to make sure all the shifts have been approved and that they are correct in Planday, then I just export the .csv and then upload that into our payroll system.
“Previously I would have sat and entered in every person’s hours manually, so that is a huge feature for me.
“I upload the payslips on Planday and it obviously saves all the printing out. It also means our staff have access as it comes out, rather than having to come in and pick it up.
“It has made quite a big difference. Our staff don’t have to ask me for extra payslip print offs they can just get their own.”
Julie says using Planday together with her company’s payroll system saves her half a day every month for each care home, adding up to around four days every month.
“For me, importing the .csv files into Sage, saves me half a day a month on wages for each care home. So when you multiply that by seven homes, that is a fairly decent saving of time,” Julie says.
“Then putting the rotas on Planday saves a couple of hours each week, and again multiply that by each home.
“There are undoubtedly definitely improvements in efficiency, which really then add up when you consider there are seven homes across the group in this one system.”
So what is Planday’s impact across the whole care home network? Julie says it’s clear.
“Communication has definitely improved. Staff management is more visible. Schedule managers can take more ownership of their own department.”
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