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Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) Using Modern HR Tech to Pay & Care For Staff

on the Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) is one of Australia’s largest community-owned providers of independent living, aged care, and home care with a vision to “create communities where seniors achieve their optimum quality of life”. Operating for over fifty years, IRT provides services to over 9,000 residents and customers each year in 31 retirement villages, 21 aged care centres, and six home care service hubs in NSW, the ACT and QLD. 

In the past each location managed its own site-based rostering processes. This resulted in:

  • Inconsistent, site-based rostering processes that were time-consuming and difficult to sync across multiple locations.
  • Difficulty communicating with employees about rosters, especially those who worked across multiple sites.

Faced with the need to migrate to a single workforce management system, IRT unified its rostering model for multiple locations to drive better employee outcomes and greater operating efficiencies.  Richard Walsh, Head of People & Culture, Aged Care Centres, worked closely with the Workforce Software Australia (WFS Australia)team to implement a new decentralised modern HR tech approach to great effect.

The four main challenges IRT faced with a decentralised workforce management model:

1. Inconsistent processes

A combination of mixed manual processes including Excel, Work and handwritten notes lent itself to poor visibility of information from HR systems. Reporting formats were limited resulting in higher overtimes and labour budgets and the erosion of employee performance.

2. Poor utilisation of workforce

Rostering clerks were working in isolated silos with increased overtime costs to cover unplanned absences. An uptick in agency cost for contract and temporary workers resulted in difficulty meeting and increase in demand across sites and reduced employee engagement and earnings opportunities.

3. Inability to meet 24-hour operating demands

Roster clerks were unable to meet demands outside their shift and experienced payroll errors and risk of non-compliance. The process proved to be a distraction from providing quali6ty care for residents and impacted overall job performance and satisfaction.

4. Lack of employee engagement and input

The model hosted limited communication channels and increased labour costs to prepare and finalise rosters. Ultimately, there was an increase in overtime of unskilled shifts and knowledge loss due to turnover at each site.

The four key benefits of a unified hub rostering model using WFS Australia solutions:

1. Rostering to meet 24/7 business needs

The adoption reduced absentees and improved overall job satisfaction resulting in a reduction of overtime costs and payroll errors. The burden of unplanned roster management was reduced for non-HR employees which gave them capacity to focus on core duties and providing outstanding customer service and care.

2. Consistent rostering for all sites

IRT were able to meet complex workplace agreements and clearly define roles, responsibilities, and processes. From a culture perspective there is now greater skill-sharing and upskilling across the team improving job performance and satisfaction.

3. Employee visibility and self-service

Staff now have access to rosters anytime and anywhere with real-time engagement, workforce transparency, and increased retention. Productivity levels are up amongst workforce planners and senior staff with a significant reduction in escalated payroll-related complaints.

4. Improved reporting

There is now a complete view of real-time work hours and pay data resulting in a significant reduction of administrative efforts. Compliance is completely streamlined with greater transparency of metrics for more informed business decisions.

Click here to find out more about IRT