Paul Ostrowski, CEO of Australia’s largest independent homecare advisor and broker Care Connect, explains how the need for change can be recognised and implemented with employees, not for them.
Care Connect provides personalised advice and solutions for home care, stating that “as you age, your needs will change. We’re here to help you manage those changes as they happen.”
This expertise in managing change also transcends into the workplace. The homecare sector has been coloured with ongoing developments over the last few years such as Consumer Directed Care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme reforms, leading to an unsteady, transitioning period and high staff turnover for many organisations.
In a field where social workers are generally older and have an established mindset on how to perform their role, this new landscape required them to transition from a government compliance -focus to consumers.
While there was resistance within Care Connect to adapt, much of this was mitigated by the formation of a small Transformation Team, said Mr Ostrowski, which was made up of engaged workers who volunteered to design and trial new methods of operation.
The organisation exposed these volunteers to diverse thinking, bringing in experts in marketing, organisational change and finance to assist in developing a new model, and were told that struggle and debate were appropriate and necessary parts of the process.
There was also a Transformation Team blog on the Care Connect intranet that allowed members to update their colleagues and communicate their enthusiasm.
“The Transformation Team consisted of 20 chosen volunteers from frontline workers to various levels of management. It not only allowed those who interact with our clients to add insight into procedure, but gave workers ownership and a role in the organisation’s path forwards,” said Mr Ostrowski.
The path forward saw the organisation refocusing on aged care operations rather than disability support, a stronger division between client attraction and retention in organisational roles and increased efficiency through clear KPIs and open feedback channels.
“The members of the Team ultimately become active advocates of this new model within the workplace and assisted in its rollout which was on a team-by-team basis.”
A recent internal survey demonstrated its success, with high engagement levels within aged care and increased flexibility through new technologies.
“This was a much-needed learning platform at a time of great change and aggressive competition. We are by no means out of this period of uncertainty, but we now have a more dedicated, informed workforce who was given the opportunity to design their future.”
DID YOU KNOW?
50 CEOs agreed that the rapidity of change is the most significant pressure point creating an uncertain future. (CEO Insights).