The last year for Andgo has been marked by tremendous growth and transformation, both internally and externally:
- Our team nearly doubled in size, necessitating the move to a larger, more modern office HQ;
- Andgo increased its commitment to our communities and charity partners in 2022, contributing 47% more to our social responsibility initiatives than in 2021;
- Andgo secured $5.6 million in Series A funding, capital that will serve as a catalyst in accelerating our mission to develop innovative solutions to the challenges our customers face everyday.
As 2022 comes to a close, we’re reflecting back on our conversations from the year, highlighting the most common challenges we’ve heard and what Andgo is doing to help solve them.
A Need for Flexibility
As the 3-year anniversary since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic approaches, organizations and their workforces remain in a sharp spiral of change. With an onset of illness and burnout in staff, hospitals have been overwhelmed with an explosion of sick call outs with no means to systematically process them, let alone an effective way to fill the shifts that the vacancies create. Challenges of this magnitude require a paradigm shift to more innovative solutions; the “this is how we’ve always done it” line of thinking is not cutting it. In the efforts to facilitate these changes in the workplace, flexibility has emerged as a common throughline across organizations and industries.
Workforce Trends and Metrics
ADP Research Institute’s “People at Work 2022: A Global Workforce View” survey found that 71% of workers would like more flexibility in their schedules. Similarly, a study by The Nurse Staffing Think Tank, a coalition of five nursing organizations, recommends introducing a flexible work schedule as a key tool for attracting and retaining talent. Working largely with healthcare and manufacturing clients, our customers are in a complex situation where their employees are looking for increased flexibility in their roles, but due to their hands-on nature, they need to get creative in how they introduce those flexibilities. Since a remote work environment isn’t a viable option, they may find success in offering flexibility in other ways, such as partial shift bidding or increased scheduling transparency.
With partial shift bidding, a longer shift can be segmented into shorter, more manageable chunks for employees to work. For example, a 12 hour shift can be broken down into two 8 hour shifts instead. This allows employees more flexibility to work around personal commitments or aging staff who may have trouble completing an entire shift.
Similarly, increasing schedule transparency for employees provides them greater control over how and when they work. This can include providing employees the ability to customize shift-callout preferences for how and when they are notified of open shifts and providing them access to dashboards with a calendar view of upcoming schedules.
How Andgo Helps
Andgo operates at the intersection of workforce scheduling and staffing challenges, leveraging automation to enable a more efficient and flexible work environment for both employees and employers.
In the interests of increased scheduling transparency, offering an intelligently automated solution for filling shifts can provide employees with a dedicated hub for sending and receiving communication directly with schedulers. This allows the entire scheduling process to be conducted via email, text, or phone call, depending on the employee’s communication preferences. The system is further configurable based on flexible and configurable tools to support your organization’s unique rules, structure, and requirements. This can include navigating complex union rules, offering notification preference settings, or offering timed or rolling shifts for schedulers, all of which allow your staff more flexibility.
Intelligent shift filling automation also provides a more seamless, integrated workflow to drive actionable decisions. Data points surrounding shift filling and absence reporting (presented via dashboards) can provide insights into real-time movement of staff. For example, how and when staff bid on shifts and categorizing the importance of each one. This information can help uncover behavioral patterns and trends that drive decisions regarding when to send out available shift notifications or which shifts to offer first.
To learn more about introducing flexibility into your organization and its benefits, check out our blog: Flexibility is the New Currency.
The Great Resignation & Understaffing
The Great Resignation is redefining the future of work. Many employees, frustrated by challenges in their current roles or those experiencing burnout are turning to new positions that offer them what they’ve been looking for: greater flexibility, better pay, and more respect. But employers are facing a talent crisis as they struggle to fill positions and recruit new hires.
Workforce Trends and Metrics
In 2021, an estimated 47.8 million workers quit their jobs. That’s an average of nearly 4 million people each month, making 2021 the highest year on record. These workers are often quitting before securing another role, citing low pay and a lack of respect as driving forces behind their departures. The manufacturing industry has seen the worst of the Great Resignation, with 2021 rates jumping nearly 60% from pre-pandemic numbers.
With the sharp increase of employees leaving their jobs, companies are left severely understaffed. In critical industries such as healthcare, that leaves two options: to hire new employees or turn to outside agencies for temporary workers.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), it takes an average of 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary to find a replacement. Assuming the average nurse salary in the United States is $82,750, that translates to $41,000 - $62,000 in recruiting and training costs per employee – and that’s assuming you can find qualified candidates.
With a lack of new nurses entering the workforce, many healthcare organizations are relying on external travel nurse agencies to help them fill gaps in care; but these travel nurse contracts are not without their own challenges. On average, travel nurses are paid 2-4 times more than their staff nurse counterparts, with some contracts earning over $10,000 per week. In fact, US travel nursing revenue tripled to $12 billion in the past six years and some hospitals report a roughly 100% increase in staffing budgets year-over-year.
In fact, 2022 has been called the “worst financial year” for health systems across the U.S. with as many as 70% of hospitals expecting to be in the red. Staffing and labour costs continue to be the leading expense, with systems such as Providence Healthcare and Trinity Health both experiencing losses in excess of $1B this year.
How Andgo Helps
By intelligently automating your absence and shift filling workflows, Andgo empowers you to optimize usage of your internal workforce first before hiring externally. As a result, Andgo increases your organization’s efficiency and supports improved employee satisfaction and retention rates.
Andgo’s intelligent automation is broken down into digestible, actionable dashboards that provide insight and transparency into the real-time movement of staff throughout an organization. This data can be used to identify and fill the most critical shifts. In fact, Andgo’s customers fill an average of 7x more shifts compared to previous manual processes.
Intelligent automation also provides a holistic, streamlined approach to strategically fill shifts with internal staff. By filling just 20% more vacant shifts with staff nurses instead of using agencies, a 20,000 employee hospital system could save $10 million+ in staffing costs annually.
For a deeper dive into Andgo’s solution to understaffing, check out our blog: Healthcare Staff Shortages: How Intelligent Automation Can Help Maximize Your Internal Resources
Process Improvements Around Staffing
Scheduling in a shift work environment is an expensive and time-consuming operation, especially since it’s nearly impossible to build a schedule that does not require last minute changes. Managing complexities such as unforeseen absences, collective bargaining agreements, and highly specialized skill sets are just part of what makes this task so demanding.
Workforce Trends and Metrics
Absence Management is a massive challenge in today’s environment. Absence Management refers to the entire process of an employee communicating that they will be missing a scheduled shift (calling in/out sick) and the subsequent process of filling the resulting vacancy. This system is often strictly manual, even in otherwise sophisticated organizations. In fact, it’s often managed via the “sunflower approach”, referring to a computer monitor cluttered with post-it notes. One customer experienced over 3,000 absences in a single day, an obstacle the customer refers to as “death by a thousand cuts”.
This challenge is also further magnified in complex, high volume scheduling environments such as healthcare. The process of manually building out schedules and subsequently filling vacancies is challenging in its own right, but this issue is only compounded by the severe staff shortage facing organizations across the globe. Some hospitals were even forced to temporarily shut down emergency departments to help navigate these extreme staff shortages. The reality has become you can’t fill every shift, but without transparent organization-wide insight, how do you know which absences are most critical to fill first?
How Andgo Helps
Every single absence that comes into an organization triggers a whole host of additional questions: Does the shift need to be filled? What department is it in? What skills or certifications are required? The list goes on. Andgo’s Intelligent Automation Suite creates efficiencies and saves resources by holistically and comprehensively automating these major manual scheduling tasks, processing absences 7x faster than manual methods. Ultimately, intelligent automation provides the means to enable effective management of real time staff movement.
Andgo’s centralized on-demand hub offers transparency into all absences and fuels actionable decisions - empowering our customers’ teams to prioritize absences and focus efforts on the highest need areas. Automation allows customers to re-deploy precious resources to higher value tasks such as patient care, rather than tedious manual tasks. This serves to dramatically improve the user experience for all stakeholders, driving employee satisfaction, recruitment and retention gains.
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