Strategic Action 7
Implementing new attraction and retention strategies for the workforce
Aged care has a unique and pressing challenge to capitalise its position as part of the rapidly growing health and social assistance industry in Australia.
Tackling attraction and retention is essential. This will call for addressing the interplay of a number of complex factors, persistence over time, preparing for an increasingly intergenerational workforce and tailoring action based on local labour market conditions and the characteristics of consumer catchments.
To take advantage of the opportunity of growth, consideration needs to be given to making best use of contemporary human resource practices and focusing efforts on attracting and keeping the right people who are the right fit for the industry and the work.
In a highly competitive environment where there is increasing demand for workers with similar skills, action is needed at industry, organisational and local levels to address the factors influencing attraction and retention of the workforce.
Engaging and enabling employees is a key aspect of attraction and retention. Highly engaged and enabled employees are found not only to be more likely to stay with their organisation but also to provide better service to consumers and contribute to improved business performance.
The Council acknowledges the current reality of the industry not being viewed as an employer or career of choice – and continues to advocate for a social change campaign to re-establish the industry’s reputation, providing an essential foundation any future attraction and retention strategies.
Aged Care Industry Workforce Study
Given the projected growth in demand for workers across the aged care sector, the Council notes the need for evidence-based, industry validated forecast of skill demand.
The Council’s Workforce Study will:
- Define the cultural DNA of the sector
- Provide labour market intelligence to quantify the diverse requirements of the aged care workforce
- Give the industry, and the public, access to information and benchmarks on workplace culture.
The release of information will be a very powerful motivation for all stakeholders to commit to practical and tangible improvements.
Qualski’s core business is applying cutting-edge technology to vast quantities of text found in 7.3 million Australian job ads published since 2016 to create unique datasets – unlocking direction-finding patterns within an ocean of data.
Qualski technology identifies and categorises information from the text of online job ads, producing localised, customised labour market intelligence.
Qualski has been commissioned by the Council to undertake a detailed investigation of the available job vacancies.
The largest database of Health, Aged and Community Services employee responses in Australia is held by a company called BPA Analytics: https://bpanz.com/
BPA Analytics have been commissioned by the Council to develop industry benchmarks on workplace culture – as reported by aged care workers since 2001 – and to release this information publicly through PowerBI.
Strategic Action 10
Improved training and recruitment practices for the Australian Government aged care workforce
The Australian Government’s direct client contact workforce influences the delivery of care and services and thereby consumer outcomes.
The government workforce is a significant influence as parts of the workforce serve as a gatekeeper in relation to consumer entry to Australian Government funded aged care programs.
People in this workforce matter, because they:
- Are customer-facing and have significant touchpoints with consumers
- Directly communicate with consumers (individuals, families, informal carers), both face-to-face and electronically
- Are integral to the consumer experience and care outcomes
- Are significant conduits between providers and consumers.
This government workforce has an impact on the community’s perception of aged care and the industry. Therefore, their work, the advice they provide and the role they play can influence how care is delivered and the timing of access to care.
Australian Government employees need to understand new models of care and the interfaces between aged care and other systems; and have industry ‘know-how’.
Improved training and recruitment practices for the Australian Government workforces that work closely with both consumers and providers and an understanding of the business of aged care will be a cornerstone of better decision-making and trust.