A Range of Solutions for Caring Career Staffing Woes 

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As a Workforce Strategy Consultant, I have encountered countless employers who believe that the Health Care & Social Assistance industry is inherently limited in its ability to address staffing shortages effectively. However, having worked as an employer in the health care space myself, I can confidently say that this is far from the truth. There are numerous strategies that health care and social assistance organizations can adopt to attract and retain talent while meeting their operational needs and ensuring compliance with statutory requirements. 

1. "4-10's" - Employees work ten-hour shifts over four days, providing longer breaks and better work-life balance. 

2. "Baylor shifts" - 12-hour weekend shifts, freeing up weekdays for personal commitments while maintaining full-time pay. 

3. "Pick-your-own-block" schedules - Employees design their schedules from available shifts, promoting ownership and flexibility. 

4. "Gig-Style" float pool options - A 1-day pay float pool system enables staff to pick up shifts for extra work opportunities. 

5. Schedule Partner/Shift Buddies arrangements - Employees enter into agreements for shift splits, strengthening relationships and job satisfaction. 

6. 8/80 vs OT over 40 - Overtime is paid after 8 hours in a day, encouraging part-time workers to take more shifts and reducing reliance on costly agency staff. 

7. Split shifts/half shifts - Short shifts during peak care times optimize staffing levels without overburdening employees. 

8. Alternative work arrangements/Reallocation of Resources - Combining roles or redistributing duties improves workflow and balances workloads. 

Bottom line: health care and social assistance organizations should discard the misconception that they are powerless to address staffing shortages effectively. I have witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of adopting innovative scheduling options and workforce solutions. By embracing a range of strategies, health care and social assistance organizations can improve employee satisfaction, reduce turnover, decrease agency costs, and ultimately enhance patient care. The key lies in tailoring approaches to suit the unique needs and requirements of each organization – forging a path towards a more resilient and thriving health care and social assistance workforce providing top-notch quality care.  

Shayla Drake is the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Workforce Strategy Consultant for Northeast Minnesota, covering the counties of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, St. Louis. You can email Shayla at: shayla.drake@state.mn.us or call her at 218-302-8437.