Empowered Workforce Report: A new era in senior living workforce development

A female nurse scheduler and nurse both in scrubs giving standing assistance to an elderly female patient with their backs to the camera in a sunny long term care facility bedroom.

In the landscape of healthcare, senior living communities confront workforce shortages, magnified by the increased care needs of an aging population. ShiftKey's Empowered Workforce Report reveals a transformative solution, based on flexibility and autonomy as keys to revitalizing workforce development. This innovation is particularly important for senior living community leaders, who face a dual challenge of ensuring top-quality care and service while navigating the complexities of workforce management. These insights offer a way forward to reshape how senior living communities attract, retain and empower a dedicated healthcare workforce.

The core of the crisis: Understanding shortages

Healthcare professional shortages have long been a stumbling block in delivering consistent, high-quality care. ShiftKey's report, based on a survey of 2,400 healthcare professionals, highlights a significant factor: one in three workers had taken career breaks due to burnout, inadequate pay and lack of flexibility. This trend underscores the urgency for solutions that cater to the evolving needs of healthcare workers. Without the autonomy and flexibility offered by platforms like ShiftKey, a substantial number of healthcare professionals — 32% according to the report — would not return to or continue working in healthcare, further exacerbating the shortage crisis. This insight is crucial for senior living leaders seeking sustainable workforce strategies.

Flexibility as a catalyst for change

The report's findings are clear: 78% of those who returned to the healthcare field from a career break cited schedule flexibility as a pivotal factor in their decision. This flexibility, allowing professionals to choose when, where and how much they work, is not just a preference but a necessity for many, particularly those with personal caregiving responsibilities or seeking work-life balance.

Bridging gaps with technology

ShiftKey’s technology connects senior living communities with a vast marketplace of experienced independent healthcare professionals (49% have 10+ years in the field) seeking flexible work opportunities in the healthcare sector. This approach not only helps fill immediate scheduling gaps, but also builds a more resilient and satisfied workforce, directly impacting the quality of care and service provided to residents. ShiftKey's innovative approach to workforce flexibility has opened new horizons for healthcare professionals, with more than half (55%) discovering opportunities in new locations or settings through the platform. This not only adds to the workforce by reintegrating professionals, but it also diversifies the environments they contribute to, a consideration for leaders aiming to bolster teams with experienced and adaptable staff.

Impact on senior living communities

There are many implications of ShiftKey's findings for senior living leaders. Nearly three-quarters of respondents in the report juggle personal caregiving responsibilities at home, emphasizing the platform's role in offering work-life balance. Adopting flexible solutions to bring in help to support your internal staff can significantly enhance the ability to meet residents' needs, improve staff satisfaction and decrease burnout. By embracing technology and flexibility, senior living communities can position themselves as employers of choice in a competitive healthcare landscape.

Conclusion: A partnership for progress

The ShiftKey Empowered Workforce Report is a call to senior living leaders to embrace a total workforce model, including technology-driven, flexible solutions that align with healthcare professionals' evolving preferences and requirements. This pivot is not just about addressing immediate work shortages but also lays the foundation for a resilient, future-proof workforce. By championing flexibility, autonomy and technological innovation, senior living leaders can help create a more empowered, efficient and content healthcare workforce for a new era of excellence and satisfaction in senior care.

For more information, get the ShiftKey Empowered Workforce Report Executive Summary.

Get the Report Summary