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“We couldn’t have done it without the team at WorkForce Software. When you’re in the mix of running your business, you don’t necessarily pick up on all the opportunities for improvement that the system can provide, so working with them was fantastic.”

Richard Walsh

Head of People & Culture, Aged Care Centres

Roster Smarter with Illawarra Retirement Trust

A Groundbreakers Story

Illawarra Retirement Trust (IRT) is one of Australia’s largest community-owned providers of independent living, aged care, and home care with a vision to “create communities where seniors achieve their optimum quality of life.” Operating for over fifty years, IRT provides services to over 9,000 residents and customers each year in 31 retirement villages, 21 aged care centres, and 6 home care hubs. Faced with the need to migrate to a single workforce management system, IRT shares how they unified their rostering model for multiple locations to drive better employee outcomes and greater operating efficiencies.

Customer Snapshot

Organisation: Illawarra Retirement Trust
Headquarters: Wollongong, NSW
Industry: Healthcare

  • Aged Care Centres
  • Home Care
  • Retirement Villages
  • Catering
  • Foundation & Academy

Employees: 1,900+

Four Main Challenges with a Decentralised Model

Inconsistent Processes

  • Mixed manual processes, including Excel, Word, and handwritten notes
  • Poor visibility of information from HR systems
  • Limited or inconsistent reporting formats
  • Higher overtimes and labour budgets
  • Erosion of employee performance

Poor Utilisation of Workforce

  • Roster clerks operating in silos
  • Increased overtime costs to cover unplanned absences
  • Increased agency cost for contract and temp workers
  • Difficulty in meeting an increase and decrease in demand across sites
  • Reduced employee engagement and earnings opportunities

Inability to Meet 24/7 Operating Demands

  • Roster Clerks unable to meet demands outside their shift
  • Payroll errors and risk of non-compliance
  • Poor use of valuable skillsets and resources
  • Impact on job performance and satisfaction
  • Distraction from providing quality care for residents

Lack of Employee Engagement and Input

  • Limited communication channels
  • Increased labour costs to prepare and finalise rosters
  • Reduction in employee satisfaction and sentiment
  • Increase in overtime or unskilled shifts
  • Knowledge loss due to turnover at each site

Rostering Best Practices Revolve Around:

  • Fatigue Rules
  • Business and Skill Needs
  • Customer Demands
  • Legislative Compliance
  • Contracts/EBAs
  • Employee Availability

“We couldn’t have done it without the team at WorkForce Software. When you’re in the mix of running your business, you don’t necessarily pick up on all the opportunities for improvement that the system can provide, so working with them was fantastic.”—Richard Walsh, Head of People & Culture, Aged Care Centres 

4 Key Benefits of a Unified Hub Rostering Model

Rostering to Meet 24/7 Business Needs

  • Reduced absentee and improved job satisfaction
  • Reduction in overtime costs and payroll errors
  • Reduced burden of unplanned roster management removed from non-HR roles
  • Employees are able to focus on core duties and provide outstanding customer service and care

Consistent Rostering for All Sites

  • Ability to meet complex workplace agreements
  • Clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and processes
  • Greater skill-share and upskilling across the team, improving job performance and satisfaction
  • Reduction in contract and temp staff as well as overall employee costs

Employee Visibility and Self-Service

  • Access to rosters anytime, anywhere
  • Real-time engagement, workforce transparency, increased job satisfaction and retention
  • Increased productivity of workforce planners and senior staff
  • Reduction in escalated payroll-related complaints

Improved Reporting

  • Complete view of real-time work hour and pay data
  • Reduction in administrative efforts
  • Streamlined compliance
  • Greater transparency of metrics for more informed business decisions

“We’ve had a great relationship with WorkForce Software for a long time. The support that we have been provided has been fantastic and the team has supported IRT as a business. It’s an ever-evolving partnership.”—Richard Walsh, Head of People & Culture, Aged Care Centres 

IRT’s Response to COVID-19

  • Requires all employees to have a flu vaccination before entering the care centre
  • Utilises a secondary employment database to quickly run reports regarding COVID-19 hotspots that may affect employees with secondary employment
  • Sends daily COVID-19 update emails to ensure employees are receiving and viewing pertinent information

WorkForce Suite for Healthcare

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