GoodLife U Video Blog: The Power of 36 & 48

We are kicking off a new season of GoodLife U’s Video Blog this month with an episode about GoodLife’s 36 and 48 hour pay contingency. But first, let’s do a little bit of reminiscing. It’s been 2 years since Covid came into the picture and we all remember sitting worriedly around our tables with some serious concern about what we were facing.

Higher wages are simply not enough

Two years later, we are still enduring uncertainty to some degree. Yes, we are starting to see a sense of normalcy reemerge, but in some ways what we face now is more challenging than it has ever been. Across the country, our workforce continues to be fractured and while some states have an unprecedented amount of funding earmarked to help with wages, we should realize by now that higher wages alone is not enough. People no longer want to work the same way they have been working. It’s not just about wages: support professionals want good schedules, great pay, and work/life balance. If we can’t provide these things we absolutely will lose them to other industries.

It’s time to embrace change and that’s what GoodLife U is all about. We want to help you deliver better, more stable services. But in all honesty, there’s no silver bullet. We know that the road to a good life includes gaining inches and feet by a variety of different strategies. Take a look back at what we discussed last year: neighborhood staffing strategies, paid time off, premium pay, innovative schedules, and much much more. (If this is a bit foreign to you, don’t fret! All of our video blog episodes are available on our website and wherever you get your podcasts.)

Now we are going to spend 2022 looking further forward. Our upcoming episodes will help you with gaining that proverbial inch or foot of ground. Before you know it, we’ll be able to look back and see just how far we’ve come. Each of these strategies can improve the capacity of our workforce and empower you to imagine redesigning your services for the future. We are here to help you unpack and understand the opportunities that will make quantum improvements in how you deliver care with the existing resources you have

Alright, so let’s dig in.

The 36 and 48 Pay Contingency

In this episode we want to talk about GoodLife U’s 36 and 48 pay contingency, which helps with getting staff to work their scheduled shifts more consistently and even take on additional shifts. The contingency is based on work patterns that are related to our front/back half work week (so you may want to revisit that episode first, if needed).

If you’re anything like us, hidden vacancies are a real challenge. What we found is that even though we were hiring full-time positions (for us, this means 36 hours/week), those hired were regularly working less than full time. This could be due to a number of reasons (including the ongoing pandemic or the high likelihood that our direct support professionals often work more than 1 job), and also remember, if you have a very rich paid time off (PTO) policy, you’re actually paying them to call off (feel free to revisit our PTO episode, too). 

Regardless, we need our employees to work the shifts they are hired for—and even to take on additional shifts if possible. If we can’t get our hired employees to join us at the workplace, there’s a ripple effect that puts additional strain on the system.

So we designed a pay contingency to reduce call offs and encourage folks to work more

Simply, once an employee works at least 36 hours in a week, we choose to pay an additional $1/hr for all hours worked. When they work 48 hours, they will gain an additional $1/hr (now totalling $2 greater than their base-wage) for all hours worked. By doing this, we’ve created a contingency that motivates them to get to 36 or 48 hours each week—they are working their schedule, not calling off, resulting in an extra $1 or even $2/hr for every hour worked.

So what’s the impact?

Let’s talk about the impact: those consistently working 24 hours are now motivated to work one more shift in order to get to 36 hours and receive an extra $1/hour for all hours worked. Those who were consistently working their scheduled 36 hours were motivated to pick up one more shift as well to get to 48 hours and receive an extra $2/hour for all hours worked. The results have been significant: our call offs are going down; the amount of time that our managers are working the floor is being reduced; our clients are seeing more consistency in their homes.

If you’re interested in this contingency plan or have additional questions, reach out to us. We know that the biggest barrier may be your payroll system, but we would be happy to help guide you through this. If you try it and it’s helpful, let us know! 

Stay tuned next time for a discussion on replacement staffing strategies and some major pitfalls to avoid. Until then, be well, Provider Nation!

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