Effective employee monitoring can protect workers, clients, and your brand.
When it comes to maintaining a productive and professional workforce, home healthcare agencies face a unique challenge: How do you keep tabs on workers who are out and about in the world, driving in their cars and visiting homes, rather than sitting in cubicles for eight hours a day?
Luckily, a smart solution exists: employee monitoring.
In this article, you'll learn:
- What employee monitoring is
- Why employee monitoring is necessary
- Four types of employee monitoring to consider
- Why compliance matters
- Who provides compliant employee monitoring
What is employee monitoring?
When we talk about employee monitoring, we're not suggesting creating a micromanagement atmosphere where employees are under constant surveillance. The last thing anyone wants is a boss who's waiting to pounce every time a worker answers a personal call or has a personal conversation during office hours.
Instead, the best employee monitoring ensures that the great employee you hired six months (or six years) ago doesn't suddenly display behaviors that could put clients, fellow employees, or your brand at risk.
Why is employee monitoring necessary?
Human beings aren't static creatures. We grow. We change. We have good times, and we have bad stretches, too. Employee monitoring isn't meant to kick a person when they're down. Instead, employee monitoring can alert you about problematic behavior so that you can be proactive rather than reactive.
For example, if an employee is drinking on the job, wouldn't you want to know about it so you could take proper measures to ensure everyone's safety (including the employee's)? Of course you would!
Effective employee monitoring offers several key benefits:
- Helps your agency maintain a safe and productive workforce
- Protects your brand from negative press
- Keeps insurance premiums in check
- Helps your agency avoid pricey lawsuits
What types of employee monitoring do home healthcare agencies need?
We recommend the following four types of employee monitoring:
1. MVR Monitoring
Home healthcare employees drive on behalf of the agencies they work for, traveling to and from clients' homes. These workers also drive clients to appointments or on errands. Conducting a pre-employment or annual MVR check is a good first step in making sure you’re hiring responsible drivers, but it isn't enough.
Because these workers drive as a regular part of their daily jobs, you need to know about any changes in their driving records in real time. MVR monitoring does precisely that.
The initial MVR check sets the baseline. From there, you only get notified if there's a change to the person's driving record. MVR monitoring is extremely cost-effective, too—it's a few dollars per month per driver. Plus, MVR monitoring offers several other benefits, including the fact it encourages better driving habits simply because drivers know they're being monitored.
2. Criminal Monitoring
Criminal behavior isn't static, either. Just because a new hire has a clean criminal record today, this doesn't mean the person won't have a brush with the law a few months from now. And while it's true that not every criminal complaint will result in jail time or affect a person's performance in the workplace, you still deserve to know if something's up with a worker that could jeopardize clients, employees, or the agency itself.
Like MVR monitoring, criminal monitoring offers additional insights so that you can make an informed decision about the employee should something change with their criminal record. Not only that, but you can reassure your existing clients and prospective clients alike that your agency is doing all it can to employ workers who follow the law.
In fact, don't be surprised if prospective clients and their loved ones question you about your screening process. An article from Aging Care encourages people to vet the home health agencies they work with and to ask specifically about criminal background checks, among other things.
3. Random Drug Testing
Remember, pre-hire drug screenings only capture one point in time. As we noted above, you're dealing with humans. And in the case of home healthcare workers, you're dealing with humans who have easy access to prescription medications, thanks to your clientele. And unlike a clinical setting, which has safeguards for dispensing and monitoring meds, home healthcare workers don't typically work under the same scrutiny.
Yes, the majority of your employees will respect clients' medications. But what about the worker who steals pills? Just as MVR monitoring can encourage better behavior, random drug testing can do the same. This article from Abbott (a medical technologies company) notes, "Random drug testing coupled with pre-employment testing creates an even stronger deterrent and an even safer workplace."
4. Social Media Background Check Monitoring
Social media monitoring might not be an obvious choice when it comes to employee monitoring, especially for home healthcare aides, but hear us out.
Given that your employees work in people's homes—and often with vulnerable populations, like the elderly—workers must be trustworthy, patient, and inclusive. Monitoring workers' social media accounts can alert you of toxic online behaviors that don't align with these values, such as racist or sexually inappropriate language. (If the person is acting poorly online, who knows how they're acting behind closed doors when no one is watching.)
Once alerted about problematic behavior, you can intervene. Intervention doesn't necessarily mean termination, either. Perhaps you provide training or reassignment. But with a social media background check and continual monitoring, you get to respond proactively.
The best employee monitoring doesn't skimp on compliance.
Not all employee monitoring is created equal. Your employees have rights as well, which is precisely why you must use compliant solutions.
Here's the catch, though. Compliance can be a moving target. Take drug laws, for example. Depending on the state, recreational marijuana use is legal, which can create challenges when it comes to employee drug testing. Work with a vendor that's always up to speed on the latest laws—and how laws might affect employee monitoring. The same goes for social media background checks, so having an expert in your corner is the best solution.
Good Egg: Here to help you navigate the best employee monitoring for your agency.
Home healthcare agencies do important work with vulnerable populations. Help your agency flourish by filling it with people who truly reflect your brand values. Demo our always-compliant employee monitoring solutions and let us help you do exactly that.