Articles by: James Clark

Award-Winning Reporting by Human Services Organizations

North Range Behavioral Health and Touchstone Health Partners were recognized for best practices in effective monthly reporting and received the 2013 Golden Abacus Award.  Both agencies have utilized analytics to achieve cost savings that can be put towards developing stronger programs.  Effective reporting by human services organizations allows more accurate and consistent measures with complete transparency.

North Range Behavioral Health utilizes DATIS' Human Capital Management Software that features robust reporting through the Workforce Analytics solution.  This is a powerful business intelligence and reporting toolkit that is comprised of executive, administrator, and manager dashboards.  Organizations can use this to recognize and analyze valuable data to asses needs and strategic objectives.  The services and solutions are designed to help organizations improve human management decisions and control workforce costs to increase overall productivity.

What Your Employees Really Want This Holiday Season

Companies often use the holiday season to show their gratitude for their employee’s hard work and dedication through different incentives, such as gift cards and small trinkets. While these gestures are a great way to temporarily lift morale in the workplace, there are many intangible gifts that managers can give this season that will be much more valuable in the long run.

The Gift of Trust
Being micromanaged can be frustrating for employees. By giving your employees trust this year, they will be empowered to perform their best. Taking a step back and enabling employees with a sense of autonomy in the workplace can do wonders for morale and engagement. It may surprise you how much productivity can increase by giving employees the freedom and responsibility to learn and grow on their own.

The Gift of Encouragement
For the upcoming year, leaders can focus on being less critical and more encouraging towards their employees. Let your employees know that you are behind them every step of the way and want to see them succeed. If they make mistakes, use constructive feedback to create a culture of consistent improvement. Provide support, supply confidence, and reinforce hope. Employees will be more likely to innovate and bring new ideas to the table if they know that their efforts will be appreciated and encouraged.

The Gift of Flexibility
A healthy work-life balance is crucial in every industry. Ideally, employees would give 110% everyday and not miss a single day of work. However, encouraging your employees to use their vacation days and being understanding when an employee requests a day off makes them feel both wanted and respected. Being flexible when an employee’s personal life gets a little hectic is a great way to showcase trust in your employees.

The Gift of Personality
As 2017 approaches, make sure your employees feel comfortable in the workplace. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by being more approachable and relatable to your employees. Company culture is rapidly becoming one the most important factors to increase productivity as companies attempt to make their office a place where employees actually want to spend their time. Making a personal connection with employees is something that can lead to a much healthier professional relationship and a much more enjoyable workplace culture moving forward.

As 2016 comes to a close, it is important to ask yourself what your employees really want this holiday season. This year, try focusing on things that will add more value to the workplace in the long run. Instead of showing your employees appreciation through gifts and cards, show them through your actions.

This DATIS Blog was written by James Clark, DATIS, on December 15th, 2016 and may not be re-posted without permission.

Why Position Control Is Right For Your Organization

Organizations in the Health and Human Services work around the clock to provide higher quality care for their clients. However, their complex needs regarding budgeting, compliance, and reporting can shift their focus away from their mission and consume their staff with administrative burdens. Unfortunately, most HR software does not support the intricacies of complex and evolving industries, like Health and Human Services, and instead focus on the needs of the Fortune 500 giants. This leaves Health and Human Services organizations spending valuable time and money on manually allocating labor costs, tracking credentials, and onboarding new employees. These processes,however, can be easily managed through Position Control. What is Position Control? Most HR software is employee-based, meaning each time an employee comes onboard, their position details need to be coded. Position Control allows organizations to budget at the position level, independent of the employee. With Position Control, organizations are able to assign attributes to each position. So, when new employees come onboard, they automatically inherit the predefined attributes of the position. Not only does this simplify the onboarding process, it also ensures that an employee has the required credentials and licenses before they begin their new role. Why is Position Control Important? Compliance: Between state regulations, FLSA, wage and hour laws, and other various tax laws, it can be difficult to ensure that your organization is remaining compliant. We recently surveyed over 250 executives in the Health and Human Services industry, and a staggering 49% reported that they had to deal with compliance issues within the last 12 months. Noncompliance with these laws and regulations often results in penalties and hefty fines that organizations, specifically nonprofits, simply cannot afford. Credentials: Tracking the credentials and licenses of your employees is a difficult, but crucial, task for many organizations, especially those in the Health and Human Services Industry. In 2016, 48% of organizations in the Health and Social Assistance industry required their employees to acquire new credentials and certifications. Position Control protects your organization against threats of noncompliance by ensuring that all employees have the proper credentials at all times. Credential requirements can be tied to positions, job codes, or other inheritable attributes and are automatically tracked within the system. If any credentials are expiring, a Position Control-based system will send automatic notifications to inform the employee and their manager of the upcoming issue. Onboarding: As the Health and Human Services Industry continues to grow due to an increase demand for health care services, there is a critical need to onboard new employees quickly, efficiently, and compliantly. Efficient onboarding programs also help with employee retention, as employees who go through a structured onboarding program are 58% more likely to stay with a company for three years or more. Position Control simplifies these steps. Through Position Control, each position is preloaded with attributes such as salary, education, location, and credentialing requirements. Employees that fill those positions will inherit those attributes automatically to maintain compliance. Is Position Control Right for Your Organization? Position Control is essential for organizations that need to accurately and efficiently manage their budgets, compliance, and robust reporting needs. These are all complex processes that distract organization leaders from their core mission. Position Control is ideal for nonprofits in the Health and Human Services industry that must abide by strict budget and compliance requirements in order to continue delivering on their mission to serve their communities. While there are many undeniable benefits offered by Position Control HR Software that could significantly impact an organization’s success, this functionality is still extremely rare in the marketplace. Position Control is the foundation of DATIS and is inherent in our software, giving our clients a competitive advantage in an ever-evolving business environment. Discover the power of Position Control by implementing it in your organization. This DATIS Blog was written by James Clark, DATIS, on January 19th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

5 Reasons to Make Your Talent Management Strategy More Transparent

Transparency has always been a buzzword in the business world. It sounds promising when managers mention it in board meetings and on company retreats, but what does the word actually mean? Being transparent means being open and honest with your employees, not hiding or being discreet with information that involves them directly. Organizations promise employees transparency in the workplace, yet few include it in their talent management strategy. A recent survey commissioned by Betterworks found that 64% of employees believe their organization’s leadership team is not being completely transparent. Clearly, employees feel they are missing out.

With the rise of social media, transparency has become more common throughout everyday life. People are living their lives more openly and publicly than ever before. It’s no surprise that this trend has made its way into corporate America, with employees starting to desire a more honest and in-depth relationship with their employers.

While managers may hesitate to embrace a transparent culture, organizations have found that increased transparency in the workplace yields incredible results. Here are five reasons why your organization should welcome transparency with open arms:

1. Productivity
For an organization to realize its full potential, it must have all employees, from executives to interns, working together towards the same goals. Organizations have tried everything, from pay raises to vacations, to motivate their workforce to perform. However, research shows that transparency when communicating employee goals is one of the most effective methods to increase productivity around the office. Betterworks found that over 37% of employees stated that greater visibility of company and employee goals would spur their performance. Furthermore, an astounding 92% of employees said they would work harder if their co-workers could see their goals. By introducing a platform that makes employee goals transparent and accessible, organizations can accelerate overall performance.

2. Trust
Trust normally takes center stage when building a strong professional relationship with your employees. The American Psychological Association (APA) recently conducted a nationwide survey on the employee-employer relationship. The APA reports that one in four employees does not trust their employer. Another study found that 44% of employees felt their manager was being dishonest during their annual performance review. Without mutual trust, how can an organization succeed? The implementation of a more transparent system gives employees access to the same information as their superiors, allowing them to build trust and strengthen employee relationships.

3. Engagement
An organization that values transparency naturally engages their employees. Giving employees easy and unlimited access to information allows them to respond to situations quicker, solve problems more effectively, and better align overall business goals. Making information more accessible to employees will better connect them to the work they are doing, thus they would be more inclined to step outside of their comfort zones and rally behind business objectives. A transparent workplace engages employees and helps drive organizations forward.

4. Loyalty
There is simply no way for an organization to effectively grow with low retention rates. Creating an environment where employees feel welcomed and respected can increase an organization’s retention. However, the APA reported that only half of U.S workers feel their employer is open and upfront with them. Becoming more transparent with your workforce will lead to a healthier and more honest workplace. This environment will separate the great organizations from the good ones as well as motivate employees to stay for the long-haul.

5. Recruiting
The job hunt isn’t the same as it once was. The internet has given job-seekers access to an incredible amount of information that allow them to make assertions about your organization before they even walk into your office. A 2016 Glassdoor survey stated that 90% of job seekers say that it's important to work for a company that embraces transparency. A culture that supports transparency could be the key to recruiting the talent that will help your organization prosper.

A productive employee is one that is informed, one that understands management expectations, and one that recognizes the specific goals needed for an organization’s success.  Transparency is essential for any organization that wishes to create a healthier, more productive, and more motivating workplace for its employees.

This DATIS Blog was written by James Clark, DATIS, on March 2nd, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

NatCon 17: The Intersection of Innovation and Action

NatCon 17, an annual conference held by the National Council for Behavioral Health, is a place for executives in the Health and Human Services industry to come together, at the intersection of innovation and action, to generate new ideas and launch new strategies to achieve their missions.

Each year, more than 43.8 million American adults suffer from mental illness. Roughly 14% of the country’s population are battling agonizing conditions such as depression, bi-polar disorder, and schizophrenia. Many of these mental illness victims heavily rely on mental health organizations for treatment and intensive care. Unfortunately, these services aren’t always easily accessible, leaving many organizations struggling to find ways to innovate their processes to reach more people in need.

According to a study done by the National Institute of Mental Health, serious mental illness costs the United States $193 billion per year in lost earnings alone, as well as over $100 billion in healthcare costs. While this places a huge burden on the U.S. economy, it is even more harmful on the individuals and families impacted by mental illness, especially when you consider their socioeconomic status. The World Health Organization states that low-income groups are 2x more likely to suffer from depression and are at an 8x higher risk of suffering from schizophrenia.

With such high costs being placed on the lower-income citizens, it’s clear that something needs to change. Organizations in the Human Services industry are under pressure to find more efficient, innovative ways to treat their clients, while maintaining a high quality of care. This can only be achieved by finding the right combinations of systems, processes, and people.

Finding the right balance of process innovation and community action is challenging. Focusing too much on how to innovate business processes can distract organizations from their core mission, but ignoring inefficiency and disorganization can be detrimental to a business, preventing them from being able to serve their community. Streamlining communication between departments, eliminating information silos, and implementing tools that ensure compliance are just a few ways in which these organizations can take action and innovate.

Understanding the current industry’s trends can help organization’s find that balance and prepare for the future.

View Our Infographic on Mental Health Trends.

This DATIS Blog was written by James Clark, DATIS, on March 20th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

Position Control for Healthcare Organizations

In today’s healthcare environment, organizations face the daily struggle of increasing patient quality and service demands while simultaneously remaining financially sustainable. With labor costs representing the largest operating expense for most healthcare organizations, executives are scrambling to implement HR systems that help them budget more effectively and better manage their workforce.

While there are many sophisticated HR systems available on the market, very few can successfully meet the complex budgeting, reporting, and compliance needs of today’s healthcare organizations. This is because they lack Position Control, a Human Capital Management tool that gives healthcare executives complete control over their workforce.

Position Control allows healthcare executives to budget at the position-level, independent of the employees. Not only does this make it incredibly easy for managers to track employees and vacancies within their organization, but also ensures that the organization has no un-budgeted employees on its roster.

One of the major benefits of Position Control for healthcare executives is the ability to customize the structure of their workforce. This is made possible because Position Control allows managers to tie attributes like salary ranges, job descriptions, and education requirements to each individual position, not employee. This guarantees that there are no surprises when a new employee fills one of the organization’s vacant positions.

Tracking credentials is also essential for healthcare organizations. Employees with expired credentials could put their organization at risk of non-compliance with various federal and state regulations. Through Position Control, executives can tie credential requirements to the position, ensuring that new employees have the proper licenses, certifications, and registrations needed to assume the position. With Position Control, managers and employees will receive automatic notifications when a person’s credentials are about to expire.

For healthcare executives, providing quality service should be the number one concern, yet managing the industry’s complex labor needs continues to distract them from their organization’s primary mission. By unleashing the many powers of Position Control, executives can better organize, track, and budget their workforce.

Still not convinced? Find out why Position Control is right for your organization.

This DATIS Blog was written by James Clark, DATIS, on March 30th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

HR Insights: Workforce Management Trends 2017

For many years, Human Resources has been viewed as the department that simply processes payroll and manages benefits. However, the roles and responsibilities of HR have evolved, HR professionals now play a much larger role in developing their organization’s strategy. With HR securing a more prominent seat in the boardroom, we wanted to further understand the mentality of HR professionals in the Health and Human Service industry. Our 2017 Workforce Management Trends survey gave great HR insights about the current challenges and priorities for this year.

Priority 1: Recruiting & Retention
Employees in the Human Resources department undoubtedly have the clearest understanding of the staffing needs of their organization. Since their primary duties are employee-focused, HR professionals can pinpoint their organization’s specific recruiting needs. A staggering 77% of respondents listed recruiting and retention as a top priority in 2017. Our survey asked HR respondents which channels they use when publicizing their organization’s job openings. Over 93% of respondents said that they post their openings on their organization’s personal website. Interestingly, only 47% use newspapers, which used to be the primary hiring channel.

While HR have strategies to recruit top talent, they must also have plans to hold onto their top performers.  Not only is it important to hang on to top performers within an organization, but the process of replacing an employee is extremely taxing for HR professionals. Over 40% of HR respondents admitted that their organization experiences a turnover rate of 20% or higher. It’s up to HR to collaborate with other executives to implement strategies and programs within the organization.

Priority 2: Talent Management
Employee productivity is a topic of significant interest to Human Resources. 52% of HR professionals ranked talent management as one of their top priorities this year. This comes as no surprise since duties such as monitoring employee productivity and their progress towards individual goals are closely linked to the current HR role.

It’s also important that HR takes strides to implement a more supportive management system for their employees. Factors such as internal mentoring, coaching, and career development should all be a part of such a system. Sadly, over 30% of HR professionals didn’t believe their organization had a supportive management system in place. Adopting such a system in the workplace can benefit the employees and improve the overall quality of work within the organization.

The priorities of human resources have historically been employee-related. However, their focus on talent management shows that organizations are not only looking to hire new employees, but also willing to train existing workers and further their development through a supportive management system. As HR continues to support organizational growth, they will need to continue these efforts in the future.

This DATIS Blog was written by James Clark, DATIS, on April 4th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

CFO Insights: 2017 Workforce Management Trends

The responsibilities of modern-day CFOs are constantly changing, and so are their priorities. Today’s CFOs are spending less time in spreadsheets and more time thinking about strategy, people, and culture while simultaneously ensuring their organization’s financially sustainability.

Our recent 2017 Workforce Management Trends Survey received responses from Chief Financial Officers from various nonprofit organizations in the Health and Human Services industry regarding their priorities for this year.

Priority 1: Regulatory Compliance
Of CFOs surveyed, over 48% reported that regulatory compliance was a primary focus for their organization this year. With so many different regulations to comply with, it’s no surprise that CFOs are eager to get in control and ensure that their organization stays compliant, and for good reason. For organizations, especially those in the Health and Human Services industry, noncompliance with FLSA, ACA, and State Regulations can result in expensive penalties and hefty fines that can endanger the organization’s financial health.

The survey proceeded to dive deeper into the minds of CFOs and enquired about the types of regulations that were causing the most problems for their organization. An overwhelming 67% claimed that ‘State Regulations’ create the most amount of challenges for their organization, followed by FLSA and ACA. Understanding the origin of their compliance problems can help CFOs adjust their strategy to better handle the challenges in the future.

Priority 2: Drive Towards Digital
Another key priority for CFOs in 2017 is driving their workforce towards more digitized processes. From our survey, we concluded that CFOs are eager to implement cloud-based software and technologies into their organizations. According to our survey, an impressive 80% of CFOs reported that they were either “extremely likely” or “very likely” to invest in digital strategies this year.

Not only will this automate processes within their organization that are currently paper-based, but it will also increase efficiencies and decrease costs in the long run. With that said, only 53% of CFOs were confident that their workforce has the skills required to embed digital strategies across their organization. This exposes a gap in investment and capability. CFOs must ensure their organization is prepared for the transition to digital strategies before investing.

This DATIS Blog was written by James Clark, DATIS, on April 5th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

CEO Insights: Workforce Management Trends 2017

Today’s CEOs have a lot on their plate. The increased demand for Health and Human Services has put pressure on executives within the industry to grow their workforces at an accelerated rate. To better understand the mindset of the modern-day Chief Executive Officer, we conducted our 2017 Workforce Management Trends Survey. The survey asked many CEOs in the Health and Human Services industry about their workforces, plans for the year ahead, and their top priorities for this year.

Priority 1: Recruiting & Retention
In recent years, recruiting and retention has become an increasingly important topic for CEOs at Health and Human Service organizations. When asked about their top priorities in 2017, over 56% of CEOs reported that recruiting and retention was a primary concern. With that said, only 12% of CEOs believe that their organization has a “very effective” recruiting strategy. This exposes a unique problem for CEOs. Many acknowledge the seriousness of recruiting in this current climate, yet few have effective strategies to overcome the challenges.

Retention is another issue that is currently causing CEOs trouble. Health and Human service organizations are notoriously haunted by high turnover rates. This notion has been backed up by the CEO results from our survey. Over a quarter of respondents reported a turnover rate of 20% or more, well above the national average. To combat this statistic and reverse the trend of high turnover rates, CEOs must concentrate on employee-focused like engagement and satisfaction to drive employee retention.

Priority 2: Engagement & Satisfaction
Employee engagement and satisfaction has been proven to increase employee retention and decrease turnover rates. To put it simply, engaged employees are happy employees that are more likely to stay at their organization. Unfortunately, 46% of CEOs surveyed admitted that they have no plan in place to increase employee engagement within their workforce. A further 18% said that they have an outdated plan to increase employee engagement. Clearly, the majority of CEOs see room for improvement in their employee engagement efforts.

Employee satisfaction directly correlates to productivity. Studies have shown that satisfied employees are more likely to work hard and accomplish their goals in an effective and timely manner. Given this, it’s important that CEOs can recognize their employees’ satisfaction levels. Luckily, this seems to be the case, with 92% of CEOs claiming to be “moderately” to “extremely” aware of the satisfaction levels within their workforce.

The modern-day CEO’s priorities reflect the current state of the Health and Human Services industry. As the demand for services increase, CEOs are looking to build their workforces to meet those needs. Executives are beginning to see the importance of employee retention, as well as the need for employee engagement and satisfaction strategies in the workplace. CEOs can use the insights provided to grow their organizations the right way.

This DATIS Blog was written by James Clark, DATIS, on April 7th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.

How CEOs Should Approach the Generation Gap

Generational differences have historically caused tension in the workplace. Older workers view younger generations as impatient, looking for the fast-track to the top, while the younger employees see the veterans as stubborn and stuck in their ways. However, the generation gap is currently causing organizations more trouble than ever before.

For the first time in history, CEOs in the Health and Human Service industry are having to cope with the challenges of having as many as four unique generations working together under the same roof. This creates a myriad of complications when it comes to efficient collaboration and communication between the generations in the workplace. With 90% of CEOs originating from either the Baby-Boomer Generation or Generation-X, it’s important that they put their biases aside and make it a priority to bridge the gap between themselves and their younger coworkers.

Luckily, there are steps that CEOs can take to help ease the tension and make their diverse workforce much more productive:

Create Diverse Teams
Without upper-level intervention, the chances of different generations collaborating with one another on various tasks and projects are very slim. When new opportunities arise, CEOs must make sure that they create teams that represent all generations within an organization, with each member bringing their own skillset to the table. Not only will the organization benefit from having multiple perspectives, but encouraging cross-generational collaboration can open many doors moving forward.

Implement Internal Mentoring Programs
Partnering younger workers with seasoned veterans has been known to positively impact organizations of all shapes and sizes. Not only do these programs encourage face-to-face communication between different generations, but they also provide learning opportunities for everyone involved. Younger workers benefit from the guidance of experienced employees, while older workers can be educated on modern technology and given advice on how to keep up with the changing work environment.

According to CEOs that participated in the DATIS 2017 Workforce Management Trends report, 37% don’t believe their organization has a supportive management system in place. For CEOs looking to increase collaborative efforts, they must consider adopting a management system that supports coaching and mentoring.

Adopt a Culture That Includes Everyone
Culture has become an increasingly important component of organizations in all types of industries. The overall atmosphere of a workplace, from office layout to coworker dynamics, has a huge impact on a team’s productivity and happiness. Embracing a culture that brings people together is a great way to knock down communication barriers between generations and strengthen relationships within the office. Hosting outings and out-of-work gatherings, celebrating birthdays, and creating fun competitions that include everyone in the workplace are great ways to bring people together and get people talking.

Having multiple generations working together under the same roof can be very beneficial for organizations if managed correctly. Employees can constructively share their personal viewpoints and ideas on how to approach situations in the workplace. It is up to the CEO to create an environment that encourages cross-generational communication. Creating diverse teams, implementing mentor-like programs, and adopting a culture that includes everyone are just a few things to bring your workforce closer together.

This DATIS Blog was written by James Clark, DATIS, on April 13th, 2017 and may not be re-posted without permission.