Tips on Becoming a Top Workplace in the Disability Sector

Asha Neil

Written on 9 March, 2023
When your valued team members enjoy working for your disability support business, you’ll benefit from improved retention, motivation and performance. 

Why Disability Support Providers Should Invest in Employee Experience

Attracting talented disability support workers isn’t easy, especially in the midst of Australia’s labour and skills shortage. 83% of Australia’s NDIS providers report struggling to recruit competent staff. And even once you’ve recruited support workers and admin staff, you’ll still face the challenge of retaining your team members.

By improving the employee experience at your disability services provider business, you’ll ensure that your team members don’t want to leave. What’s more, you’ll develop a reputation for being a good place to work, which can lead to more interested candidates when hiring additional staff. You are also likely to see an increased number of team referrals leading to new hires.

Recruitment and retainment rates aren’t the only reasons to become a top workplace, however. By improving the employee experience, you’ll ensure that your staff members are excited about their jobs. They’ll be more motivated and engaged, and less likely to experience burnout. 

In turn, this will lead to better performance. Staff will have the emotional energy required to provide excellent disability support, write helpful progress notes and more.

Key Tips on Becoming a Top Workplace in the Disability Sector

Each one of our recommendations is an actionable tip that you can put into practice straight away. And with the right tools, you’ll find that most of them are surprisingly easy and affordable to implement.

Create Open Communication Channels

Good communication is essential for a positive employee experience. Your staff members want clear instructions, regular updates and recognition of work done well. They also need to know who to turn to when they have difficulties, as well as reassurance that their concerns will be listened to.

In contrast, bad communication can exhaust workers. Bad communication can take the form of:

  • A lack of communication

  • Too much communication: constant emails, lengthy updates, notifications across multiple platforms

  • Communication that feels one-sided; you’re talking but not listening

  • Unclear channels; they don’t know who to raise issues with

Make sure your team members know who their manager is and how to contact them when they need support. Train your managers on listening to and responding to concerns.

When messaging your staff, keep it concise. Congratulate them or thank them when they’re performing well, and take the time to personalise the messages, too. 

Try to keep all your communication on one or two platforms, such as an app and SMS messages. Don’t ask team members to download multiple programs just for communications.

Support Your Team with the Tools They Need

Your staff will enjoy their work more when they have the support and tools they need to provide high-quality services. If they need to use specialist equipment, double-check that it’s in good working condition. Ask if they feel confident using it, and offer training if required.

Make sure that they also have access to all the client information they need, from care plans to progress notes. Create templates for patient records so they feel confident updating them.

Give Your Team Control Over Their Schedules 

When your team members have work-life balance, they are more likely to feel positive about their jobs. Work-life balance looks different for every employee, so give them control over their schedules. Ask them to input their preferred availability in your rostering software, and invite them to bid on new jobs. Check in with them about their workload: are they being allocated the amount of hours that they want?

Provide the Training Your Team Needs and Wants

A lack of career progression can cause talented disability support workers to look for new opportunities elsewhere. To avoid this issue, support your team in undertaking professional development. This will improve their career satisfaction, as well as helping them provide even better disability support services to your clients.

Take Worker Burnout Seriously

Worker burnout can be caused by staff shortages, high stress levels, poor scheduling and more. It can be extremely damaging to an employee’s mental health, in addition to their performance levels.

If a team member shows signs of burnout, try to find out the root cause. Demonstrate that it matters to you and offer as much flexibility as possible. You can use your scheduling tools to ensure individual team members aren’t overscheduled or scheduled at unsociable hours. 

Client-employee matching tools can also make it easier to reallocate challenging clients to other team members who may be better equipped to support them.

NDIS Software That Supports Your Staff as Well as Your Clients

Your team member’s engagement levels are key to your disability support provider business’ success. As such, the tools that you use should also benefit your staff. 

When picked well, your tools will make your team’s work easier. They’ll ensure that your employees can complete their work quickly, efficiently and to the best of their ability. They will also be well-suited to the realities of your team’s day-to-day work.

ShiftCare’s NDIS software isn’t just designed with your business in mind. It’s also built to meet the needs of your staff. The secure ShiftCare mobile app means they can use it on the go, whether they’re double-checking tomorrow’s shifts or heading into a client’s house in a remote location.

Your team will be able to set their preferred availability via the app, as well as bid on new jobs. As soon as the roster has been created, they can access it along with all the details they’ll need to prepare: client locations, services, support plans and more. And once they’re on shift, they’ll also be able to clock in electronically, attach expenses receipts to each shift and add new progress notes on the go. Templates and voice-to-text technology will make the process even easier for them.


Discover how you can make the employee experience even better for your team members. Try ShiftCare for free.

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