Support coordinators have a big impact on disability support organisations, but only when they have the time to focus on the task at hand. Unfortunately, NDIS support coordinators often lament that time spent accounting for their work takes more time than the work itself.
This is a big problem for leaders within the industry, because for support coordinators to bring in enough revenue, the bulk of their hours need to be billable.
The need for strict KPIs and targets on billable hours can create another problem in itself: disconnection from your values and mission.
Your entire workforce is driven by compassion and human connection. People don’t become support coordinators because they have a flair for paperwork. They are here to help customers, they want to build capacity and independence. Yet leadership teams find themselves in a position where they need to ask support coordinators to focus on time and accountability, causing people to feel removed from what they love.
It’s a stressful situation for everyone — and with three years of price freezes in the NDIS budget — increasingly unprofitable.
The solution? To provide your support coordinators with the tools and structure needed to restore the balance. By dramatically cutting down on admin, your team can focus on what they do best and meet targets without it feeling like their primary focus.
Less stress, more support.
The issue with fractured customer information
Accounting for work is tiresome and frustrating because it’s fractured. Between excel spreadsheets, sticky notes and email chains — vital information is all over the place.
From a team member perspective, it can feel like a losing battle. Forever ‘chasing your tail’, hunting around in circles for information when you need it. Spending hours on data entry. Having to start from scratch with every new case and not having a background on customers when other team members move on. Team members who don’t feel like they’re making a difference will experience burnout at best, or at worst, quit the industry entirely.
From a customer perspective, having information held in insecure spreadsheets, or on sticky notes is hardly ideal. Privacy issues aside, it forces people to retell their story again and again whenever a new team member is assigned to their case, or face lengthy waits until their support coordinator has time to get back to them.
From a leadership perspective, it’s hard to make informed decisions on these departments because there’s no consolidated information. When there’s a need for reporting or NDIS auditing, there’s yet another burden on support coordinators’ time as they try to piece together information after the fact.
In order to right this ship, data needs to be:
- Consolidated, with everything recorded in one place
- Fast and simple to enter and update
- Easily accessible by those who need it (and are authorised to have it)
- Private and secure
- Supporting the goals of customers
Restoring the balance between support and paperwork
To empower support coordinators to do more of what they do best you need to help them do away with what’s slowing them down. That means giving them the tools and structure they need to make accounting for their work simple.
We often associate technology with efficiency, allowing people to automate repetitive tasks and remove double-handling to increase productivity. This in itself would help support coordinators to claim back some time in their day.
To make a real impact across the organisation however, all data should be integrated or kept in one place, creating a secure, ‘single source of truth’ for everyone to work from. This would enable:
- Efficiency: When unnecessary data entry is removed, teams can focus on billable hours that have a meaningful impact for customers.
- Transparency: Giving leadership teams a realistic view of caseload work, billable hours and what is being achieved by the organisation lets executives make better, more informed decisions.
- Continuity of support: If all work accounted for is updated on a customer profile, other team members can step in to provide support — whether it be to take over from former staff or for an experienced team member to give a fresh perspective to a challenging situation.
- Timeliness: A simple solution that prompts and allows for information to be uploaded on the road means that it won’t fall out of date waiting for someone to do a batch of reports after-the-fact.
- Privacy: Secure access to data allows authorised access to confidential information to those who need it, not the entire organisation.
Simplifying Support Coordination
After researching and interviewing support coordination customers and businesses around Australia, GoodHuman has been designing ways to simplify and streamline the way support coordinators (and human services businesses more broadly) operate.
Read this article for a highlight of the capabilities we shared at the event.