They may be nurses. They may be homecare assistants. Or they may be housekeepers. However they contribute, everyone at Cornwall Care plays a role in making sure some of the English county’s most vulnerable people get the care and respect they deserve every day.
Cornwall Care is the largest care provider in the UK county of Cornwall. The organisation employs just under 1,600 people who support 1,000 patients through residential, nursing, and dementia care. Cornwall Care also supports young adults with mental healthcare.
As a not-for-profit and registered charity, Cornwall Care supports patients within its 16 care homes and through community-based care, helping people to stay healthier and happier for longer within the comfort of their own homes.
Cornwall Care marks its 25th year in 2021 and it has a bold plan to expand its community services. It will offer more complex and specialist care packages and ensure the highest standards of staff training and welfare.
It has been a taxing year for the aged care sector in the UK, with the COVID-19 pandemic creating heart-wrenching challenges for carers, patients, and their families. Amid the pandemic’s pressures, and the various government restrictions, Cornwall Care has remained steadfast in its support of its patients and employees.
Before the pandemic began, the care provider realised its legacy HR systems and processes were causing payroll inefficiencies and missed opportunities to engage employees. Cornwall Care decided a unified HCM system was needed to help maintain its high levels of award-winning care, while engaging and retaining dedicated employees.
“We identified our payroll and HR processes were not as efficient as we needed and that we needed a change. We wanted a self-service portal. We wanted this to be about individuals, and for that to be strongly represented in how the software performed,” says Penny Lang, Cornwall Care’s Head of Project Management Office (PMO) and Contracting.
Lang explains that Cornwall Care was spending far too many hours on payroll processing. Staff members needed to work weekends to ensure everybody was paid on time. The process regularly took more than 100 hours of overtime each month to complete, running up an overtime bill of £2,000 each month.
And across the wider business, consistently providing great care is a costly activity. Cornwall Care needed to be able to give its managers the ability to adhere to staffing budgets and stay up to speed with availability across the workforce. At the same time, its carers needed the independence to choose when and where they work.
The care provider was eager to get a better handle on time and pay across the company. For that to happen, it was time to move the registered charity beyond disparate HR spreadsheets, local databases, paper forms, and manual processes to one “recruitment-to-retirement” system, as Lang describes it.
Cornwall Care committed to consolidating its HR systems with an ambitious digital transformation strategy. The organisation began its partnership with Ceridian in January 2020, implementing Dayforce by September 2020 for managed payroll, workforce management, recruiting, performance, and TeamRelate.
“For me, Ceridian has drawn all our employees together. Because this has touched every single member of our company, that has meant that in some way, we've had to integrate with every single member of our company,” says Lang.
After condensing the initial two-year implementation time frame into just nine months, there has been a swift transformation in Cornwall Care’s time and pay processes. “Ceridian helped us solidify what we were trying to achieve in payroll and identify where we were going wrong. We’ve smoothed out the bumps in our processing and corrected areas of potential error,” says Lang. “We're saving in the region of £150,000-£200,000 a year just on payroll issues.”
In addition, Lang says the company has been able to decrease its time to process payroll on a monthly basis by 72%, from 145 hours down to approximately 40 hours.
Critically, more efficient payroll processing has helped with employee retention in a highly competitive sector where it can be difficult to secure the best talent. “The cost of losing a staff member if their pay is wrong is high – you only get to do that once. And even then, that mistake makes them more likely to leave,” says Lang.
Cornwall Care’s people now have more oversight into not only their pay, but also their time. The company has leveraged Dayforce to give care-based staff more ownership of their schedules. “It's good for care-based staff’s well-being to be able to say, ‘These are my days with my parents and my children, you can't call me,’” says Lang. “Because when you have good people, you do tend to rely on them. Dayforce enables people to bracket their own space for personal time,” says Lang.
Dayforce also enables carers to manage their schedules across multiple care sites, so they can create their own 40-hour week even if their main care site does not have 40 hours available to them. “If we were a single-site employer, we wouldn’t be able to give them enough hours, and we’d stand the chance of losing them to somebody else who could give them 40 hours. Again, it goes back to retention. It goes back to communication. It's just absolutely critical,” says Lang.
For managers, Dayforce has provided clarity and visibility about who is working where, when, and for how long. “It’s important that we can see where people are working. Let's say that I’ve got a manager in our care home in north Cornwall, but I’ve got a member of staff who's working across three other homes. Managers can actually see on the schedule the other homes that employees are working in. So, managers know if they're available or not,” says Lang. “That creates efficiencies that are crucial around booking care.”
These efficiencies have enabled managers to cut their scheduling time in half, saving the company approximately 13,700 hours each year.
Because every employee can access the Dayforce mobile app to manage their availability and scheduling, Cornwall Care now knows more about what drives its people, says Lang. Adoption of the Dayforce web and mobile apps are above 90% – and Dayforce’s TeamRelate functionality is providing greater insights for employee engagement. “TeamRelate pulls it all in together, because you learn what your staff need, want, how to drive them, and how to look after them,’ says Lang.
To support its expansion, Cornwall Care plans to recruit specialist nurses, healthcare practitioners, and managers, and use innovative new telehealth technology to support general practitioner admissions and consultations in people’s homes.
Lang sees Cornwall Care’s relationship with Ceridian as a partnership that has been built on honest conversations throughout the care provider’s rapid implementation of Dayforce.
“There’s so much integrity in the service and the support that we've had with Ceridian,” she says. “Dayforce has become an intrinsic part of how we take care of our people, and something which holds their hand at every point of their employment.”