Extendicare Peterborough

Using Technology to Build Up Employee Engagement and Narrow Geographical Distance

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Extendicare has about 30,000 full and part time employees across seven provinces in Canada. Being a healthcare organization that provides care to mostly seniors both through our long-term care centres and our home care division, our frontline employees, mostly nursing and personal support workers, deal directly with patients, health processes and charts etc. A large number of our employees provide care to patients in their homes.

While they have access to health-related technology that is necessary for them to do their job and maintain resident and patient records, they are mostly not able to directly access our intranet which is only accessible to office-based employees who work with a computer.

We realize that direct employee engagement is crucial to the success of our organization. By engaging them well, we keep them happy to work for us as well as ensure they are up to date with their professional practices without having to depend on supervisor communication. We know that engaged employees are happy employees, motivated to do better in their jobs. We want to help our patients and residents live better and this can only be done with a satisfied employee base.

We are currently undertaking a very unique project where we are using Word Press to create a new intranet which will be accessible to all our employees AND will allow mobile access on their phones through an app. This is particularly key to mobile employees such as our home care workers and visiting nurses) is very key.

The new intranet will allow our team members to see what other divisions are doing - something they were not able to see before, share resources such as policies and training materials. Learn about their colleagues - everyone has a short bio attached to their photo so one can do some prep work before a meeting. We will also learn about innovations going on in other departments.

What is so exciting as well is that the interface is based on an individual profile. Each employee sees his or her own profile so the platform is more about THE EMPLOYEE than the organization. You can see your division's activities, news, colleagues news and photos as well as health information, risk alerts etc. This is unlike our current platform where all corporate information is in one spot and your job is to figure out where to find it.

The fact that it is going to be mobile on our cell phones is a testament of our new approach to modern living where most people get their news on their phones. As mentioned earlier, our team members are out in the field visiting patients and need to be up to speed with news and views. They also need access to policies when they are out in the field in case there is a need to confirm some processes.

The biggest win that this will bring our team is to be able to reach frontline employees working in the field.

This is a very exciting project for us and we are looking forward to our fall launch. Stay tuned for more!