LONGER AGENCY BUSINESS HOURS:
The staff people covering “off hours” will not be as well versed as necessary in client contact skills and insurance detail.
Looser supervision outside of core hours will allow a less disciplined response, seriousness of purpose, and documentation standard.
“Off hours” work may be treated as less intensive than core hours’ work so payroll costs may not be as productive.
Especially if enabled by frequent overtime, tiredness may inhibit clear thought and good communication on the part of the agency’s staff.
The automated system may not be available at certain hours (due to system back-up or end of day processing) so necessary information may be unavailable and mistaken information may be relayed to or used with a client or other caller.
Establish new hours as a new say of doing business - not as an extra burden on the staff.
Make scheduling a management functions to ensure stable, consistent, and qualified help on hand at all times.
Be sure that all shifts are supervised or staffed with a deeply experienced person, able and willing to give counsel and help callers.
Bring the System Manager into the planning process for the new schedule. Doing back-ups and day-end via remote processing overnight may be options so that the system is always accessible when the agency is open.
Create an on-call system to a manager or system tech to handle system trouble (dare we say “crashes”).
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Copyright 2000 by Virginia M. Bates. Used with permission.