Social worker speaking with man and child

Unlocking a Healthy Nonprofit Workforce: The Power of Case Management Solutions

Posted in: Blog
By: Greg Rideout

Believe it or not, it was just three years ago that the country essentially closed down in an effort to contain the COVID-19 virus.  While all businesses, for profit and nonprofit, attempted to pivot sufficiently and successfully in order to survive, soon dire reporting around job losses began to fill all our media streams.  Thankfully, the country’s economic prognosis started to improve a little over one year later and companies shifted from significant layoffs to major hiring efforts.  While this should have been the easiest time to welcome new hires, a large percentage of the unemployed population seemed disinterested.  While government-funded financial support likely bolstered this disinterest, individuals taking this stance also spoke about toxic work environments: too much work for too little pay,  unsupportive bosses, and a lack of work/life balance.  To make matters worse, those who remained employed through the height of the pandemic started citing the same frustrations and media outlets soon shifted to cover the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting trend.  Within the nonprofit sector, these economic phenomena were even more problematic as it was clear that fewer and fewer of America’s newest generation of full-time employees were choosing careers in social services.  

While it is true that today’s workforce, even in the nonprofit space, wants to be paid what they believe they are worth, they are also prioritizing a healthy work environment.  How is healthy defined?  In numerous polls, individuals have cited a sense of belonging and inclusion; opportunities to grow; supportive and engaged supervisors; a sense that their work is impactful; and healthy work/life balance.  As the title of this piece suggests, believe it or not, the right case management platform might also be your human resources solution, positively impacting the health of an organization as defined by today’s job seekers and current employees alike.

At Exponent Partners, we have extensive expertise in social impact-focused case management implementation for human services organizations. The right case management platform can provide an employment experience today’s nonprofit workforce and job seeking population are looking for from their employer. 

  1. Sense of Belonging and Inclusion: The right case management platform actually brings teams closer, even if working hybrid or fully remote schedules.  All the work being contributed by various members of a team or even across teams is charted in the same client record.  Further, reporting is accessible by all, so that teams can collectively engage in inclusive, data-informed decision- making relative to the future program model and services.  
  2. Opportunities to Grow: The right case management platform  can provide an employee and their supervisor the opportunity to set measurable developmental goals on annual performance appraisals.  For the employee who is looking to grow in the organization, these goals can speak to the development of new skills and higher achievement levels coveted by nonprofit leadership.
  3. Supportive and Engaged Supervisors: Leading case management platforms  provide program managers with real-time dashboards that can be customized to reflect both program and individual employee performance.  As a result, the supervisor enters supervision sessions well-informed and ready to support the employee in areas in which they may be struggling but also celebrate the employee’s successes.
  4. Sense of Impact: Dashboards are not just for managers; case management platforms can also be calibrated to  provide employees with a real-time dashboard.  Again, these dashboards can often be customized to reflect what team members believe to be the key variables that speak to the impact the individual employee and the program is having on program participants.  For the employee seeking a mission-driven position, this daily, visual representation of the work is key.
  5. Work/Life Balance: Unlike other single point solutions, industry-leading case management platforms provide the 360 degree view of an agency participant to create the job efficiencies that support work/life balance.  Sophisticated platforms also allow for migration or integration with other systems used within the organization and as discussed relative to dashboards, robust reporting.  These attributes generate incredible work efficiencies, including 1) the need to collect key data points only once despite multiple enrollments; 2) the ability to quickly track program adherence via referral follow through, progress notes, class or group attendance, or progress on service plan goals; and 3) ease in producing reports to funders and collecting key statistics for proposals for new funding.  The result? Gone are the 10-12 hour work days in order to complete all direct care work and complete all the associated administrative tasks.

Understanding which case management platform is the best fit for your organization can be challenging. The team at Exponent Partners has extensive experience with implementing a number of industry-leading case management platforms and understanding which system is the best fit for the client organization. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help your organization achieve radically better impact.