When we refer to an ISP or Individual Service Plan, we are talking about the document used by your agency and support team to define the agreement between you and the person receiving services as to what services and support will be provided to meet specified goals and objectives for a set period.

“A test for something being person-centered is that it works for humans.” Michael Smull

Building a strong connection with your direct care team is essential for effective case management and client care. In today’s fast-paced world, technology has provided us with various tools to connect with others quickly and easily. From video calls and messaging apps to emails and real-time alerts, there are numerous ways to stay in touch with your team. In this blog post, we will explore five effective ways to connect with your direct care team and enhance collaboration and communication.

In the world of modern communication, mastering the art of email is paramount. Whether you’re reaching out to colleagues, clients, or customers, understanding the essentials of effective email communication can be a game-changer. From crafting compelling subject lines to striking the right tone, we’ve compiled eight indispensable tips to elevate your email game and make sure your messages not only land but also resonate. Let’s dive into the world of impactful email communication!

Money Flowing 

The lifeblood of any business is the money flowing through to the people keeping the business going. That is, our employees. Especially in the world of social work and caregiving where people are both the reason for the business and the mechanism for the business alike.

I am the Compensation Supervisor at Compass and whenever I get introduced to new employees, when they find out my role, i.e. the one who gets them paid, they like to joke that they will work extra hard to keep me happy. I’ve had a lot of free coffee offers, none of which have ever transpired, but that’s probably for the best.

One Stop Shop

As the Compensation Supervisor, it’s my job to make sure that my people get paid on time and accurately and my number one tool to get that done is QuickSolvePlus (QSP). I have been using QSP since I started doing payroll back in 2013 and I’ve been thankful the entire time for its ability to be our one-stop-shop for client and staff data management, scheduling, and payroll information. If I had to pick the top 3 things that you should always do when running payroll, whether you’ve been using QSP for ten years or ten days, I’d pick these:

3 Things You Should Always Do When Running Payroll

  1. Verify that the dates you enter to run your Payroll Processing Report (PPR) are matching the pay period you are intending to pay out. I always have a payroll schedule in front of my face as those dates dictate the majority of when and how I structure my work. There have been times when I went to run my PPR for the pay period I’d be paying out and I either entered in the wrong year (especially around the first of the year when you’re used to typing the previous year) or I used the wrong pay period start date because that was the last date on my mind. Luckily, I’ve always been able to catch the error before it became an actual pay error but save yourself the hassle by double-checking. Like the old woodworking saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once.” My new payroll processing saying goes, “Check the dates twice, run the PPR once.”
  2. Create a set of controls to spot anomalies. Depending on the size of your company, after you’ve downloaded the PPR, you might be looking at 40 lines of payroll data or 4000. When I run payroll, it’s the latter. For me to be able to spot errors within that many lines of information, I’d have to have a supercomputer in my brain. Because I don’t, I’ve created a system of controls that I will run through on each payroll to spot numbers and names that are problematic. For example, I’m aware that at the time of this writing, our state’s minimum wage is $15.50/hr. I will use a filter within Excel to search for any rates of pay that are below that amount. I also know how much our highest-paid employee makes and I can use the filter to check for any rates that are showing higher than that amount. There are myriad controls you can have to spot potential errors that may have been created by any one of the various inputs that go into the data showing up on your PPR. A schedule may have been entered incorrectly by a supervisor, a staff’s rate of pay may have been entered incorrectly by someone in HR or a client’s POS may have been entered incorrectly by your billing coordinator. Regardless, use your power as the last set of eyes on your data to look for outliers, anomalies, and errors. You will be saving yourself and your company time and money by doing so.
  3. Create a payroll checklist that you work down every time you process payroll. Similar to a set of controls, you’ll want to write out at some point, each step required to successfully process your payroll. For some people and companies, this may be all of three steps. Download the PPR from QSP, upload it into your payroll process software/platform, and click Submit.  For others, including ours, there are a number of extra steps that are crucial to making sure everyone gets paid properly. If you have a bonus plan, mileage reimbursement, or some sort of payroll correction that is only done once a month or quarter or when mercury is in retrograde, you’ll want to make sure that your checklist includes an if/then statement. For example, “If this is the last payday of the month, then run the Mileage Tracking Detail report so you can add it to payroll”, or “If a supervisor or staff has submitted a payroll correction for a previous pay period, then add it to this payroll.”

Even after 10 years of running payroll, the little nuances of our particular payroll can get missed if I don’t continually refer back to my payroll checklist to make sure every report that needed running and every item that needed adding was completed. 

For many, the concept of “going digital” can spark feelings of fear and uncertainty. The human service industry is notorious for its paper-reliant methods of data capture, documentation, and reporting. This is especially true for agencies that have been providing services for a while before there were reliable, industry-specific technology options available.

It was not too long ago that we would have a team of temporarily assigned quality assurance members travel to all offices to review hard copy paperwork, do interviews with staff, and visit client homes. This was very time consuming, and although a successful process too, it was not cost-effective.

Regardless of your individual “why” for leading in this line of work, at the root is a common desire to ensure the health and safety of the people we support.  They say that to err is human, however, that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you are reviewing or writing a special incident report for something you know could have been prevented gives new meaning to this saying.

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) is a system used to track the delivery of home healthcare services by electronically documenting the time and location of a caregiver’s visit in a patient’s home.

It’s no secret that the service industry typically experiences high levels of turnover.  While it’s comforting to know you are not alone, this comfort does not help you solve the staffing challenges you are facing today.  It’s a problem that can certainly be confronted on multiple fronts.  We will outline 4 different ways your software can help you tackle turnover and increase employee retention.  

Data Tracking

We tend to spend significant time and budget resources towards getting employees in the door only to have them exit stage left in under a year.  Our data has shown us that the most critical time in a new staff’s journey is their first year.  This is where we tend to see the most turnover.  This is a perfect example of how data can be your friend and confidant.  The cool thing about data is it can tell a story and that story can help you discover things you may not be aware of.  

When you don’t have all the facts, it can be hard to know how to solve a problem.  If you don’t know why someone is quitting, any solution you try is going to be like shooting in the dark and crossing your fingers to hit the target.  Get curious and start looking for data that can help you make smarter decisions and provide educated solutions.  Some data points we recommend looking out:

-Looking at the time frame for when an employee leaves.  Is it in their first three months, 6 months, 9 months, a year, 2 years, and so on?  This information can help you know where to start.

-Are you looking at who their supervisor is?  Can you see any patterns?  A major reason people leave their jobs is because of an experienced lack of support from their boss.   

-How far did they get in their training plan?  This might tell you something. 

-How is their attendance record?  Did you see the signs early on?

This kind of data tracking can be done manually but most agencies do not have the resources to do this.  The right software should give you the reports you need.  


Gallup Consulting group is known for tracking engagement in the workplace.  One of the engagement questions they ask in their surveys is something along the lines of, “Have you felt appreciated by your supervisor in the last 3 weeks?”  Gallup believes the number 1 reason people leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated.  As directors and managers, we tend to have every intention of showing appreciation, but it often is pushed aside when crisis needs pop up. 

Appreciation in the workplace needs to be a culture shift and the best place to start is with your systems.  Do you have any systems in place that would allow this value to be represented consistently?  A few places where you could start:

Appreciation Languages: Have you heard of the 5 Languages of Appreciation by Gary Chapman?  You can learn more about the concepts here.  What if you knew what made each of your staff feel appreciated?  Imagine what you could do with that information.  The employee profile in QSP can track this for you!    This could go a long way to improve employee retention!

Birthday Acknowledgement – This is a no-brainer.  Your software should be able to tell you when it is your staff’s birthday.  This is an easy way to make your employee feel seen, heard, and celebrated. 

Annual Reviews – When you have an excellent review tool and process, this can boost employee morale.  Your software can help you keep track of when these reviews should take place.  


Have you heard of the 7 Times Rule in communication?  The simple explanation is you need to communicate 7 times in 7 different ways when rolling out any change in your organization.  Many of us can relate to feeling accomplished when we manage to communicate it once!  Now, the thought of trying to communicate the same thing in different ways can feel daunting but this is where you can lean into your systems.  Here are some ways our QSP customers use their software to communicate:

Staff Connects: This tool is designed to track when meaningful connects happen with your supervisors and the people they are leading.  It is a great way to hold your team accountable and provide a framework for your teams.  

Direct Messaging: You can message your staff within QS mobile or through your desktop browser.  This makes it easy to reach out quickly!

SOS Messaging: You can create customized messages that your staff has to acknowledge prior to clocking in.  This can provide you the assurance you need that they have seen the message. 

Schedule Accuracy and Clarity 

Do your staff know when and where they need to be on shift?  Have you ever experienced the headache of cleaning up a payroll error because it was not clear when staff worked?  This can be a nightmare to fix and make you vulnerable to legal troubles.  Not only that, it sends the message to your staff that they can’t trust you or your systems.  

Converting to a software system to manage scheduling and payroll can be a leap.  We get it.  It’s changed.  It’s different.  It will require some work on the front end.  But think about what not having it is costing you.

Now, we’ve given you 4 Ways Your Software Can Help You with Employee Retention. What are you excited to try?

If you are currently using a data management tool, what is something you could implement today?  Schedule time to get the ball rolling.  Don’t wait until you “feel” like you have the bandwidth.  Make this a priority.  

If you are now using a software tool to help you manage your systems, what are you waiting for?  If your current system is working for you, more power to you!  Don’t change what is working but make sure you are at least asking yourself the question, “Is this the most effective way to do this?”