Customer Story

Lutheran Aged Care Albury implements digital HR transformation

The future of aged care requires a transformation from paper to digital HR. And Lutheran Aged Care is experiencing greater workforce management efficiencies.
  • Streamlined multiple systems into a single solution

  • Reduced compliance risk through elimination of manual processes

  • Prioritized employee and resident experience


Lutheran Aged Care has been in operation since 1960, and provides residential facilities, homecare services, and independent living options across New South Wales, graciously serviced by its passionate team of over 350 staff and 100 volunteers.


Albury, New South Wales, Australia


The aged care sector stands at a critical juncture, grappling with an array of challenges from an ageing population and increasing regulatory scrutiny to technological lag and labour shortages. These challenges not only shape the quality of care for older Australians but also influence the operational efficiency and long-term sustainability of care providers in the sector.

In a recent Dayforce webinar, “Aged Care Spotlight: Rethink the future of care with technology,” we had the opportunity to gain deeper insights into these pressing issues. Among the industry experts who contributed their perspectives was Louise Shields, Organisational Development Manager at Lutheran Aged Care Albury.

With over five decades of experience in providing aged care services, Lutheran Aged Care Albury understands the complexities and hurdles inherent in the industry. Their presentation focused on a critical aspect that is often overlooked but essential for the sector's evolution: digital HR transformation.

Escaping the paper habit

“We had a very strong commitment to paper,” admits Shields. “Our Care Management Systems was the only widely used system that we had in place and there was a real reluctance by staff to explore or use any other systems.”

But as sector regulations evolved and relying solely on paper became risky and untenable, the Lutheran team knew they had to change. “We got to a point where we could no longer accept that this culture was a reliable best practice, and nor was it a single source of truth,” she explained. “There was simply too much risk in this way of doing business.”

Fellow webinar presenter Nigel Glasspool, Client Director at Pitcher Partners Melbourne, highlighted the risks of manual tasks becoming embedded in day-to-day operations, noting, “any process that requires significant manual intervention is a red flag and needs to be thought of in terms of technology and how a system might assist you to deal with that issue.”

Beyond paper: The drive for transformation

But the organisation's shift wasn't just about ditching paper. It was also about optimising operations across the board. “We realised that this manual culture had an influence on everything, from our hiring and training processes to the amount of time we were spending on administrative tasks and double handling,” Louise explained. They saw that this was stunting the development of their staff’s IT skills and creating a negative mindset about technology.

Recognising the need for change, the board made a commitment to invest significantly in the team. In 2016, Lutheran Aged Care Albury introduced an off-the-shelf HR system, along with iPads, and other technology. However, despite their efforts, their tech landscape remained fragmented.

“The main system was often very frustrating for staff to use. We had multiple interfaces, and it was difficult to modify components such as business workflows,” she noted.

Unifying systems for a sustainable future

Two years ago, they made the monumental decision to integrate their four separate systems into one cohesive system, Dayforce, which was launched in October 2022. The key goals were to consolidate systems, mitigate risks, streamline administration, enhance employee experience, and tighten up key processes.

“We wanted a system that was going to be bigger than us. We knew that the sector was going to change considerably, and we wanted to tighten up on key processes, particularly around recruitment and onboarding,” Shields said.

From paperwork to patient care: The transformational impact of Dayforce

Having the support of a reliable workforce management solution has drastically reduced the manual burden, and this has allowed the Lutheran team to reprioritise and focus more on caring for residents.

“The new system saves our people a lot of time. They’re not caught up in trying to contact someone from payroll to figure out what the system is doing or trying to manually arrange shift swaps with colleagues.”

Glasspool pointed out that rostering inefficiencies are not uncommon in aged care. Many organisations are juggling different systems and applications, which leads to an inaccurate understanding of staffing needs. Implementing automated timesheets is crucial for adapting to changing pay regulations, ensuring that employees are paid correctly and on time.

Dayforce has streamlined the process for both new starters and existing staff members, and this has had positive effects on the delivery of care.

“People arrive on the floor more quickly because they can clock on and off on their devices. New starters have been able to complete a lot of their essential training before their first day. So not only are we getting new starters on the floor quicker, they’re also more prepared for those essential elements of their role,” Shields said.

Shaping aged care's future: Lessons in transformation

Lutheran Aged Care Albury’s experience offers valuable lessons for other aged care providers.

  • Take your time: Shields reminds us that everyone involved in an HR technology project also has a day job — and these take precedence over technology implementation. Allow more time for projects like this and be aware that stakeholders may be pulled away for care-related reasons.
  • Centralised ownership: The Lutheran team was deliberate in its ownership of the system and continued to engage people as the project evolved.
  • Clarity in objectives: One of the most important lessons is to be extremely clear on your goals from the outset. The Lutheran team aimed to consolidate systems and streamline administrative processes, specifically focusing on key areas like recruitment and onboarding.
  • Process review: Before implementing any new system, a thorough review of existing business processes is essential. This evaluation helps to identify gaps, inefficiencies, and opportunities for improvement. This was especially important for Lutheran Aged Care Albury as the organisation was replacing four separate systems with Dayforce. Shields advises to be really clear on how you want the process to perform and then let the system do its job.
  • Anticipate resistance to change: Lutheran Aged Care Albury experienced reluctance among staff members to adopt new technologies initially. This highlights the need to be prepared for internal resistance and to develop strategies for overcoming this obstacle.
  • Simplicity in training: When rolling out new systems or technologies, the more complicated the training, the more resistance from the workforce. Shields recommends not overcomplicating messages and using short-term, meaningful, and relevant training materials.
  • User-friendly systems: As Lutheran Aged Care Albury found, having a user-friendly, single system is vital for staff adoption. The previous HR system they adopted was frustrating for the staff, leading them to revert to paper-based functions in some cases.
  • Employee experience matters: In any change management strategy, the experience of the employees should be a primary focus. Shields emphasised the importance of giving employees control over some of the processes previously managed on their behalf - this ensured the new system was not just beneficial for the organisation but also for the people who would use it every day.

As the industry continues to navigate challenges ranging from regulation to community expectations, organisations like Lutheran Aged Care Albury serve as a testament to the power of embracing change, optimising systems, and a human-first approach. Through their journey, they prove that with commitment and clarity, even the most traditional organisations can successfully adapt to the demands of the modern aged care system.

Access the on-demand webinar to access more expert insights from the aged care sector.

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