Tip 10 out of 12: What is the best way to handle overnight coverage?

When it comes to overnight coverage, what do you do in your agency? There are so many different philosophies for it in the beginning. Right? When I was part owner, I was also the director of business development and every night of the week, I was on call. And for the first year and a half, it was really difficult to be on call 24/7. Here is a quick story…


I was 26 years old. I was a single man and I was at a party at about 11:30 pm at night with all my friends and I had a little bit to drink and I was enjoying myself. And then a phone call came in and I called Brian and I said “Hey Brian I can’t take this call because I am not in any shape to take it.” The only issues was that he said the same thing. He was at a party with his friends and his wife. So I waited a bit to sober up and then I ended up going. It turned out it wasn’t a big deal and I was able to take care of it.


But at that point is when I realized we have to be doing something better than just being on call 24/7. It’s too much. You’ve got to live your life, you’ve got to have a system that works. And so the system that we did at Care Choice was we would pay our staff more for being on call. How can I earn more income? That’s what everybody wants to do. We paid our office staff $25 per night that they were on call Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.


And then whoever should be on call for the weekend received the hundred dollars compensation for being on call the entire weekend. Now if you didn’t take any phone calls, there were no callouts, and no issues or challenges… great! You did no extra work and made a little extra cash.


What if it was a busy weekend and you had three or four call outs in all these cases, jittery staff, and a whole bunch of things that happened? You’ve got to do, what you’ve got to do to take care of the business. That’s why you’re on call. It ends up being a beautiful thing because I was on call maybe once a quarter because most of the time our staff took care of it. And so that’s what we did.



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