Nurturing healthcare workforce needs in times of crisis

work from home quarantine

January 13, 2021By Erica Doherty

Right now, it’s especially important to empower, support, and nurture all hospital and health system workers, particularly the clinical staff caring for patients. At the same time, many organizations have needed to quickly pivot to support a remote or hybrid workforce, reskill or retrain workers for roles other than what they were hired to do, and maintain or even build a culture that makes team members feel engaged and supported. It’s a lot to unpack during a year of unpacking lots of new ways of living and working. I’m confident, however, that we can all get through this by supporting and encouraging one another.

Here are my top-line thoughts on our “new normal,” and some guidance to help bolster and support hospital and health system HR teams.

Nurturing leads to engagement

Managers are now expected to support, motivate, and create a sense of belonging for a hybrid workforce, and keep data and technology secure and compliant. Those same managers need support and training to lead their teams as well in this new environment. Giving managers the tools that offer remote worker profiles, a remote workforce best practice guide, and learning and development tools to reskill or retrain employees for critically needed roles will help keep your organization running smoothly, and help offer teams a sense of inclusion and belonging. Leaders should also utilize tools that engage leaders to help their teams move forward by understanding how their employees will work collaboratively, how they are aligned, and what makes them different or even vulnerable.

Keep your finger on the organizational pulse

With a more fluid healthcare environment comes the need to reconfigure key performance indicators (KPIs). Being able to tap into metrics on talent pipelines, flight risks, pulse survey data, and more offers a way to assess how well your organization is performing, and to make changes to provide the best support to your employee

Filling roles and improving diversity

Using a science-driven tool can help organizations identify the right person for the job regardless of gender or ethnic background, thus adding objectivity to talent decision processes and reducing inherent human biases, and promoting the workplace A tool like this offers an objective, data-driven way to impact diversity goals, not only through hiring, but these data-fueled behavioral insights can then be used systematically by the organization in the onboarding, coaching, and future succession planning throughout the employee life cycle.

Ensure workflow efficiency and worker safety

Staff safety has become a number one priority with hospitals and health systems, and developing tools to track staff, patients, and equipment locations in real-time help to contact trace for any type of communicable disease and mitigate infection spread throughout a facility. As part of this, staff needs an easy way to notify their colleagues around them that they may be in danger and need help. These types of tools help keep workers safe and improve communication to enhance patient flow, gain insights into existing protocols, and drive lasting change in patient and staff safety.

Balance clinician workloads

Nurses fundamentally understand that no two patients are the same—even if they have the same illness. That is why staffing based on acuity can play a key role in decreasing assignment variations and care delivery and helps create balanced workloads with equitable patient assignments. Equity in staffing plays a role in nursing satisfaction as nurses who feel overworked may become burned out. Providing nurses with ample time to engage and provide excellent patient care helps reduce adverse events and leads to improved patient outcomes.

The pandemic has brought many challenges, but we know that despite them all, we’ve learned some valuable lessons, some of which will likely carry forward post-pandemic and become accepted norms in the way hospitals and health systems function. Ultimately, we all want the same result, we want to do everything we can to contribute to our employees’ well-being.

Erica Doherty, Industry and Solution Strategy Director, Human Capital Management

Learn more at the upcoming HealthLeaders on-line educational summit webinar, Moving Forward Together: Strategies to ensure the health, safety, and job satisfaction of your healthcare workforce.

Date: Thursday, January 28, 2021

Time: 01:20 PM, EST

Duration: 1 hour

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