Healthcare HR is ever-evolving, and this year will be no different.
By Zee Johnson
Healthcare has been a whirlwind the past few years as an essential industry during the most globally trying time. But through the trials and triumphs, it continues to evolve in new and innovative ways. Here are some trends that HR leaders should consider to positively influence policies and place their organizations in a winning position.
Implement Hybrid and Remote Working Policies
Contrary to what many think, there are some healthcare roles that can be performed remotely. In fact, Brooke Lewitan, HR manager at Empeon, a software company providing HR solutions for health systems, confirms that the healthcare industry was among the first to work productively from almost anywhere. “In some ways, the healthcare field has been a pioneer in remote work [with] traveling nurses, concierge doctors, home health aides, at-home hospice, etc. This isn’t necessarily acknowledged or even recognized,” she says.
Empeon’s recent trends report found that organizations that offer remote or hybrid work policies are more likely to stand out among competitors and will be first in line in recruiting and retaining top candidates.
Some remote health benefits that were already in use got an even bigger push in the last few years and remain popular today. “Telehealth really opened the sector to the possibilities of the digital revolution,” Lewitan says. “And that meant a number of HR-related adjustments like hiring new types of employees (to support greater digital needs), in new types of working environments (remote, hybrid, on-site), and, often, in new locations (new sets of local employment laws and regulations).”
Lewitan adds that telehealth will continue to help open the door to news ways for healthcare providers to operate and for administrative, clerical, and/or managerial roles to be done remotely while also saving providers money in the end.
Focus on a Culture of People and Well-Being
The report listed culture as one of the most important factors in talent acquisition and retention in healthcare. And a company’s culture, or the lack of a positive one, was a primary reason workers left their positions.
Lewitan says that placing heavy focus on culture and well-being is extremely important, pointing to heightened attrition as an outcome of not doing so. “Most other industries experience staffing shortages occasionally; some have a seasonal pattern,” she says. “In healthcare, there is a chronic undersupply of trained, qualified, and available labor.”
Adopting a people-first culture that addresses and encourages employees’ overall well-being can be done by taking a few steps.
- Provide mental health resources.
- Assist with financial needs.
- Prioritize a healthy work-life balance.
- Improve communication.
Use Technology to Support Decision-Making
Technology allows organizations to be as agile as ever before, preparing them for whatever challenges lie on the horizon. “Healthcare operators will continue to look to stay flexible with their business/workplace model, and they will rely more heavily on technology both to allow caregivers to do their jobs and to allow the business to support them,” Lewitan says. “A robust and flexible IT mindset, as exemplified in things like a hybrid workplace model can help healthcare businesses stay nimble and adapt to/optimize for whatever disruptions may come down the road.”
The report advises leaders to use tools like algorithmic managers and those that aid in data collection to make accurate and informed decisions that will set their organizations up for success. And more importantly, technology enables the removal of existing biases in preexisting HR data, ultimately promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging principles.