Healthcare workers navigate complex and stressful environments on a daily basis. They are still largely feeling the shockwaves of the pandemic, whilst dealing with older systemic problems in the healthcare sector. Add to this general staff concerns, financial pressures, medical systems changing, lack of clarity about the future and burnout. All this means that they are really managing a lot, all while doing their jobs and taking care of their patients. These pressures have a knock-on effect and HR in medical practices are really feeling the brunt of it. Here is what they are having to manage, and what strategic HR managers are doing about it.
Managing staff’s changing needs
Having enough medical staff is key, but keeping them is even harder. Employees are making the decision to change jobs because they are unhappy with their work environment, pay, or other parts of their present job. Also, with petrol prices going up and the pandemic making people want to achieve a better work-life balance, demand for work-from-home and remote jobs keeps going up. Even though it's not always possible to work from home, skilled candidates look for flexibility in jobs that require them to do tasks in person. As people leave and the surviving staff works hard to keep giving the same level of care and attention to patients, keeping track of hours and maintaining records of employees becomes less of a focus. This causes problems with both, putting more stress on staff who are already short-handed.
So, keeping employees and focusing on their needs is coming into sharp focus for HR. Here, the attention needs to shift to making sure employees are happy and healthy at work. There are also efforts to improve team building and employee involvement and find new ways to help long-term employees who are feeling overwhelmed or burned out. Employers have to find a middle ground that puts output and getting work done first but doesn't lead to employee burnout or long-term vacancies.
Finding skilled practitioners
HR's most important job is always to find new employees. But it's a bigger worry when the people who are already working are overloaded. Further to this, benefits packages, possible sign-on bonuses, and fair salaries are common ways to get people to join a practice who have the experience and knowledge that is needed. But these things are an expensive part of the process. Training and development are also becoming more popular, and when employees don't have enough opportunities, it can motivate them to look for other jobs.
So, Healthcare HR needs to factor all these perks and needs into the hiring equation. This often begins with finding out what the individual aspirations are of each healthcare worker and then building attractive bespoke packages that demonstrate how your practice will take care of them and facilitate professional satisfaction and growth.
You can only go so far on the Rand. When it comes to setting goals, spending money on technology is a good idea, but it may mean less money for other things. Medical practitioners really have to weigh the benefits of new technology against the things they may have to give up in other areas to pay for it. One of these sacrifices could be having less money for things like gifts, bonuses, and staff lunches to show respect for employees. Management might think that's a good trade-off, but workers might not think that the value of the new technology is worth the loss of employee appreciation efforts.
The cost of turnover, on the other hand, is high and can add to the stress on the yearly budget. HR staff must find a way to train new employees, pay for benefits packages, and offer hiring incentives, all while keeping long-time employees happy. A high rate of staff turnover can also cause patients to leave, which means less money coming in and even more cuts to the budget.
Gaining clarity of expectations
The day only has so many hours. Employees get frustrated when they have to attend a meeting, especially if the meeting isn't well-run and efficient. It can be hard for practices to track and improve output, and this problem gets worse when staff aren’t told about changes to policies and procedures. Even though it's important to hold meetings to keep staff members updated, it's even more important to organise those meetings in a way that keeps everyone happy at work. When you don't tell your workers about upcoming changes to the day-to-day running of your practice, they might feel like they aren't important or part of the team. This, in turn, can cause a drop in output, make management angry, and cause more staff to leave.
In the healthcare field, burnout is always a worry. HR teams should make every effort to find out why employees leave. If it is stress related they should try and reduce workers' stress and make it easier for them to connect. Mental health care for in-house staff should be encouraged and facilitated if necessary. At every point, it is important to provide high-quality health care, but also pay close attention to what is happening in-house. Remembering that these professionals are really just people, with human vulnerabilities, limitations and needs as well.
The bottom line
The health of your medical practice is a moving target. It not only concerns your patient base but also pivots around your internal staff complement; how satisfied they are and how productive they are able to be under the circumstances. It is well worth investing in tools, personnel and resources to help your staff get the most out of their roles and show your appreciation for what they do. If you need access to quick working capital to get this HR strategy moving, consider a Merchant Cash Advance, which is tailor-made for medical practices. So contact Merchant Capital and fund your medical practice in the next 48 hours.