Finding and retaining talented employees has always been a top priority for healthcare providers, but over the last year it has become even more of a challenge as the workforce has dramatically shifted in what’s been called the “Great Resignation,” by Anthony Klotz, an associate professor of management at Texas A&M University.
Employee quit rates reached a new record in mid-2021 (SHRM) and 1 in 4 people are actively searching for new employment, according to Workplace Health.
In an article by The Washington Post, employee departures are attributed to four causes: “a backlog of workers who wanted to resign before the pandemic but held on a bit longer; burnout, particularly among frontline workers in health care, food service and retail; ‘pandemic epiphanies’ in which people experienced major shifts in identity and purpose that led them to pursue new careers and start their own businesses; and an aversion to returning to offices after a year or more of working remotely.”
So, how can hospice and palliative care providers support employee morale during such tumultuous times? Here are three ways to boost employee morale in challenging times.
- Understand what employees value most and utilize this data to direct your employee satisfaction and engagement efforts. Workers are more choosy than ever because they can be. They are no longer tolerating long hours, uncomfortable work environments, and rude interactions with co-workers or patients like they once did.
Consider conducting an employee satisfaction and engagement survey to gather insight into what your employees value most and then focus your efforts accordingly. You can’t solve for everything overnight. But you can focus on the greatest pain point to alleviate what may be plaguing your organization most. Your effort to understand your employees and responsive action will go a long way in making them feel heard and supported and, in turn, strengthen their loyalty.
- Address employee burnout by offering support with stress management. Working in healthcare during a pandemic is arguably one of the most challenging jobs. When compounded with a lack of work/life balance, unclear expectations, or dysfunctional processes or workplace dynamics, the resulting stress is not only unhealthy but can be downright unbearable, leading to employee turnover. A recent study found that 90% of doctor’s visits are linked to stress.
Consider implementing a stress management program as part of your wellness programming. You may offer unique benefits and ways of supporting your staff such as mediation rooms, workplace yoga classes, or resiliency training. Or consider adding a mental fitness app such as Calm or Headspace to your benefits package. You could even initiate a gratitude practice as part of your IDG meetings where each attendee states what they are grateful for at the start of each meeting to uplift the mood and create a sense of wellbeing.
- Don’t ignore the need for work/life balance. It is no secret that clinicians and healthcare workers are being asked to work long hours. And while that may be needed at times, it certainly can’t be the norm. Pushing our human endurance beyond its limits will only end up hurting the organization more in the end.
Consider what balance looks like for your organization and what is needed from a staffing standpoint to accommodate this. Is your staff regularly working more than forty hours a week? If so, for how long? And how much longer do you project this may be the case? Identify the root cause of inefficiencies to help workers become more productive.
Software, systems and processes can all improve the flow of communications and eliminate redundant activities. When you consider employees’ lives outside of work and enable them the time to recharge, spend time with loved ones, and enjoy their hobbies, they will show up more fulfilled, more balanced, and happier. And that all translates to the patient experience and reputation of your organization.
We are living in a time of great transformation. It is critical that employers recognize that we are no longer operating by the same rules. Creating a culture of appreciation, safety, transparency, and purpose, with a value on wellbeing, is essential in our modern healthcare organizations.
Curantis Solutions provides a comprehensive and easy-to-use software solution for hospice and palliative care providers. Clinicians learn it quickly and administrators love the efficiency gains of otherwise laborious processes such as IDG meetings. Schedule a demo to see for yourself how Curantis helps you improve employee satisfaction and work/life balance with an efficient EHR. Schedule a demo today!
ENJOY THIS BLOG AUDIO VERSION BELOW.