When it comes to creating a great workplace culture at healthcare organisations, HR leaders have a large job in front of them as they consider both staff and patient outcomes. These outcomes are closely tied together as hospitals with highly engaged employees tend to have higher patient satisfaction scores. Here are four of the hottest culture trends that will impact healthcare organisations in 2020:
Update: The way we work shifted dramatically overnight. In Q1 of 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic hit. Businesses and their employees are being forced to change how they work in some unprecedented ways. While most employees transitioned to remote work, many are left working on the front lines with new social distancing requirements. Confusion, anxiety, and fear are palpable. How will employees adapt to this change in work environment, process, and roles? How can companies help employees be calm, productive, and healthy?
O.C. Tanner pulse surveys show 40% of employees globally are worried about losing their job, while 60% worry about lost income. 65% of employees report feeling a “tense” work environment, and 46% of employees say they are less productive at work. There’s a 221% increase in fearfulness among employees, and a 135% increase in feeling isolated.
During a time of great uncertainty and change, many companies are struggling with how to take care of their people and keep their businesses operating.
What companies can do: In times of crisis, it is a company’s responsibility to help employees thrive. This includes many things: ensuring employees are safe at work, giving them access to the tools and resources they need to do their jobs, prioritizing employee wellbeing, and communicating honestly, accurately, and frequently. Organizations are taking the necessary steps: 92% of companies took appropriate actions to make sure their employees were safe at work. Video communication from senior leaders nearly doubled. The number of flexible leave policies increased 95%. Now is the time to make employees your most important asset. Take care of their needs, help them stay connected in a time of physical disconnection, and show appreciation for their work and efforts, especially those on the front line. If you take care of your people, they will take care of your business.
This means we need to understand how employees are feeling and what they want from work. Here the 4 culture trends for 2020 (as they existed before the pandemic):
According to the 2020 Global Culture Report, 46% of healthcare employees feel burned out. With such long shifts and intensely emotional work, it’s no wonder why. Burnout leads to poorer patient care and higher rates of infection. As clinicians become emotionally distant, patient satisfaction drops.
What healthcare organisations can do: You may not be able to lower the number of hours required to work or offer work-from-home options or scheduling flexibility, but you can help your people manage their stress better. Focus on improving employee wellbeing (physical, emotional, and social wellbeing). Create positive everyday experiences so employees feel connected to their work, peers, and your organisation. Have staff practice relationship-based care so employees feel more connected to patients, their jobs, and a purpose. Show how their work makes a difference by recognising their accomplishments. Creating a great workplace culture can help mitigate—and even prevent—employee burnout, even in the most demanding healthcare environments.
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