5 Customer Service Principles for Healthcare HR
Providing superior customer service is critical to any organization’s long-term success. It allows organizations to develop strong, meaningful connections that build trusting and lasting relationships.
Like customer service, healthcare HR professionals must establish welcoming and personable environments where teams feel appreciated, comfortable and respected. This increases engagement, promotes productivity and enables them to perform at their highest potential.
“Great customer service is driven by more than just being nice,” says Brian Silver, PreCheck’s Client Services Manager. “Accessibility, responsiveness, and a positive attitude drive the best service experiences, and healthcare HR professionals can definitely benefit from these principles.”
To play a leading role in building effective and productive teams in healthcare, HR leaders should consider borrowing the following key principles from customer service professionals:
Transparency is a fundamental yet powerful concept that can make a lasting impression between employers and employees, regardless of company size. However, it must be evident from the top down and the bottom up. Hppy contributor Paula Clapon recommends the following:
- Communicate any changes in company vision and values,
- Involve employees in the decision making; and
- Make financial data available.
“Having access to company data, especially financial information, offers a sense of fairness and openness. Everyone is benchmarked against known numbers and people can gain a stronger sense of autonomy, leading to higher engagement,” Clapon says.
Fostering a culture of effective communication is key to developing a productive and engaging workforce. It ensures employees have a common understanding of strategy and goals, promotes a positive attitude toward sustainable change, and supports a two-way dialogue between management and its employees, just to name a few. Failure to communicate will lead to a negative shift in any or all the above benefits and can have a serious detrimental effect on your company’s operational efficiency, patient satisfaction and ultimately, your profits. Some things you might want to consider are your tone, timing, language, and the appropriate channels that fit your audience and message needs. If you can get these points right, you can have your team engaging with your messages and undertaking any actions you require of them.
The best way to empower teams is for organizational leaders to be visible and show they’re genuinely invested in their growth and development. Connect with employees on a regular basis to let them know you’re available. Be open to speaking in groups or individually about issues that concern them. You may even ask them about their daily operations of the unit and inquire about the challenges they are facing that limit their ability to provide quality care, says Marissa Matsiukhova, an educator for the Nurse Plus Academy, in a FierceHealthcare article.
Promoting a culture of respect and equality among physicians, nurses and allied-health professionals is crucial to team building. For three consecutive years, the 2017 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement executive summary by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that the largest percentage of respondents indicated that respectful treatment of all employees at all levels was a very important contributor to their job satisfaction. Experts suggest developing guidelines that provide coaching and parameters on expected behaviors, and hold management accountable to ensure the behaviors are promoted and followed across the continuum.
Building a strong foundation of trust between employees and management is imperative. According to the SHRM summary, sixty-one percent of employees say this aspect is very important to their job satisfaction. It fosters honest conversations and allows employees to openly express themselves. Experts recommend leaders to get out of their offices and commit to openness and create an open-door policy that encourages employees to bring forth comments, questions or grievances without fear of negative consequences.As you can see, many of these principles often overlap and even complement each other. They each have the potential to influence many organizational outcomes in the workplace, including employee engagement, productivity, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and much more.
How does your organization foster these key principles? Please share in the comments section below!