8 Healthcare HR New Year Resolutions for 2018

8 Healthcare HR New Year Resolutions for 2018
Marketing Director

The healthcare industry is under constant turmoil, caused by a sea of changes ranging from payment models to regulatory oversight and evolving accreditation standards and industry best practices. As we head into 2018, the following are a few resolutions to consider as you plan for a successful new year for your healthcare organization and your workforce.

Here’s a list of 8 ideas to help make 2018 a great new year for your healthcare organization.

1. Practice Purpose-Driven Leadership

According to experts, an executive’s most important role is to be a steward of an organization’s purpose. “Business experts make the case that purpose is a key to exceptional performance while psychologists describe it as the pathway to greater well-being,” Nick Craig and Scott A. Snook explain in a Harvard Business Review article.

With the ongoing changes affecting the healthcare industry, leading with purpose can help organizations motivate their workforce in a unified effort to achieve better outcomes. As you start the new year, spend some time reflecting on your organization’s purpose and how well you are communicating that purpose to your staff.

2. Improve Time Management

One can argue that time is the most valuable resource because it is one that can never be replaced once it is gone. January is a great time for personal reflection, especially when it comes to how we spend our time. Just over a year ago, I started a Bullet Journal because I wanted to start a new habit to manage my time better and improve my productivity. I even shared some tips in an article on how healthcare HR can use it to stay ahead of strategic goals.

Whether you decide to start a Bullet Journal in 2018 or prefer a different approach that better suits your needs, I find that simply taking the time to reflect on how you want to spend your time can help you stay focused on your goals and productivity will follow.

3. Encourage Mentorship Opportunities

The healthcare industry, unfortunately, does not fair as well as other industries in employee retention rates. However, there are a few ways you can improve retention at your organization and overcome these challenges. One of the ways you can make a difference is by offering mentorship opportunities, especially for new team members.

“Organizations that embraced the ‘gift of mentoring’ when done the right way will be well on their way to addressing the challenges of employee retention and high turnover rates,” Doug Lawrence, Founder of TalentC, states in a Hppy article. He recommends starting with a mentor pilot program to ensure you start the journey on the right foot and improve return on investment.

4. Facilitate Healthcare Innovation

Healthcare leaders have the opportunity to create an environment that is conducive to innovation. In 2018, consider what changes you can implement to create such an atmosphere for your workforce. In fact, experts suggest innovation is key to survival. “Innovation no longer is a novelty; it’s a necessity,” Aurora Aguilar states in a Modern Healthcare article. Consider visiting the Transformation Hub section of their website for stories on how healthcare systems have empowered entrepreneurial staff to solve their own problems, among others.

5. Promote Employee Work/Life Balance

With relatively high first-year employee turnover rates in healthcare compared to other industries, helping your staff achieve better work/life balance can help turn the tide in this key performance indicator (KPI). A study by global management consulting firm Hay Group found that “more than one in four employees at organizations who perceived no support for work/life balance plan to leave their employers within the next two years, compared to 17 percent of employees who feel supported.”

Not only can supporting your staff’s work/life balance help with employee retention, but it can help promote employee wellness, which brings us to our next resolution.

6. Improve Employee Wellness

Employee wellness is an important initiative for healthcare organizations for a variety of reasons. First, healthy employees are more productive employees, according to a new study by researchers Ian Larkin, Timothy Gubler, and Lamar Pierce bolstering the case for corporate wellness programs.

Second, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim framework developed as an approach to optimizing health system performance calls for improving the health of populations as one of the three dimensions. The healthcare workforce, therefore, is a component of the overall population health.

Third, employee wellness initiatives can yield significant cost savings for healthcare employers. Southcoast Health System in New Bedford, Massachusetts, achieved $3 million in savings in one year and reduced the number of at-risk population members by 32 percent, according to a case study featured in Becker’s Hospital Review.

7. Achieve Better Engagement

Employee engagement remains an ongoing challenge for healthcare employers. In fact, it was theme for the 2016 American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) Annual Conference. Experts suggest leadership needs to become more involved in improving this metric.

“Employee engagement needs to be one of the top KPI’s for the management team,” Taro Fukuyama, CEO at Fond, explained during a panel at the Influence HR 2017 Conference.

As you start the new year, consider what actions you and your team have taken to support this initiative and how you can use the data you have available to plan your next step. “HR has to be more agile to make sure they take action much more frequently,” Fukuyama suggests.

8. Foster Positivity

A high-pressure culture can worsen some of the biggest challenges facing healthcare organizations. Drama researcher Cy Wakeman, one of the keynote speakers at this year’s ASHHRA conference, demonstrates how positivity can help relieve workplace drama and improve productivity.

Moreover, “a large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates… that a positive environment will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line,” Emma Sepalla and Kim Cameron explain in a 2015 Harvard Business Review article.

As you begin the new year at your organization, consider how you can use positivity to promote a better work culture that will help you achieve your goals and improve organizational KPIs.

While 2018 will be a year with no shortage of challenges for healthcare organizations, taking this time to reflect on the next 12 months can make a big difference in how you achieve your goals. Did I miss an important healthcare initiative that is part of your New Year’s resolutions? Please share in the comments section below.

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