What Healthcare HR Teams Can Learn From 2020
The novel coronavirus has had an enormous impact on healthcare at every level. While much of the attention has focused on the clinical side of COVID-19, from quarantine to diagnosis to treatment, the operational and workforce areas of healthcare have also been affected.
Here are some of the things that healthcare HR leaders can learn from the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Rethinking Hiring and Onboarding
In the world of COVID-19, healthcare HR professionals have had to take a new view of their policies for both clinical and non-clinical employees. This means rethinking the way they recruit, hire, and train new employees. Videoconferencing and other virtual options have taken the place of in-person job fairs interviews, and online training and onboarding have taken the place of many onsite options. Adopting such changes can let candidates know that their new employers are committed to safety as well as success.
The rapid changes implemented during the COVID-19 public health emergency have emphasized the need for effective, timely communications to healthcare employees at all levels, in every department. Team members need to be told as soon as possible about changes that may include remote work policies, safety protocols, employee benefits, or COVID-19 testing requirements.
Healthcare leaders must choose, develop, and implement an appropriate communications plan to make sure everyone gets the information they need, when they need it. This may include adding new communications systems and technologies to speed up and streamline the communications process.
Understanding Employee Needs
Understandably, healthcare employees have had a wide range of questions and concerns about their jobs during the pandemic. Healthcare employers have had to address these challenges, from workplace safety concerns to remote work scheduling to mental health needs. More than ever, employers have had to rethink work from their employees’ perspectives. This includes details such as:
- Who has to be in the office and who can work at home
- How to reconfigure offices for social distancing and employee safety
- What benefits are most important to employees
- Promoting mental and physical health among team members
Healthcare-related jobs are already physically and emotionally demanding, made even more so by the novel coronavirus pandemic. This makes it increasingly important for healthcare HR leaders to identify and address employee needs. Issues such as burnout and turnover may become more pronounced, especially for newer providers and support staff. HR teams must create a plan to address employee engagement, fatigue, and turnover when the pandemic begins to wind down.
Being thoughtful and creative can help healthcare HR leaders address employee concerns while demonstrating understanding and willingness to meet these challenges.
COVID-19 has undeniably brought extensive changes in healthcare. Industry leaders have had to respond to rapidly changing information, making quick decisions under enormous pressure. They've had to develop more flexible workforces and processes to stay ahead of the pandemic.
At the same time, healthcare leaders have had to make decisions while facing an uncertain future. The post-COVID world remains unknown, meaning that the flexibility and agility being practiced during the pandemic will continue to be crucial for healthcare employers.
These are just a few areas where healthcare HR teams have seen the effects of the novel coronavirus and the industry’s responses to it. Additional lessons are likely to emerge as the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve.