Healthcare Workforce as an Investment Instead of a Cost - Part 2 of 3 (Engagement and Diversity)

by
Vamshi Gunukula
June 17, 2020

In the first part of this series, we described how to view your healthcare workforce as an investment towards outcomes instead of as a cost center.

Focusing on dimensions like staffing flexibility, skill mix, staff preparedness, holistic administrative support and backfill strategy is our idea of smart workforce planning. This consistently leads to overall savings and better health outcomes.

That said, there are two more crucial metrics - which can be measured in quantitative ways! - that any employer must also consider.

·      Workforce Engagement and Productivity

·      Diversity and Inclusion

Industry and societal buy-in has increased for these two dimensions. Here’s how healthcare leaders can incorporate them into their existing staffing framework.

1.    Workforce Engagement and Productivity

Most healthcare organizations already have methods to track, monitor and improve staff productivity.

However, optimization is not merely a static ongoing exercise. It is also a byproduct of enabling top-of-the-license practice for workforce and fostering high staff engagement. While your existing productivity tools will enable root cause analysis and action plans, they may not help track staff engagement’s impact on productivity.

It is key to foster tactics like unit-based councils, shared governance across all specialties, or other opportunities for staff at all levels to drive key initiatives. Sharing ownership will make them internalize responsibility for driving productivity. After all, engaged staff tend to be highly productive staff.

2.    Diversity and Inclusion

Many organizations have identified a well-balanced, diverse workforce as a primary goal.

Diversity is especially warranted in healthcare due to:

1. Inherent diversity in patient needs - be it linguistic needs, cultural understanding or just patient comfort and confidence with the healthcare workforce, there are many social determinants of health that inform diversity goals for organizations.

2. Community credibility - equity and equality commitments are not only virtuous, but also vital to strengthening relationships with external stakeholders.

All organizations struggle with balancing workforce diversity against perceived business needs. Making progress may require implementing recruitment, onboarding and training mechanisms that cater to pre-set diversity goals. Pockets of initiatives without an underlying strategy and steady technological support have proven less successful.

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We truly believe every healthcare leader has had experience with these tactics at some point in time. Disciplined and successful leaders generate lasting change by using a solid framework, along with implementation tools that track the health of their workforce.

If this intrigued you, don’t hesitate to learn how we can help you improve the health of your workforce using a dynamic planning framework and recruitment & staffing technology. Reach out for a fast and affordable solution by emailing knowledge@directshifts.com today.

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