Four ways to ensure health worker wellbeing and better business
The added pressures on a diverse population of healthcare workers imposed by successive waves of infection coincides with major shifts in the expectations of employers. The resulting workload coupled with anxiety and depression at work is carrying over into home lives—through potential exposure and a simultaneous lack of time with family and friends. While unprecedented in recent memory, COVID-19 won’t be the last external strain on healthcare systems. Now there’s even stronger evidence that focusing on healthcare workers’ overall wellbeing is not only right ethically, it’s smart business too.
According to our multi-country study, the healthcare industry faces a 26 percent gap between workforce expectations and what employers actually provide in terms of the Net Better Off framework.
The research demonstrates that the gap is largely due to a misunderstanding of what exactly drives employee satisfaction and feeling net better off. Employers seem to be neglecting some important dimensions. While CXOs give the "hard" dimensions (financial and employable) attention and believe that is enough, they are failing to deliver on the human dimensions, which are just as important.
Six dimensions of the "Net Better Off" framework
Five sweet spots = Satisfied workers
To help leaders address all dimensions that matter for employee happiness, we recommend five key practices which, with sufficient focus, could create a five percent revenue growth. Conversely, a lack of investment in these sweet spots could lead to a five percent revenue decline:
Enable continuous learning to ensure a future ready workforce that can shift at scale.
Listen to what people need at the front lines, empowering them with real-time data.
Use technology to enable flexible work arrangements and more creative work for your workforce that is increasingly dispersed.
Champion workforce wellbeing and equality. Safety and relational needs are more important than ever.
Set and share people metrics. Take accountability for diversity and equality, be transparent and engage in intentional conversations that matter to your people.
Why net better off employees matter more than ever for healthcare providers
To better help CHROs understand and address the needs of healthcare workers across all job types, we’ve expressed them in terms of three job types: physicians (non-unionized), nurses (unionized) and patient attendants. Together, these categories account for nearly 70 percent of the average hospital workforce in the U.S.
Four things to do now to leave your staff (and business) better off
Ignoring the problem of burnout and extreme pressure only raises the threat of losing important skills, and the longer you wait, the greater the threat. Here are four things you can do today to alleviate the problem and ensure that your employees remain with you through crisis:
Find C-suite and employee allies you can talk to informally.
Find a trusted, external partner who can walk alongside you and save you time and trouble.
Be proactive about communicating to your employees about your understanding of their needs, and make sure they can see your commitment is more than lip service. The results will be apparent to everyone—financially and through increased market share and improved patient outcomes.