National Healthcare HR Week has fueled a lot of conversation about the state of the healthcare workforce. And for providers, there’s ample concern.
Since the 1980s the percentage of computer science degrees earned by women has fallen by more than half, to 18 from 38 percent. “Every company needs technology,“ Melinda Gates told BackChannel, “and yet we’re graduating fewer women technologists. That is not good for society. We have to change it.”
When you’re a top hospital caring for more than a half-million patients 24-7, you need to count on employees. The challenge is making sure they get to work even when care for children and parents breaks down.
Hospitals looking to achieve magnet status need to guide employees through BSN degree programs. But succeeding will take more than educational assistance; it will take a carefully designed strategy that assists with both the financial and physical obstacles of learning and earning.
Why should healthcare employers be so concerned about flex time? Apart from the stress factor is the fact that employees in healthcare must be on the job. Unlike other workforces, nurses and other providers cannot simply pick up their work another day or have their role accomplished in some automated fashion – such as by robot.
Healthcare HR is on the move. The industry is expected to add more jobs over the next eight years than any other segment of the U.S. economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about one in four new jobs will be filled by doctors, nurses, lab techs, and other support roles, putting healthcare on track in the next decade to overtake state and local government as the largest employment sector in America.
Satisfying work is known to have a substantial impact on how well people do their jobs. But those same satisfying jobs can have converse effects on the work/life equation. At Biogen, that’s mean creating an evolving benefits strategy that’s gone from “need to play” to “need to win.”
So, how does an employer who has a workforce full of patient caregivers or teachers (or any role that’s human-labor intensive for that matter) authentically support work/life balance? The key words are FLEXIBILITY and CONTROL. Employees who feel that there is some degree of flexibility in their scheduling — and who feel they have input into how that schedule is created — are much more likely to indicate they have work/life balance.
March 13 through March 19 is ASHHRA’s official Healthcare HR week; seven days, “to recognize human resources professionals in hospitals and non-hospital organizations across the nation for the daily issues they face.”
Study after study has shown this is true: that behavior of all sorts, from benefits usage to productivity, starts from above. And the leadership effect isn’t just about people at the very top.