Regina Temple Discusses Keeping Employees in Healthcare

Before COVID-19 happened, Regina Temple says that hospitals and health systems everywhere were already struggling to manage inpatient capacity overload while additional procedures were already shifting to an outpatient setting. Hospitals face even greater issues as they address the daily challenges of finding available capacity for an increasing patient population with a higher demand for inpatient healthcare services. Add to that the sharp rise in employee turnover. If a hospital lacked a disciplined management system and an employee retention plan before the pandemic, these new healthcare system demands will likely worsen these struggles.

Today, Regina Temple shares four key elements vital to retaining employees.

Engage with employees.

Many front-line managers rate difficult conversations, coaching, and engaging their teams as their biggest challenges. Leadership competencies and skills should be essential in recruitment, especially for front-line leaders. Regina Temple mentions that internal promotions should consider leadership and technical skills equally.

Balance the coaching on performance and development of staff with recognition for contributions and achievements. Front-line leadership skills include recognizing employee performance and personal and professional milestones to make employees feel valued.

Allow employees to have a say in their schedules.

An attractive feature of any healthcare job is a predictable and reoccurring schedule, says Regina Temple. Giving employees a voice and choice in scheduling keeps them engaged. Today’s technologies can be used for employees to have a voice when planning their schedules. When employees are engaged and feel they have control, they’re more likely to stay.

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Follow-up with the staffing plans.

Regularly following up on staffing plans helps workers deliver what they need on time. Effective scheduling systems don’t only measure the outcomes; they can tell a manager how to adjust to improve results. Regina Temple also reminds everyone that balancing patient demand with efficient staff schedules is continuous. Avoid last-minute schedule changes and give employees a voice in their schedule so they feel better about staying on board.

Plan for the changes in the number of patients.

Workplace surprises can be unsettling, especially for employees who rely on predictable schedules and expectations. In the healthcare industry, workforce management is essential, and planning for changes in patient volume is critical. Despite the pandemic’s end, times remain volatile, and hospital volume can be unpredictable. It’s surprising to learn that some managers still struggle to anticipate these fluctuations, leaving employees feeling uncertain about their workloads and schedules.

Most events that drive patient volume, as well as management systems, can be anticipated. Regina Temple states these events should be incorporated into projected staffing plans. Even when hospital volumes change in the blink of an eye, many last-minute staffing changes can still be avoided. Efficient management systems can recognize these patterns and quickly respond to the necessary changes.

Finally, management systems are crucial in ensuring a hospital has the proper resources in the proper places at the proper time. Not having an employee retention strategy can cost the institution a lot of money, warns Regina Temple.

Regina Temple has served in the healthcare community for over 30 years with experiences ranging from for-profit to not-for-profit organizations, unionized to non-unionized facilities and acute care settings to outpatient centers. Read similar articles on healthcare and leadership from Regina Temple by clicking here.

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