#6 Employee Relations Challenges Confronting Healthcare
This transformation is expected to create some employee relations-related issues which require careful handling
The professionals who are engaged in offering healthcare services are at the heart of our country's healthcare system. The smooth, hassle-free and efficient functioning of the healthcare system is primarily dependent on the proficiency and motivation-level of those people. However, given the dynamic nature of the industry, stringent compliance and extremely demanding works-schedule, employee relations become even more challenging. Let's have a look at six of those key challenges which the human resource professionals are facing in the healthcare space.
Lack of Training: The transformation of the healthcare sector depends on the training standards of the healthcare professionals. As healthcare services are increasingly becoming technology-driven and round-the-clock in nature, regular training has become extremely critical. However, the lack of training could lead to low staff morale and reduced employee productivity. An unhappy employee is prone to quit job and continuous hiring always adds to the turnover rate. Higher attrition rate always puts undue stress on the management. Sometimes, it leads to legal issues as well.
Long Working Hours: Long working hours has become the biggest hindrance to employee relations. Regular 12-hour night shifts have an adverse impact on the health and performance of the healthcare professionals. The burn-out syndrome brings down the quality and safety standards of the healthcare system, which are non-negotiable. An overworked employee is more likely to commit diagnostic errors as well as lack the desired level of promptness. Healthcare providers should take note of the flipside of this menace to develop better employee relations in their respective organisations.
Continuous Technological Changes: The technology-led transformation in the healthcare sector has been quite rapid. Digital technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, big data analysis, etc. are always facilitating both structural and operational changes in this sector. However, for a certain section of employees, the idea of absorbing those changes poses some serious challenges. Those employees could feel disconnected because of those developments. Mainstreaming them is the way forward in such a situation.
Shift From Fee-based Payment Model to Value-Based One: The world is moving towards from fee-based-healthcare to value-based healthcare system. Contrary to the conventional fee-based-healthcare which only focuses on the fee for individual services, the value-based healthcare service espouses the concept of the bundled price which encompasses medical tests, medicines, etc. In a way, the value-based healthcare service focuses on quality rather than quality. The shift actually leads to a healthcare model purely based on performance and quality. The transformation is expected to create some employee relations-related issues which require careful handling.
Managing Changes: The scope and the role of employee relations change when promoters of a company take a backseat and the private equity investors (PE) take over the reins. Because, employees who have been working in a particular organisation which have sold controlling stake to PE investors may feel disconnected and the absence of personal involvement of the owners. A section of employees may find it extremely difficult to adjust to those changes and may show stiff resistance to such changes. For a person in charge of employee relations in the healthcare sector, tackling such situations is a genuine challenge.
Lack of Internal Coordination:
The most dangerous employee relations spoiler is the inept communications within the departments. Thanks to strict communication protocols and lack of coordination among teams, healthcare service quality suffers. An employee relations manager's key responsibility is to streamline the inter-department communication and bridge any communication gap.
Working in the healthcare sector is both demanding and challenging. So, HR professionals need to engage with healthcare professionals more closely to understand their perspective. Happy, satisfied and efficient healthcare professionals can lift the healthcare standards further. The key here is to help healthcare professionals evolve with the changing healthcare landscape.