It’s a difficult truth to hear. At any given time, a percentage of your workforce will decide to leave, contributing to the growing 25.9% rate of national hospital turnover. Contingent and permanent clinicians are making career-defining choices all the time. As we settle in the aftershock of the pandemic, their shifting priorities are redefining what roles could look like in a post-pandemic workforce. As the healthcare workforce continues to evolve, how are you keeping up with your talent?
How can you best position your organization as the best choice for candidates as the workforce adapts to meet the changing needs of their patients and amidst ever-increasing employee expectations? For any health facility trying to successfully navigate talent management in this “Great Reshuffle,” how you respond to evolving expectations will have an effect on the quality of care you offer and your ability to attract and retain talent.
So what is your talent prioritizing? What do they value besides their salaries?
Continued Support for Mental Health and Well-being
The five-generation workforce is well underway, and both Millennial and Gen Z clinicians have been hit hardest by the aftereffects of the pandemic. The actual, long-term impacts of prolonged trauma and grief, burnout, and compassion fatigue are not fully revealed. However, the second installment of an impact assessment survey by the American Nurses Foundation shows that 46% of nurses under 35 feel emotionally unhealthy, compared to just 19% of their older colleagues. Even more looming is that only 19% of the same young nurses feel that their organization cares about their well-being.
Although healthcare workers have demonstrated true and remarkable resilience over the past few years, and organizations have prioritized mental health during the pandemic, employees still want to feel supported with an active and open dialogue about emotional health and well-being. How? Start with providing a continuous stream of resources, support an open, positive culture around these services, and positively reinforce this support available to your workforce so that they feel empowered and unashamed to use them. Even as we veer into post-pandemic roles, your employees and traveling clinicians still wants to feel heard, invested in, and supported, so they can thrive in the work they love.
A Compelling Work/Life Balance with Flexible Working Options
Greater work/life balance and flexibility in healthcare have been a topic of conversation long before news of Covid, with a 54% gap between the desire for workplace flexibility and companies supplying it. Initiatives have been made to improve that percentage. Still, as the workforce conditions persists, the flexibility strategies you introduce must be mutually beneficial for both organization and staff. A lack of support in this area could be the determining factor for some staff to leave your facility or the profession altogether. What can you do to establish a mutually beneficial balance?
Offer flexible shifts or assignments
This could take several shapes, from flexible shift patterns to reduced, hybrid, or alternative hours, to schedule agility and location variety. Offering options for how your talent wants to work is key, and it might be surprising to see how receptive they are. The autonomy to decide if the traditional full-time route or if picking up ad hoc shifts to work around other commitments works best will better support work/life balance initiatives.
Offer internal mobility
Break through traditional dividing lines to encourage workforce dexterity. Consider introducing more chances for talent to learn new skills and explore new paths through an expanded float model, or encouraging any internal movement that engages your talent and helps open opportunities for diverse career paths. With adequate time and support for cross-training, internal mobility can help develop a well-rounded, well-practiced pool of staff while promoting increased engagement, competency, and professional satisfaction.
Evolve While Moving Forward
We’re still in the discovery phase of the evolving workforce and what that looks like in a post-pandemic state. But we should take advantage of this time to acknowledge our talent’s priorities and continually create workforce solutions that have a lasting impact on future talent.
If your facility is considering the use of travel nurses and clinicians to meet evolving workforce trends, reach out to Medical Solutions to start a conversation about how we can support your specific staffing needs.