Human resources is most effective when it truly focuses on the humans in an organization. The people who work in your organization have been through an enormous amount of change and adaptation over the past year — personally and professionally.
The pandemic hasn’t fundamentally altered the function of HR in healthcare, but it has underlined its importance. As HR leaders, you are responsible for supporting and caring for employees in many different ways, and the pandemic is a reminder that your approach must be holistic and adaptable to be effective.
Employees don’t just clock in and clock out. They bring their whole selves to work, and during a time of stress and uncertainty, they are coping with unforeseen challenges such as remote work, financial insecurity, irregular childcare, and virtual learning responsibilities.
How are you creating a work culture where people feel comfortable seeking support? How can you help employees navigate everyday challenges and long-term obstacles? Clearly communicate your internal processes and policies, as well as external resources. For example, are employees with young children aware of and eligible for Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) or Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)? How can you help them find and process the paperwork they need?
Most benefit programs already offer resources designed to care for employees’ physical, mental, and emotional health. Remind your employees what resources they have access to and how to take advantage of them. For instance, many Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) provide free and confidential support to employees (and often family members), such as counseling or work-related support services. During the pandemic, most providers are also offering telemedicine appointments.
Your organization will inevitably change as we adapt to the new normal, and HR’s role is to find opportunities for the future within the struggles. Take the time to identify the skills, experiences, and attributes that will help your organization evolve and thrive. How will your business model change? What technology will you need beyond the pandemic? Make a plan for investing in both developing the skills of your existing staff and hiring new employees.
In the past year, the importance of HR has been amplified, and if you have the right team and the right strategy in place, you will be able to reinvent HR and thrive in the new year.
As you focus on the health of your organization, you can find resources to help reach company-wide wellness with our Heart of the Business Conference videos. To learn more about MedHQ’s HR services for healthcare organizations, click here.