Engaging a Multi-Generational Healthcare Workforce
Age Does Matter In Employee Engagement
It’s been projected that by 2020, the healthcare industry could face a shortage of 20,400 primary care physicians—and that number doesn’t even include specialty care providers, technicians, nurse practitioners and other critical staff. What’s the cause of this supply and demand disparity? As the generation known as ‘Baby Boomers’ continues to age, they’re presenting an increased challenge to providers, who are already reaching max capacity. Made up of roughly 75 million Americans, more individuals are both entering and leaving the industry than ever before. Whether it’s caring for these aging patients or a lack of an experienced workforce due to their retirement, the coming years will have a profound affect on caregivers and policymakers for decades to come.
One Size Does Not Fit All
There’s no turning back the hands of time. Focus must shift toward how to alleviate the stress caused by this situation and how to best prepare ourselves for the challenges ahead. The first and most crucial step any organization can take is to better engage their current team members, as well as potential talents from all generations. This can be achieved through a number of means, such as: innovation, communication, work/life integration and a variety of other competitive advantages. The best combination is the one that engages your employees at the highest levels—at every level.
Let’s take a look at five steps any healthcare provider can take to better stand out from the competition, while attracting and retaining a multi-faceted, multi-generational workforce.
1. Hire the Right Employees:
Attracting the right talent isn’t always as easy as looking at their test scores or listening to their recommendations. When evaluating potential employees, you have to consider whether they will be the right fit for your company culture. And more importantly, you have to determine if they have the capacity to lead. It’s not uncommon to expect great things from your workforce, but if you’re going to help them grow as individuals, they should have a desire to help you grow as a company.
2. Encourage Growth:
If you hope to attract outstanding talents, especially within younger generations, you have to show that you’re invested in their career path over the long term. No one wants to be stuck in the same position for his or her entire life. If you give individuals leeway to expand their skills and push them to continue their education and training, they’ll reward you by returning the investment you made in them through their overall performance.
3. Maintain Open Communication:
As individuals become increasingly reliant on social media and the “always on” culture, it can be increasingly frustrating for younger generations to be left in the dark. When one does not know what is going on around them, they tend to rebel against the changes being made or shut themselves off completely. To avoid this, it’s important to keep team members abreast of any changes or issues and seek their opinions on such matters. The more input you offer, the better. It not only allows your current staff to feel more valued, but that enthusiasm will often translate into their social interactions with potential hires.
4. Reward Effort:
If you have staff members who go above and beyond what is asked of them, it’s important to show your appreciation. Whether it’s going out of their way to get an extra blanket for a patient or ensuring a discrepancy in paperwork is fixed in a timely manner, every action helps to create a better overall experience—for both co-workers and patients.
5. Stay Innovative:
Providing your team with the latest technologies will benefit both the individual and organization. For staff, it will show that you are invested in their abilities and want them to have the best tools at their disposal. For the company, it encourages staff members to broaden their knowledge base and also lets patients know they’re utilizing the very best resources. Ultimately, this will lead to better retainment when it comes to staff and patients, because both will see the value in the investment.
While the healthcare industry has a wealth of challenges it must face in the coming decades, engagement can help elevate a number of these by attracting the right individuals into the workforce and encouraging those already there to push themselves even further.
C.A. Short Company partners with companies to manage, drive and facilitate increased employee engagement to increase financial performance, productivity, quality, and core performance outcomes. Our process and research-based platform enables executives and managers to engage their teams to increase the bottom line, motivate staff, and incentivize positive behavior. To Request a Complimentary Consultation, click here.