Business

Improving Employee Wellbeing in the Healthcare Industry

Improving Employee Wellbeing in the Healthcare Industry

When you are running any kind of business, it is really important that you take the wellbeing of your employees extremely seriously because employees who are healthy and happy are more productive in their work, less likely to require sick days, and more likely to remain loyal to the business, which are all big benefits, I’m sure you’ll agree.

It’s even more important that employees are happy and healthy when you’re running a healthcare business because their actions will have a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of the patients they see.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most effective things you can do to improve employee wellbeing in your healthcare company right now:

Don’t overload them

This is often one of the leading causes of dissatisfaction and distress amongst healthcare employees – they have a bigger workload than they can easily manage and it means that they feel too stretched, too stressed, and unable to give their full attention to their patients.

This would be tough enough in a normal business, but in a healthcare company, it could be disastrous and staff know this. That’s why, if you’re serious about improving employee wellbeing, you should also be serious about lowering their workloads as much as possible, ensuring that they do not do too many shifts that are too long too often. If this means hiring more staff, try to find a way to make it work because if your employees are overloaded, they are more likely to make mistakes and you are more likely to lose them, get on the wrong side of various lawsuits and ultimately suffer various PR disasters. 

Provide them with the right equipment

Ensuring that your employees have the right equipment to do their jobs properly is an easy way to boost their wellbeing. For example, providing them with high-quality Uniforms – check out scrubs from Uniform Advantage–  that will protect them from the various hazards that they come across when working as doctors, nurses, or dentists, while also helping them to stay comfortable and look great will really give them a boost as will not having to do the job without access to all of the medical equipment they need. No healthcare employee should have to come to work knowing that their job will be made harder by a lack of resources ns if they are forced to do that, not only will they be dissatisfied at work, stressed out and unhappy but they will also eventually leave for a business that can give them what they need to do the job as effectively as possible.

Offer counseling

Healthcare workers often have to deal with a lot of tough things from breaking bad health news to their patients to dealing with the deaths of people they have taken care of and gotten to know, often over long periods of time. So, it’s fair to say that stress and depression are not uncommon amongst people working in the healthcare industry.

That is why, as a healthcare business owner, it is a really good idea for you to provide confidential counseling services for any of your employees who feel like they might need it.

You may think that this is one expense your business can do without, but think about how much it will cost you if employees have to take time out due to depression or burnout, or should they leave for an employer that does take their mental wellbeing more seriously, and you will soon see the benefits of doing so.

Invest in mindfulness training

Something else you might want to consider doing if you want to help your employees to maintain mental equilibrium is to offer mindfulness training. Mindfulness has been shown to help prevent and treat burnout, stress, depression, and anxiety amongst other things. It can also improve concentration and boost productivity when it is put into practice.

What is it? It is basically the process of training the mind to live more in the present moment. It can prevent all kinds of mental maladies from forming by stopping individuals from dwelling on things that have happened in the past or negative outcomes that might happen in the future, so they can focus on getting the job done right now. So, as you can imagine it is really useful in a healthcare business setting when life or death situations are taking place all the time and the stakes are always really high, It will help employees to focus on what they are doing and better process what has happened and that will not only make them healthier, but it will also make them far more effective too.

Start a mentoring program

New entrants into the world of healthcare may find it hard to get to grips with the process you have put in place to run your business as effectively as possible and they will almost certainly struggle with things like diagnosing serious illnesses or seeing patients die. One thing that can help them to better cope with the harsh realities of working in healthcare is if they have an experienced mentor who can help them through it. 

Various studies have shown that mentoring programs and peer support have helped prevent burnout in newly qualified doctors, and it is not surprising because when you have a senior colleague you can trust to guide you along, and whom you can talk to about those tough feelings you are having it is much easier to settle in, get used to the working environment and find your feet. Of course, it is not just junior doctors who will benefit from such schemes, everyone from the admin staff to the nurses will benefit from similar support, Healthcare is a high-pressure industry and everyone needs a shoulder to cry on occasionally.

Listen to them

As the owner or manager of a healthcare company, it is also really important that you do your best to listen to your employees. Giving them an outlet to vent their frustrations and make suggestions about how they can be better supported is a great way to find out what the most pressing issues in your business really are, and to get some decent ideas on how to solve them because who knows better what is needed than the staff who are facing the problems ever day?

Not only that, but by listening to your employees, you show them that they are an important and valued part of your healthcare business and you want to do your very best to ensure that are happy at work. Of course, this only works if you actually do listen and do make at least some of the suggested changes if it is feasible to do so, otherwise it just loos like a management exercise to brush problems under the carpet.

Give them more control

Obviously, when you work in healthcare, there are some things that need to be done in a certain way. You need to ensure that patients are safe, first and foremost, so you need to put various procedures in place to keep them safe. However, if you can do so, it is still worthwhile giving your staff more control over their working day.

When employees are micromanaged, they tend to have higher stress levels than when they are left to get in with the job they do well in the manner that works best for them. By giving them more control not only will you boost their mental wellbeing, but you will more than likely help to boost your employee retention levels too because staff who feel trusted and who are able to work without management constantly looking over their shoulders are usually happier in their jobs than those who always have management watching over them.

Keep them safe

Many healthcare workers gave experienced violence or threats of violence from patients and their families. This may sound shocking, but in high-pressure environments where people are sick and scared, things can get pretty heated at times.

As an employer, you cannot just overlook this and let it happen without doing anything to keep your employees safe. At a minimum, you should be hiring plenty of on-site security guards who are able to intervene and remove any difficult people from the hospital. You should also aim to install CCTV and give your employees training in how to handle patients who may be non-compliant and even violent.

The safer your employees feel at work, the less likely they are to be stressed out, and that is good for them, you, and the patients they see each and every day too.

As you can see, it is not too difficult to ensure that your employees are as well as can be when they are working for your healthcare company, and you should really make the effort to implement as many of these ideas as you can because well employees lead to a more successful company and happier, healthier patients too.

About the author

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Steven Ly

Steven Ly is the Startup Program and Events Manager at TheNextHint Inc. She recruits rockstar startups for all TC events including Disrupt, meetups, Sessions, and more both domestically and internationally. Previously, she helped produce Dreamforce with Salesforce and Next '17 with Google. Prior to that, she was on the advertising teams at both Facebook and AdRoll, helping support advertisers in North America and helped grow those brands globally. Outside of work, Priya enjoys Flywheel, tacos, the 49ers, and adventuring around the globe.

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