Worldwide Healthcare infrastructure has never tested the way it continues to be for the past six months. The onslaught of COVID-19 meant a high inflow of patients making the matter worse for an already burdened healthcare system in India. Creating a positive employee experience was always a challenge, and the changes ushered due to COVID-19 will bring new aspects that define it.
The pandemic, in its rude way, gave realization of the healthcare gaps and the dire need to address them. Drawing lessons off the pandemic, the industry players are looking forward to fast track the transformation to address the healthcare needs. Resultantly the sector today is embracing technological solutions and witnessing a more significant push to Tech-Health, AI, Digitization in providing quality healthcare delivery. It is further fuelled by the COVID-19 experience, which has reduced resistance to technology among healthcare professionals and patients. Having said that, though technology will play a pivotal role in the evolution of healthcare, it will be critical to transforming the healthcare workforce to capitalize on the changes. The bid to transform therefore requires a renewed approach to talent management and a new criterion for human resources to adapt, learn, and respond to the new normal.
Talent Management from a Healthcare perspective
Healthcare institutions are embracing the use of AI, automation, and analytics. Similarly, they are introducing services like Telemedicine that further integrate healthcare service delivery with technology. As technological transformation seems imminent, the need of the hour will be to train medical assistants to administer and utilise these services. Training and upskilling of employees should therefore be a focus area, with rewards and performance benchmarks acting as a significant motivator to upskilling. While some employees may be reluctant to change, demonstrating the convenience and mutual benefit technology brings will aid acceptance to the change. Homecare services today are witnessing a surge in demand. Today the service integrates technology and brings in 24*7 monitoring amongst other advancements. To a nurse, the new services bring an extra source of income while he/she has to take care of a single patient when compared to 4-5 patients in hospital settings. Thus, a nurse who can upgrade his/her knowledge and gain technical proficiency will find the change beneficial and welcoming.
From now on, as Healthcare institutions utilize technological solutions, organizational culture will also see a change. A corporate culture that appreciates innovation, efficiency, and transparent communication will act as a catalyst in encouraging employees to adapt. On the same lines, to achieve the desired employee's behaviour, institutions should define the required professional and behavioural competencies for an employee to succeed. Clear and transparent communication in this regard allays fear and myths in the organization and allows time for employees to bring the necessary changes. These steps also create an acceptance of the new normal among the employees. Organizations should also ensure employees see themselves as a participant to these changes as then they are more likely to welcome opportunities and feel secured while upskilling themselves.
Techniques of employee engagement in a COVID-19 Era
All organizations are continually looking for new techniques to streamline their employee experience at work. As COVID-19 persists, the hospital will require new engagement techniques to develop and maintain necessary connections. Initiatives like Virtual Town Hall, Virtual Onboarding will come in handy under such circumstances. Similarly, as frontline Healthcare workers remain overstretched, change in work deployment pattern will prevent burnout. The organization can encourage employees to use apps like Wysa to monitor mental health. Insurance policies to healthcare employees add an extra layer to their financial security and trust for the organization. The pandemic has opened up opportunities to use modern digital HR tools to ensure connection for training, Performance Management System, and seamless Leave application and Facial recognition attendance. The organization must leverage such tools to add employee convenience.
To make employees feel included and valued, it is necessary to involve them in the decision-making processes too. The institution can create a platform for sharing continuous feedback that will engage employees regardless of barriers and encourage them to give their best. Offline virtual Social connects and groups can be useful to bridge the communication gaps. With the changing landscape of healthcare in the COVID-19 era, learning and development will draw out as an essential component. It will also ensure employees are engaged at an optimal frequency. To that end, creating a personal development plan with clearly defined metrics and goals will help employees in multiple ways. It will aid in tracking employee competencies and enhance them promptly. Lastly, it will empower employees to set their own goals that create a sense of accountability in them as well.