Nearly everywhere you go, you can see Help Wanted signs in windows. Staffing levels in almost every service industry have manifested in longer wait times, inconsistent service, and an experience that we all would consider less than optimal and not what we would expect.
The perfect storm of a pandemic, much higher unemployment, challenges with school closures, at-home education, and the stress of all these issues individually and combined have created an unprecedented level of stress for most people, and certainly our employees.
Healthcare organizations like Wickenburg Community Hospital (WCH), quickly realized we would need to be more flexible and creative in many ways. One of the keyways was to determine which of our employees, who do not work face-to-face with our patients, could work from home. The number of U.S. employees working remotely at least some of the time has increased to 61 percent from 12 percent in the past three years, a Willis Towers Watson survey found.
In addition, 52 percent of employees reported high-to-moderate anxiety and 66 percent reported work distractions over the last 12 to 18 months. Almost half (48 percent) of U.S. workers surveyed reported feeling mentally and physically exhausted at the end of the workday, according to Society for Human Resource Management research.
In August 2021, 4.3 million employees from all industries quit their jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Unfortunately, that might be just the tip of the iceberg. More than half (55 percent) of those in the workforce are likely to search for a new job in the next 12 months, according to an August 2021 Bankrate survey.
At WCH, we have experienced our share of the pandemic’s effects on our workforce. For all the reasons previously mentioned, our organization’s turnover is nearly double what it has been over the past four years. Turnover is expensive and can challenge a team’s cohesiveness and productivity. Every effort is being made to retain our employees and we constantly strive to provide them a work environment they are proud to be a part of.
Working at WCH offers many advantages that ultimately result in quality care of our patients and our community. People want to work where they feel what they do is valued, where there is a sense of inclusion and where they can appreciate and believe in the mission and vision of the organization.
In fact, 70 percent of employees agreed that their feelings about day-to-day work experience—negative or positive—impact their productivity, and 69 percent said these feelings affected their ability to do meaningful work, according to a survey of more than 1,000 U.S. employees across industries by Eagle Hill Consulting in Arlington, Va. In addition, 64 percent of workers said the employee experience impacts their ability to serve customers.
Most HR Executives believe strongly in the ideal that happy and fulfilled employees create a happy and fulfilled experience for their customers/patients. Although the challenge to establish and maintain such a work environment is constantly increasing, WCH is committed to always striving for that goal.