6 healthcare leaders on tackling labor shortages beyond pay – Advice Eating

Although pay increases have played a key role in retaining and recruiting healthcare workers amid major labor shortages, perks such as psychiatric services and financial support for education have also helped meet staffing needs.

Six healthcare system CEOs and CFOs shared their best tips for retention and recruitment that go beyond compensation:

Editor’s Note: Responses have been edited slightly for clarity and length.

Michael Dowling. President and CEO, Northwell Health (New Hyde Park, NY): A critical key to retaining our workforce is not just nurturing the relationship with our team members, but growing it. A focus for us was wellbeing given our organizational commitment and based on the contributions of team members.

We have invested in enhancing our already robust offerings for our team members, including the establishment of behavioral health navigators to help team members and their families navigate and select the right service for their needs, emphasizing first aid training for our leadership, rapid response post crisis event services, financial wellbeing programs, spiritual wellbeing services, programming through our Northwell Center for Wellness and Integrative Medicine and more. We actively recruit providers into our benefits plan network to ensure our team members have access to quality providers at the lowest possible cost.

At the onset of the COVID pandemic, we scaled our employee assistance program, knowing the need could be greater. We have established a support hotline, open today, offering free confidential counseling services to employees and their family members. We established our Traumatic Stress, Resilience and Recovery Center to provide resilience coaching and more. We’ve also expanded our virtual offerings: virtual fitness, cooking classes, deep breathing, meditation, yoga and even story time for our team members’ children. We have set up rest rooms for team members in many of our hospitals. These were all developed in large part in response to feedback we received from our team members.

We are a charity; That’s exactly the business we’re in, so we had a lot of these tools before COVID, and we’re grateful we did because they’ve been used exponentially. A key improvement was the creation of a dedicated website as a one-stop go-to site for team members to access all of our resources.

These investments in health and well-being reflect our values ​​and culture of a great place to work at Northwell. Alongside career experience and other employee experience strategies, they have directly helped drive employee retention.

Cliff Megerian, MD. CEO, Jane and Henry Meyer Chief Executive Officer Distinguished Chair, University Hospitals Health System (Cleveland): At the university clinics, we are working to create a culture that is second to none. An environment where our caregivers feel owned, valued and rewarded for a job well done. In fact, creating a culture of trust is a key aspect of our UH strategy. We’ve also updated our core values ​​to ensure we “walk the talk.” Part of this is engaging our caregivers in a deeper dialogue about their work environment and decisions that affect them, and encouraging our caregivers to speak out. We have implemented numerous initiatives to engage directly with our caregivers (town halls, written communications, rounding and recognition programs) and we have implemented other diverse strategies to enhance our value proposition, including more flexible scheduling options, recharge and resilience programs, career opportunities , voluntary time off and financial incentives. Importantly, we have also invested significantly in fostering a sense of belonging through our equity, equity, diversity and inclusion activities, as we firmly believe that our role as healthcare providers is to advocate for health equity for all.

Gregory Hoffman. CFO, Providence (Renton, Washington): At Providence, we have developed many programs for our caregivers and I will highlight a few. In the first place, Providence cares for the well-being of our nurses. To us, wellbeing is the whole person – financial, emotional, physical, spiritual, financial etc. Examples of our investments include Free Behavioral Health Visits, Behavioral Health Concierge, No One Cares Alone, e-CPR, Focused Choose Well/ Virgin Pulse Platforms on wellbeing, web resources and tools, etc. Another important area of ​​focus for us is to continue and expand the growth and development of our caregivers. We offer all our supervisors a training allowance. We have changed the payment model for most of our certifications so that those in our lower paying job categories do not have to pay out of pocket. Additionally, we have focused on virtual platforms and scaled the use of a learning experience platform that anyone can access from their phone, which has allowed us to be more agile in development (e.g. Finally, we are increasing our supervisors’ connections to our Mission We’ve done this by virtually scaling training experiences, assessing our commitment to mission, and rewarding leaders for mission- and values-driven results.

Bob Ritz. President and CEO, MercyOne (Des Moines, Iowa): A unique benefit we offer to address the labor shortage is our Jump Start program. Individuals receive a monthly stipend while completing nursing school, and MercyOne covers the cost of board exams and license fees. Upon RN certification, nurses may begin their careers at MercyOne in a selected nursing position. We are also expanding our partnerships with schools to increase enrollment and expand educational opportunities in area high schools.

To retain colleagues, we have continued to focus on our culture to support employees, including exploring flexible working arrangements. MercyOne firmly believes that our ability to expand our mission resides in each of our colleagues. As we continue to recruit, we continue to feature our colleagues’ stories of why they love working at MercyOne. The stories that our fellow MercyOne Ambassadors are so willing to share open our culture to our future MercyOne family members. Our colleagues know us best and know who fits well into our culture. We invite them to recruit family and friends to work at MercyOne and pay a referral bonus to our colleagues who refer someone to be hired.

Bill Gassen. President and CEO, Sanford Health (Sioux Falls, SD): Our ultimate goal at Sanford Health is to provide the best possible care for our patients and residents, and in order to do that we must take the best care of our employees, especially our frontline caregivers. Sanford Health was proud to be recognized by forbes as the best place to work in both South Dakota and North Dakota in 2021. The ranking was based on employee reviews across a variety of criteria, including job security, compensation, and advancement opportunities. For the past three years, Sanford Health has been recognized as a top employer of choice for transitioning service members and veterans military time. Our organization is dedicated to supporting veterans and military members by providing exclusive services and benefits to our nation’s heroes who choose to work at Sanford Health.

The American Medical Association also recognized Sanford Health in 2021 through its Joy in Medicine program, one of 44 health systems recognized for their commitment to health team well-being and programs to address work-related stress and burnout. We have a comprehensive strategy to support the well-being of our caregivers, which includes various programs to support our clinicians in their clinical practice, but also as individuals. We invest heavily in every community where our clinics and hospitals are located, and we encourage our clinicians to be involved as community leaders, not just in the clinical setting. We also provide leadership development opportunities because we believe we have a responsibility to prepare the next generation of leaders.

We have built a culture of wellbeing through small peer groups, training, mentoring, counseling, a Clinician Wellness Council and other programs that provide organizational-level support, promote wellbeing and promote a healthy balance of work, family and personal life. When someone comes to Sanford Health, they become part of our family, and we do everything we can to support their well-being, offer a competitive compensation and benefits package, and provide opportunities for growth and advancement.

Mike Slubowski. President and CEO, Trinity Health (Livonia, Mich.): At Trinity Health, our colleagues are at the heart of our mission. We know that addressing the healthcare workforce shortage requires a multi-faceted employee benefits retention and recruitment approach focused on improving the lifestyles of our colleagues in impactful ways. That’s why we’ve created a cross-functional team from across our national system tasked with generating ideas and quickly evaluating and implementing meaningful changes that will benefit our colleagues. These include flexible scheduling, hybrid work options, an accelerated application process, streamlined onboarding for new colleagues, and health and social benefits on day one of their new job. The team also develops initiatives for current clinical and non-clinical colleagues, such as B. Training programs for nurses and medical assistants that enable full or part-time work while acquiring clinical skills and training.

An example of our innovative approach to recruitment and retention is First Choice, our in-house travel staffing program for nurses and clinicians. First Choice is an alternative option for clinical workers who want more flexibility to stay with Trinity Health. We also place great emphasis on recruiting young professionals who are passionate about our mission. We create personal development programs that provide individuals with the training and hands-on experience to enter a wide range of healthcare careers.

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