Sanjay Panchal gives his key takeaways from our recent healthcare sector dinner where attendees discussed the recruitment challenge facing health and social care providers.
How will health and social care providers ensure they have the staff they require to meet rapidly growing demand for their services? In a sector where social care providers are already 100,000 employees short of the workforce they need, and where the NHS is expected to face a shortfall of 350,000 staff by 2030, even the best businesses find it difficult to recruit and retain high-quality people.
This was the dilemma under discussion at a recent healthcare recruitment dinner that we hosted. Guests included Karen Rayfield, People and Performance Director of Helping Hands, and Jayne Carter, HR Director of Witherslack, two of our fast-growing investees. Along with the rest of our guests, they shared their views on how to rise to the challenge, based on their longstanding expertise and experience in working with impressive people throughout health and social care.
Reflecting on our recent report on health and social care recruitment, as well as the topics discussed at the event, I am struck by the following key takeaways:
Regular feedback promotes dialogue
When carers and management are so focused on delivering care and attending to service users, it can be easy to forget to check in and gauge the health of your own organisation. Making a habit of regular and informal feedback can help to identify and address small issues in your organisation before they grow into bigger problems. There are growing number of technology tools that can help with this – examples include CultureAmp and Fifteen Five.
Middle management can make all the difference
Middle management has a crucial role to play in retention. Roles such as regional and site managers, who spend so much of their time working closely with frontline staff, are absolutely vital as businesses seek to keep employee satisfaction levels high – and, of course, to deliver care of the very highest quality.
Policies must pass the granny test
How easy is it to understand and apply the policy documentation you publish to your staff? Employees are generally happier when they feel empowered to make day-to-day decisions for themselves, without having to constantly refer back up the command chain for guidance and authorisation. But that will only work if they understand company policies. Use simple and relatable messages in all communications.
It’s time to be smarter about employee recognition
People working in health and social care are not driven by financial rewards alone; recognising their passion and commitment to delivering high-quality care can therefore be a crucial element of employee engagement. Find more ways to recognise and reward your employees and you’ll boost retention and encourage staff to become advocates for your business.
Promoting the sector is a team effort
Many guests expressed their frustration that in a sector that works so hard to care for its customers, bad news stories and negative press have often made it more difficult to recruit good people. By working together on the sector’s public image, we can begin to address this problem and there are many ways to change public perceptions. For example, sharing employee success stories on LinkedIn and sector forums is one way to begin to turn the tide.
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