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To drive success in today’s job market, diversity and inclusion (D&I) needs to be a top priority. Aside from the moral imperative to create more equitable and progressive workplaces, diverse companies, simply put, make more money. A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation.

But let’s be real. Despite best intentions, organizations still fall short of recruiting, hiring, and retaining diverse talent.

Why? Too many companies begin D&I initiatives with ill-defined goals, limited knowledge or experience in implementing programs like this, and a lack of cohesion among leadership. Further, they lack the planning, technology solutions, and metrics to monitor the change they want to achieve.

Here are some tips to start on the right foot:

1. Executive champions. D&I initiatives require executive buy-in and ongoing support. If your decision makers are convinced of D&I’s importance from the beginning, you can make real change much more effectively.

Educate leadership on the benefits of a more diverse workforce. With diversity and inclusion efforts proven to positively impact the bottom line, it shouldn’t be hard to capture their attention and advocacy. Highlight the concrete benefits of supporting a more diverse team so your leaders prioritize your efforts: improved innovation, reduced employee turnover, better ability to attract top talent, and more.

Create a policy that formalizes your company’s commitment to D&I. Our CEO, for example, signed an action committed to advancing women in leadership at our company. Fifty-percent of our global executive team is female and approximately 65% of those at the director level and above are female. These outcomes would not be possible without the support of leadership.

In addition, establish a D&I council of leaders across your organization with a clear purpose and framework. Clarify that these duties should be prioritized as real responsibilities rather than secondary ones.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Online Job Advertising: 2019 Market Update

2. Goal setting. Take stock of your organization and define achievable goals. When talent acquisition teams begin to talk about diversity in recruiting efforts, they focus on the more obvious identifiers, like race, gender, and sexual orientation. Diversity also includes factors like age, physical and mental ability, class, religion, and more. It also looks different depending on the industry and location of your business. Keeping this in mind, be realistic about how you can change the make-up of your company through new hires.

Reflect on the population of your employees and ask yourself some critical questions. Do they all look the same? What does your leadership team look like? How does this population compare to industry standards and the population of your city?

If you identify opportunities to diversify your organization’s employee base, direct your outreach at specific populations and go from there. Look at populations historically under-hired and see how they can fit in your company. For example, autistic employees (a population with an estimated 66% unemployment rate) have recently thrived in areas like cybersecurity and programming.

You can’t rely on the same recruitment tactics, either. Using more inclusive language in job postings, targeted messaging to reach specific populations, and university networking opportunities are all ways to broaden your hiring pool. Additionally, provide unconscious bias training for all hiring managers, and use diverse interview panels when evaluating new candidates.

3. Know when to call for help. Improving D&I in your organization can be challenging, and it’s often a sensitive topic to even discuss. It’s easy to fumble important conversations and derail efforts. Further, even if you manage to recruit a more diverse population of candidates, you won’t keep them if you don’t foster an inclusive environment that supports diversity. Fortunately, you don’t need to achieve all this on your own.

Many businesses are hiring formal roles like “director of diversity and inclusion” or “chief equality officer,” with such postings for these positions increasing by nearly 20% between 2017 and 2018. While many businesses aren’t in a position to make these hires, that doesn’t mean they can’t call for outside help when necessary.

Bring in experts to lead conversations around these topics and facilitate discussions to ensure every new hire feels welcome in your organization. Experts also can educate existing employees and facilitate important conversations around why diversity matters.

4. Use more than short-term solutions. Consider using partners who can recruit more diverse candidate pools and work with you to evaluate your culture and create inclusive policies.

RPO providers promote diverse hiring, ensure compliance, and make certain your dedication to diversity and inclusion is reflected through your culture and values. They also can help your organization overhaul your processes from the start of the recruitment process to onboarding. This can entail market mapping, diversity job boards, creating emerging talent programs, leveraging veteran programs, and more. Using partners like RPOs will ensure that your diversity efforts are effective and valuable long-term for talent acquisition.

Again, diversity in your workforce isn’t a nice-to-have – it’s a key component of what makes your business successful. And with companies struggling to fill roles in an increasingly competitive market, those able to cast a wider net into a more diverse pool of candidates are far more likely to last.

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My phone rang early on a Monday morning. It was the contingent workforce program manager of a large multinational company. Let’s call him Peter. I could tell he was upset.

“I never understood the risk involved in misclassifying contractors,” he said gloomily. “We have so much work to do before April 2020.”

He had just come from a meeting with his CFO and head of legal to discuss the implications of the IR35 changes for their business. His head was spinning. He had suddenly realized the far-reaching implications of the new rules and how much the company would need to change to prepare for April 2020.

PREMIUM CONTENT: IR35 and Off-Payroll Working Rules: An Overview

He explained that the contractor workforce had been a key factor in the success of the business, and to ensure future growth it would be vital to retain their services and loyalty. “It is only dawning on us now that we have no choice but to prepare for the rule change in a pro-active way,” he said, “but how do we do that?”

He is not the only one asking this question. I have been asked the same question by many times in the past year. The answer is simple: get the right help to understand the requirements of the law, find out about best practice in implementing the rules, and then carefully design customized internal processes to manage the new risk.

Most progressive companies are taking these changes seriously and seeking advice on how to ensure they have the best approach in place to ensure positive contractor engagement with their valued contractor workforce.

Some companies are fearful of the changes — so fearful that they have vowed to discontinue using personal service company contractors after April 2020. This is understandable but unrealistic. Without these contractors, they will struggle to access the valuable talent and skillsets required for the development of their business.

There has been a lot of noise and concern about IR35 in both online and print media in recent months. I’m not pretending that introducing proper classification systems to private companies (and the change management required) is going to be painless. It will take effort and it will be time-consuming. But getting it right will put your company in the best position to attract and retain the best talent and the most sought-after contractors – the people who can make your company stand out from the crowd.

I urge companies to remain calm. Learn what constitutes best practice in this area and move forward in a positive way: set up the right processes so you can continue to profit from the input of your valuable contractor workforce after April 2020.

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What is the gig economy? Some say it’s a phenomenon taking over the world. Others lament it’s a movement that means low-paying jobs with little security and no benefits.

Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, there is no doubt the growth of the gig economy represents a change in the way Americans view work. Many take gig projects for the freedom, flexibility and fulfillment it gives them. The continuing rise of the gig economy is taking place as unemployment rates are at historic lows.

We at SIA estimate there are 53 million gig workers in the US, representing 34% of all workers in this economy. By SIA’s definition, a contingent — or gig — worker is anyone earning money by performing work that has a limited tenure from the client’s perspective, whether a summer intern or an outside consultant brought in for a project.

We see no reason to limit the concept of a “gig” solely to transactions mediated online, thus “gig” and “contingent” are synonymous in our mind, and our reports reflect that. The human cloud, or as some call it “electronically mediated work’ has gained much notoriety but it’s just one part of the gig economy. This includes Uber drivers and those working online through platforms such as Upwork.

It is predicted that by 2020, the United States will have 1.5 million fewer college educated workers than the economy needs. Another 6 million will have not completed high school. This is in spite of the fact that college attendance and graduation rates have improved overall and more people are taking degrees online. Given this scenario, how do you find skilled workers for your projects?

As professionals in the workforce solutions ecosystem, it’s important to understand this new, growing economy and how your business fits into it. What does it mean for the industry? Is this the future? Hear SIA President Barry Asin’s reasons for why you should attend the Collaboration in the Gig Economy conference. Arm yourself with data in this tight market so you are better equipped to tap quality talent for big and small projects.

Understanding the developments behind a tight labor market and the gig economy is critical to growing your business regardless of your role in the workforce solutions ecosystem. Enterprise clients, VMS/MSP providers, staffing firms et all — are encouraged to attend this conference to collaborate around how to match the right talent with the right jobs and how new technology will support this new economy. The gig economy is generating $1.3 trillion, and you want to capitalize on this new world of work. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Collaboration in the Gig Economy - YouTube

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The tools that today’s recruiters have at their fingertips are unprecedented. From handheld video chats on our smartphones to literal treasure troves of data, the game has changed quite a bit since I started with my team at Messina Staffing. Our team has been working with amazing talent for 30 years and counting, and we’ve seen a whole new world evolve around us.

It’s not the technology that separates good recruiters from great partners. Here are the top five essentials that make great players in staffing, recruitment, and hiring stand out.

Clarity is critical. Whether it’s writing a truly compelling job post or pitching a wonderful candidate, the value of our words has never been more important. In a recent interview with the Harvard Business Review, the Wharton School’s Peter Cappelli cites jumbled communication as the biggest problem with most hiring processes:

“I’d say the first thing we want to do differently is to be clear about our job requirements. That’s the biggest basic problem, right? And that is we have a committee, we have five people we’re asking about what are we looking for in this job, what should some somebody have? And we end up just adding up everything that everybody said among the five people, and we end up with these, you know, joke kind of job descriptions that are impossible to fill.”

Your work is only as good as your words: be clear, specific, and focused in your communications to forge quality connections.

Be patient and persistent. While our offices are stacked with tools to make our jobs easier, the staffing industry still requires navigating mazes of nuance and subtlety. The rules are ever-shifting, and the game can get frustrating. My team specializes in quick turnarounds of candidates, but that doesn’t mean the work is simple or even straightforward: they’ve simply learned to persist and stay focused, even when the stakes seem too high.

PREMIUM CONTENT: The US Gig Economy

Confidence is key. Confidence tops the list of key recruiting skills at UndercoverRecruiter, and I couldn’t agree more. We work closely with both clients and candidates — at Messina, we place particular emphasis on high-touch relationships — and the best connections begin with a sense of sureness. Carry yourself with confidence in clients, candidates, and ultimately your own skills to make the biggest impact.

Stay curious — and never stop learning. As the job market and the tools we use to manage its data continue to evolve, fortune favors the curious with more emphasis than ever. We can always build upon our skills. For some inspiration, take a look at this guide from LinkedIn on the most critical skills — both hard and soft — for the workplace in 2019.

Don’t forget: we work with real lives. Sarah Benz, our director of recruiting at Messina, puts it so well: “If you think about it, when we are filling long-term, high-level positions, our work can change the direction of a person’s life. Recruiters need to understand the responsibility of recognizing candidates and clients as more than a number or business opportunity; they are humans who deserve respect and our best effort to make a connection good for both sides.”

As the people who help the job market ebb and flow, we are truly the ones that make a difference in people’s lives — it’s a heavy responsibility, and we’re lucky to have it.

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An organization can’t function if no one shows up. Poor attendance drains the morale of staff members, increases expenses and reduces productivity. But before you can try to tackle an absence problem at your business, you must try to find the root cause. Consider these five actions to help in identifying and fixing the underlying issues with the ultimate goal of improving attendance in your workplace.

Set Clear Expectations

Make your employees aware of attendance expectations, rules for taking time off and the impact that poor attendance can have on the company, including its effects on staff members, customer service and productivity. This information should not only be discussed during the onboarding stage but also reinforced to every employee on a regular basis.

Having an employee handbook that clearly lays out the expectations is another important element to having a strong attendance program. By having a physical or electronic document that employees can reference, you will limit the likelihood of excuses such as not knowing all of the details or misunderstanding something when it was first discussed.

It’s also critical to equally apply your attendance policy to ensure a sense of fairness. Employees notice when some people are treated differently which can lead to declining morale and rising turnover.

In terms of attendance policy structure, most companies use a point and/or strike system. These systems hold employees accountable for their absences and demonstrate the consequences that come as a result of continued issues with attendance.

Look for Hidden Causes

Often times, poor attendance can be a side effect of a larger problem. Apart from a common injury or illness, there could be many factors behind why an employee is struggling to make it into work on a consistent basis.

Some of the more common issues to look for would be

  • Conflicts with work colleagues or supervisors
  • Issues with the work itself (ex. too much responsibilities or not enough training)
  • Family or other personal issues

Before disciplinary action is taken, you should take some time to meet with the employee and try to determine the root cause. If you can figure out the problem, you can then start to look at strategies to fix the situation.

PREMIUM CONTENT:  Are temps turning to cloud services for employment?

Train Supervisors

Direct supervisors have an important responsibility when it comes to managing absenteeism and encouraging employee attendance. In many organizations, employees must call in directly to their supervisor when they won’t be showing up. It is crucial to have a properly-trained supervisor to ensure signs of a long-term attendance concerns are recognized and taken care of quickly.

You don’t want to have your supervisors always questioning employees though. Initially, they should accept the reason for their absence, describe the impact of them not being there and tell the employee they will be missed. Many times your workers will be calling in for legitimate and necessary reasons, so by avoiding confrontation, everyone will be at ease over the situation.

However, if a pattern is starting to form or a feeling is felt that an employee may be stretching the truth, a note about the absence should be made and the employee should be monitored going forward. If it continues to be a concern, a discussion with the employee will be necessary.

When training supervisors on attendance management consider these three basic questions

  • Do supervisors know how to track attendance?
  • Are they familiar with the attendance policies?
  • Do they know how and when to apply disciplinary actions?

Just like with training your entry-level employees, supervisors should also be getting consistent reminders of your company’s procedures.

Reward Good Attendance

As we mentioned previously, many times attendance programs are based in the point/strike system where disciplinary action is given for those who don’t meet requirements. Balancing it out by offering rewards for good attendance is an excellent way to show that your organization recognizes your most dedicated employees and gives everyone something positive to work towards.

The biggest roadblock when it comes to getting buy in to start rewarding employees on attendance is the idea that you’re now paying them extra, just for showing up. However, these programs don’t have to be a large expense. Starting small in the beginning with perfect attendance certificates or a company-provided lunch and eventually building up to paid time off, cash awards or gift cards is a common approach to implementation.

Offer Flexibility (When Possible)

Although this recommendation may not work in every business environment, implementing flexibility in work schedules can improve attendance and engagement company wide. By allowing employees to switch their hours with co-workers, work from home or telecommute, you’ll be providing a better work-life balance that will aid in both recruiting and retention for your organization.

Similar to the standard attendance policy, any flexible scheduling that is offered should be documented. With employees working schedules that are different than your standard 1st, 2nd or 3rd shift hours, it can be hard to keep track of everything. Make sure you have people, processes and technology in place that can effectively monitor attendance.

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For the staffing and retail industry, warm weather heralds a heightened focus on temporary hires and rolling out a slew of part-time roles. With an abundance of the younger demographic available for temp positions over the summer break, several industries (including retail, hospitality and manufacturing) begin to fine-tune their hiring plans. Going into effect in the mid/late summer period, the hiring plans center around ensuring a strong temporary workforce for the holiday season.

In this first of a three-part series, I break down top challenges while making the case for a robust approach to seasonal hiring specific to the staffing, retail and franchising industries.

The Case for Temps

To begin with, it is critical to understand the needs and trends of the job market that can be helpful in identifying potential temp-to-hire opportunities and most possibly, turn those summer jobs and temp positions into a direct hire.

Companies often rely on temp agencies to support their hiring needs for a short or set period. This can be a huge opportunity for candidates looking to get their foot in the door. These agencies are a boon for employers filling temporary positions with the added advantage of turning them into direct hires — trained and ready for the role!

Temporary careers are becoming increasingly common in the American workplace. According to Staffing Industry Analysts, the US staffing industry will grow 4% in 2019 to reach a record $153.5 billion. Meanwhile temporary positions notched up 18,000 jobs in the month of April and total non-farm employment is set to grow 3% this year to reach a record $132 billion.

PREMIUM CONTENT:  Conquer Your Cash Flow: Using Data Science to Expose Risks in Your Customer Pool

Steps to Success

 When preparing for a strong hiring season, having a strong recruitment strategy is a must. Key areas of focus to enable successful hiring initiatives include:

  • Setting a clear definition for your hiring needs – how many people do you need to hire, by when, in what specific locations and areas and for which positions?
  • Having the right tools in place – are your recruiters prepared for successful hiring initiatives that tie directly to hiring goals and are they ready to compete for sourcing and hiring top talent?
  • Knowing what your candidate profile needs to look like – is your clear job description free of ambiguity?
  • Attracting talent through a strong brand in market – once your job descriptions are set, check whether they reflect your culture and values, or showcase an ideal place where candidates want to work not just short term but potentially longer term as well.

Peak season hiring is upon us. Summer is about to go into full swing. Be sure you can stay cool and consistent in this hot hiring market by securing the best candidates and talent for your organization’s upcoming hiring needs. Stay tuned for my next piece on how to make your seasonal hire your biggest brand ambassador.

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What’s the best time to send an email? How do I guarantee someone will open my email? How can I prove email actually drives sales?

There are a lot of questions and mystery shrouding email marketing, considering how long this medium has been around, and how effective it is when used correctly. For staffing and recruiting professionals, email marketing can be an incredibly effective weapon in your arsenal for today’s war for talent. If you want to start using email to your advantage, and not just clutter the inboxes of already-busy professionals, follow these tips.

What’s the Best Time to Send an Email?

There’s no perfect time to send an email. What works for one staffing company may backfire for another. There is something to consider, though, and that is the fact that we are all constantly on our computers and phones. And considering 49% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, there’s a good chance for an email sent at 8 p.m. to stand out, as opposed to one sent during regular nine-to-five business hours.

The key to determining your best email send time is to test. Send one at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday, one at 7 p.m. on a Thursday, and one at 8 a.m. on a Sunday, for example. Which one has the best open rate, or click-through percentage? Use those statistics to help you learn about your audience’s preference, and find a better time to mail for your audience.

PREMIUM CONTENT:  Online Job Advertising – 2019 Market Update

How Do You Guarantee Someone Will Open Your Email?

In short: You can’t. However, you can improve the odds! The first step is finding the right time, as mentioned above. The second step is sending content your audience is actually interested in. Whether it’s an employment law update, interesting industry trend you’ve noticed, company achievement or even something as simple as a holiday or seasonal greeting, you need to send engaging content your audience is interested in, and answer their question of, “What’s in it for me?” should they open it.

Staffing and recruiting agencies have an opportunity many overlook: Sending available candidates or open positions out through email. While “dialing for dollars” might be the tried-and-true strategy, sending available vetted candidates to your client list not only puts your candidates right in front of their faces, it also allows you to see who opens the email or clicks on a candidate, and you can use those engagements as warm leads to follow up with. Same goes for sending open jobs to your candidate list.

The last way to get your email opened is simple: Use better subject lines. You don’t have to use click-bait strategies, but there are different engagement levels for subject lines like these two:

1. Staffing Law Update From ABC Staffing
2. Is Your Workplace Compliant With This New Employment Law?

Again, a good email doesn’t need to trick readers into opening it, but it does need to entice them and tell them the benefit of opening your message.

What Drives Response in Email?

If you follow the tips outlined in this email, driving response should be no problem. Many staffing and recruiting agencies send a mass email and then wait for the windfall of cash to come, but email doesn’t work that way (unfortunately!). It does, however, put your company’s name and brand in front of your clients and/or candidates on a consistent basis, position you as a thought leader and a reputable organization, and remind them you are there. Employers may not read your email and then pick up the phone to order 10 temps, but they may see your emails every month and then think of you first when a staffing need arises – instead of going to Google and looking through all your competitors.

In email, the response is often yours to drive. As we mentioned, people who open and/or click on your content are engaged and interested. Even if they don’t reach out to you, what’s stopping you from reaching out to them and following up on what you know they’ve already taken an interest in? Don’t let warm leads turn cold waiting for them to pick up the phone!

By using these tips, you can improve your email open rates, increase your response and inevitably boost your return on investment through email.

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Have you ever wondered why some leaders are more influential than others and wonder how they do it? It is a common question in my practice and many leaders in our coaching sessions, especially those taking on new levels of authority, often want to work on growing their influence.

In this highly-networked and integrated business world, it becomes necessary to build relationships with a variety of stakeholders in order to succeed. Each successful relationship creates more influence as people tend to give you more time, to listen more carefully, and to value your opinions and ideas. As you continue to build these healthy productive relationships, more opportunities for creating influence arise.  It can be simpler than you think to create influence, but it will take time and effort and consistency. It is really about creating a solid business relationship based upon trust and then leveraging that relationship.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Staffing Company financial results July 19 update

On the SoundLeadership Circle this month, I was pleased to host a discussion on this very topic with Kathleen Taylor, chair of the board of RBC and former president and CEO of the Four Seasons Group. Taylor shared her leadership insights from her own illustrious and influential career and her tips resonate with those listed below: take the time to invest in building trusting relationships; lead by example; listen; be of service and take a risk to advance your interests through influence when necessary.

Here are some steps you can take to grow your influence based upon this thinking:

  1. Identify the key stakeholders with whom you need to establish a working relationship and with whom you serve. Include: top performers on your team, key clients and advisors to your business, other influential leaders, top sales leaders, shared services experts, community leaders, subject matter experts in your industry and key senior executives that you admire.
  2. Strategize ways to create visibility with these individuals. Consider ideas such as: take time to listen to their needs and wants, volunteer to work on their pet project, ask to lead committee work for which they are responsible, invite them for coffee to get to know them better, share an interesting new idea with them and ask for their input, share your expertise with them, if you have bandwidth, offer to assist them, take an interest in their work, and/or ask them to visit your team or location.
  3. Once you establish a relationship, keep nurturing it. Find ways to stay connected. Social media is often useful to check in. Refrain from just relying on social media, however, because nothing compares to personal, one-on-one, face-to-face time. Remember, investing in relationship-building takes time but it’s time well-spent.
  4. If you are given responsibility or if you offer to be of service, do your part and follow through. Meet or exceed on your deliverable. Lead by example. Step up. Show them your best work. This will lead to building trust between you – where you can count on each other.
  5. Be consistent. Nothing ruins a new relationship or lessens influence faster than not consistently delivering.
  6. Once trust is established, you will be at a stage where you will have achieved some level of influence. People will take your call, help you out, perhaps even advance your priorities. Your responsibility in the relationship requires you to do the same.
  7. When the time is right and the outcome is just and important, take a risk and make your pitch. Don’t be afraid to wield your influence.

If this all becomes part of your business profile, and you keep working your network, delivering what you promised and offering to be of service, soon you will have increased your field of influence. People will want not only to assist you, but to seek you out for advice and respect your leadership skills.

Resources. Listen to the webinar with Taylor. Another resource is this great article on building influence. And some of my other thoughts on leadership.

LEAD WELL!

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The rise of the gig worker is a tale that will be told for many generations to come. It is one of the most important stories of our time. Why? Because organizations need to become much more adaptable to rapid change. At the same time, they need their talent to be agile in an economy where it’s getting harder to source, manage and retain talent while getting the job done.

And that talent is a large portion of organizations and the economy. Respondents within the Americas to SIA’s Workforce Solutions Buyer Survey — which comprises companies with at least 1,000 employees — report a median 20% of their workforce is contingent. And according to MBO Partners, some 41 million people work on a contingent basis in the US, generating $1.28 trillion in revenue for the US economy in 2018.

But the gig worker is just one part of the story. Much less is written about those professionals at Fortune 2000 companies who manage these workers. From turning a spreadsheet-based program into an internally managed MSP using a VMS to administering a CW program with $850 million in spend, these professionals may be managing as many as 3,000 to 5,000 contingents spanning nearly two dozen countries.

These are just some of the accomplishments being touted in nominations for this year’s CW Program Game Changers list. They are a vital part of the gig story. Versatile, savvy, innovative and strategic in their approach to managing the workforce — including contingents — these experts are elevating the ecosystem as they find new models for getting work done.

Last year, my colleagues and I fielded nominations for dozens of industry pioneers. We spoke with professionals who are passionate about creating efficiencies and saving their companies money, but also enabling their stakeholders to access the talent necessary to complete their projects. Our honorees spanned the globe, as did their programs.

But it’s not just about getting the job done. These Game Changers care about developing the talent. They work hard to ensure a symbiotic relationship: both the talent and the business get what they need. Many of these contingents work on long-term contracts, others come on aboard as full-time employees.  Much has been said about the exploitative nature of the gig economy but there are other good sagas as well.

Next Monday, July 15, is the last day to submit nominations for this year’s list. Have you nominated that colleague who has made an immeasurable impact on the company and program? If you are a supplier, are there program managers with whom you’ve worked who stand head and shoulders above others?

Past inclusion does not ensure recognition this year — so make sure your opinion is heard. Do your bit for the ecosystem. Send in your faves for the 2019 Game Changers list today.

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Burnout has officially become a recognized health concern by the World Health Organization (WHO). This type of extreme stress or fatigue can lead to everything from respiratory problems to gastrointestinal issues. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job or feelings of negativism or cynicism to one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy are all symptoms of burnout.

The healthcare field has higher rates of staff burnout and it’s easy to see why. Working in such a volatile environment as caring for patients with a range of acuity is emotionally challenging. And there are the physical demands of bedside care that can lead to injuries. And on top of that, throw in the stressors of most other shift-work professions, e.g., schedule issues, perceived inability to take a vacation, problems with managers and other co-workers, etc. All of this can leave nurses and other providers burned out, often within a few years of beginning their career.

Avantas research shows that organizations tend to have the highest turnover rate within a nurse’s first two years of service. Data illustrates that if organizations can get an employee to the three- to five-year mark, the retention rate significantly increases. The research also indicates that strictly monetary compensation is a low priority for those that stick with organizations for an extended period of time.

PREMIUM CONTENT:  US healthcare Staffing Market Assessment

Even though caregivers are resilient, healthcare organizations should put more effort into ensuring their staff is cared for. AMN Healthcare’s 2017 Survey of Registered Nurses clearly showed the affect burnout is having on RNs. While there was a strong indication that nurses loved their profession, they had mixed feelings about their jobs. In fact, 55% of those surveyed worried that their job was affecting their health.

Hospitals and healthcare organizations should be asking, “What can we do?” “How can we take care of our employees?”

While there are nuanced individual factors that can cause burnout, including poor managers or personal issues, the most common work-related causes of staff burnout can actually be detected through analytics and mitigated through sound staffing practices.

For example, by planning a staffing mix of cross-generational employees in line with patient demand, organizations can experience a healthy blend of experience and tenure and enable more mentoring of new grads from seasoned professionals on every shift. Ensuring experienced caregivers are always part of the mix has a positive effect on patient engagement and satisfaction.

But it isn’t all on employers to alleviate employee burnout. While self-care and a work/life balance are really important, they are two concepts that people can become too fixated on, further perpetuating their stress. People should be intentional about the type of self-care they are choosing, meaning instead of getting a manicure and pedicure, it can be very beneficial to simply turn off your phone for regular periods of time and employ simple breathing strategies to help alleviate stress and anxiety.

There are some who don’t believe in the “work/life balance” concept and see the whole thing as just life, and everything is connected. This is fine, as long as you are taking time for yourself and not burning the candle at both ends. Think of it like this, for a top athlete, the recovery they do after a workout is as important as the workout. While you might not be a professional athlete, your daily routine is working your body and mind, so you should be devoting time to recovery and wellness. For some, however, clear boundaries between personal life and work are required. Doing so allows someone a better chance to succeed in both.

Alleviating burnout takes teamwork. A staff member should identify what is causing them stress and work with their employer to find a solution. For an organization, this means focusing on what policies and practices they may need to alter to ensure they are setting their employees up for success. Leveraging analytics can help an organization be vigilant of the indicators of stressful work conditions. Best practices can be implemented to further minimize staff dissatisfiers and offer desirable workplace benefits.

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