Inefficient management can harm employee satisfaction and retention – a recipe for disaster. Effective workforce management, on the other hand, can maximize performance in organizations. This means taking advantage of information technology to evaluate and optimize workforce systems, particularly in regards to scheduling.
Workforce management is especially significant in healthcare, where organization and performance are critical. Great management in healthcare systems can positively impact not only the satisfaction and success of your workforce but also the health and safety of the patients you care for.
What is workforce management?
Workforce management is a combination of components that, when utilized correctly, can make teams successful. These components include utilizing IT systems to augment employees and implementing procedures that enhance profit. Effective workforce management combines operations management, labor compliance, communications and employee engagement to create a cohesive, productive environment.
For example, Cleveland Clinic responded to the extra strain on its workforce during COVID-19 by taking an “intentional approach” to communication. This strategy included daily emails or recorded messages from the CEO meant to inform, encourage and inspire the organization’s frontline healthcare workers.
In healthcare organizations specifically, workforce management is imperative. Schedulers must optimize productivity, streamline workflows and match staffing with patient demands to enable provider success and patient satisfaction.
Key elements of effective workforce management
In order to successfully utilize workforce management in healthcare, staff scheduling must be a priority. Fortunately, Intrigma’s efficient scheduling software can help your organization enable workforce management. For example, the software allows you to measure provider productivity and match this to patient demand. Providers who are highly productive can be utilized in areas where census or patient acuity is high.
Scheduling software can also track and manage licensures across health systems. Without efficient technology for support, keeping track of multiple licensures across a mix of provider levels can be time-consuming and confusing. Scheduling software also helps managers keep track of the time/hours that providers work. This can make payroll processing much simpler.
Another key element of effective workforce management is having smooth system integrations, which can help eliminate double and triple data entry. Intrigma’s scheduling software can help in this regard too. It integrates with existing clinical communication systems, making scheduling transparency easy. As a result, schedulers can establish accountability among staff and improve communication within and across departments.
Intrigma tools can also integrate with electronic medical records systems (EMR) to pull vital patient information into the schedule. Combined with the ability to integrate with existing payroll systems and other human resource management tools, this interoperability can greatly reduce the time you spend on these tasks.
While scheduling is a key factor of workforce management, there are other items to consider as well. Communication is critical. Providers at every level of care should feel that the organization is working collaboratively toward a common goal. In large healthcare systems, this can be difficult, but messages coming straight from the CEO to the staff can go a long way in making sure staff feel connected and valued (like Cleveland Clinic did!).
Mentorship and skills development are two additional elements of workforce management in healthcare. Through mentorship, experienced workers can guide and invest in new staff, which can inspire both to contribute new ideas that add value to the organization. This type of mentoring can develop a promising base of new staff who are already familiar with the organization’s culture and mission. Additionally, with ever-changing technology advancements, skills development helps train employees to meet new demands and be more productive.
Benefits of workforce management
Not only does effective workforce management allow offices to run more smoothly, but it can also positively impact workforce culture. One example is employee engagement. Providers who feel like they are an integral part of the larger picture will work harder and be more productive for the organization.
Additionally, good management reduces staff call-offs and turnover, largely thanks to the transparency and flexibility scheduling software enables. For example, Intrigma’s scheduling software helps optimize the schedule to avoid under- and overstaffing (and the consequential impacts on patient and provider satisfaction). After all, having understaffed units creates frustration and impacts the care your patients receive. And overstaffing can lead to costly overtime or putting staff on call. With valuable workforce management elements like scheduling software, you can create loyalty among staff and reduce employee turnover.
For more information on how Intrigma can improve your organization’s scheduling and workforce management strategies, contact the team today.