Common Staffing Mistakes to Avoid in Healthcare

by Diana Lam, 4 minutes read
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Medical practices have recently witnessed more and more healthcare staff leaving their roles. In fact, Healthcare is the second-largest industry affected by the “Great Resignation”. 

Whether practice managers realize it or not, staffing mistakes have heavily contributed to healthcare staff being unhappy and leaving the industry. These errors made staff feel unsupported, unmotivated, and burned out in their roles. This, of course, also had a negative impact on patients and the care they received. 

To preserve the staff you’ve invested so much in, uncover common staffing mistakes to avoid so you can keep your best employees devoted to your practice and patients.

Overlooking staff burnout 

The healthcare working environment comes with a lot of responsibilities, challenges, and stress. This combined can lead medical staff to feel burned out. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only increased workloads, schedules, and unbalanced staff ratios. 

Burnout caused a lot of staff to feel less motivated at work, according to our survey of more than 500 health professionals. Practice managers can lend a hand in minimizing team burnout in different ways. You can support your team by having more one-on-one conversations about workloads, obstacles they’re facing, and work on potential solutions together. You can also offer one central platform to help staff collaborate and balance workloads with other colleagues. 

Your practice can set up regular surveys so staff can have a platform to voice how they feel and any workload concerns. Use these surveys to check in on your team’s satisfaction and engagement and proactively address any signs of burnout quickly. 

Long hours and physical labor can add up and take a toll on your staff. You can provide apps like Calm or Headspace to help employees reduce stress and get better sleep. Also consider offering team gatherings outside of the office so staff can get time out of the office. When employees are happier and healthier, they’re more connected to their work.

Ignoring unhealthy work-life balance

In our State of Shift Work report, almost half of healthcare workers shared that their work-life balance has suffered over the past year. And the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated boundaries between work and home. Without a proper balance, employees can be left feeling overwhelmed and consider leaving their jobs.

To keep your employees happy and re-energized to provide top-quality care for your patients, communicate with your staff about their workloads. Are there any areas where you can reduce admin tasks to help your team shave a few items off their list?

Consider offering rotating schedules so you can spread night and weekend shifts, and look into offering telecommuting work arrangements. A scheduling app can also give your staff more control over their schedules and help them balance life outside work. These apps make it far easier for them to set their availability, claim the shifts they want, and swap shifts with qualified team members if they need to take personal time off or have family commitments to take care of. 

Take a cue from Jessica W. from Erko Dental who says a scheduling app “has made her staff a lot happier because they can easily submit leave or swap shifts – it gives them the convenience to know when they’re on and helps them work their own lives when they’re on and helps them work out their own lives around that.”

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Neglecting staff development opportunities

Many healthcare professionals want to develop and grow in their careers, but don’t get the opportunity. In fact, at least fifteen percent of healthcare workers aren’t getting the chance to improve their expertise according to our State of Shift Work report

Your practice can provide more resources to help your team learn and grow. You can offer reimbursements for training classes, conferences, or programs to help staff gain new skills. Staff will be excited to bring back their new skills and apply them in their role.

Take some inspiration from Vince Rukstali, owner of Papillion Animal Hospital, who shares “to help make our staff feel supported [in career progression], we send our nurses for out of state continuing ED. They get to go to large conferences and participate in web labs and learn new skills.”

And if budget is light, your practice can offer mentorship programs or special project assignments. This can help your team get more inspiration and gain different experiences.

Keep employees devoted to your practice

With a lot of job opportunities on the market, you’ll want to keep your best talent on your team. To keep employees happy and less burned out, provide a healthy working environment and nurture a good work-life balance. 

And to keep employees thriving at your practice, provide growth and learning opportunities. With higher employee satisfaction and engagement, your staff won’t think twice about leaving their roles. Instead, they’ll want to grow within your organization.

For more tips on retaining staff in a competitive market, get our ebook on Overcoming Staff Shortages in Healthcare.



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