With COVID-19 now into its second year in the U.S., it’s clear that the pandemic has created hardships on many levels. But none more so than those working the “front lines”– dealing with patients on a daily basis.
Doctors, RNs, NPs, those treating residents in long-term care facilities, and other medical professionals have felt the immense mental strain as increased demand during COVID-19 has led to equipment shortages, overtime, and sacrificed their well-being to help those in need.
In addition, according to a recent poll conducted by the HERO Registry, one in three people working in healthcare has reported their financial security has been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
While the uptick in supply of COVID-19 vaccines is welcome, most health workers on the front lines are still waging a tough battle. One that can lead to stress-related issues and burnout.
So with 79% of employees citing lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving their job, how can hospital administrators and healthcare employers show support?
Below are 5 ideas that healthcare institutions can implement to boost employee welfare.
1.) Protect your Workers
As employees continue to work long hours, it’s critical that the physical health of staff is prioritized. Workers are vulnerable in this situation, and it’s important that they have the essential personal protective equipment to stay healthy. Ensuring that PPE is available means personal protection is one less thing for health workers to worry about.
2.) Consistently Provide Educational Resources and Updates
Whether you email articles to your staff on a regular basis, provide hard copy materials, or make info available on your website, resources providing the latest COVID-19 data will be much appreciated. New information on the science and history of the disease, and regular news updates are all valued by those working to stop this pandemic.
3.) Provide On-Site Support
In the midst of a long and grueling shift, it can be easy for staff members to put their own well-being on the back-burner. To help lift their spirits, consider small initiatives within your health care facility to help enhance employee morale. These could include:
- Rewarding employees for achieving personal, team, and company goals and priorities
- Making coffee readily available, providing a nutritious meal, or encouraging them to take small breaks to phone a loved one.
- Enabling employees to provide feedback, complete surveys, and participate in culture-building activities
- Making recognition visible and social, including high-fives and positive comments
4.) Allow Staff to Bank Vacation Time
Many front-line workers have found they can’t take their planned vacations. Instead of viewing this as a lost cause, consider implementing a system that enables workers to bank their vacation time. If staff members haven’t used their vacation time from 2020, for instance, allow them the flexibility to carry it into 2021.
5.) Implement a Rewards Program
Consider showing appreciation for your employees through the use of recognition, mentioned above, along with rewards. There are many rewards and recognition platforms on the market which allow employers to acknowledge those who have gone the extra mile. These platforms also have the functionality to distribute rewards points that healthcare workers can redeem for gift cards, merchandise, and experiences.
i4 Search Group – Recruiting Healthcare Heroes since 2019. i4 Search Group is a permanent placement recruiting firm specializing in healthcare recruiting across North America. If you’re a nursing, allied health, or any other healthcare professional looking for your next career move, visit our website and see how our experienced team of professionals can help you find a great career position in 2021!