Managing your workforce in a crisis: HCM for healthcare organizations
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Managing your workforce in a crisis: HCM for healthcare organizations

from  September 16, 2021 | 7 min read

In an ever-changing and challenging world, how is modern HCM software helping healthcare organizations rethink the services they provide to help make the experience of delivering them better for their people.   

What is HCM?

Let’s cut to it, HCM or Human Capital Management is just shorthand for software for managing your people. The software manages processes like HR and payroll, talent management, expenses, people planning and analytics, recruitment and onboarding, and beyond. 

What is the role of human resources in healthcare?

HR is fundamental to healthcare. Within this sector, HR has moved beyond typical HR expectations. Yes, they still hire and manage the HR day-to-day, but that’s only the beginning.

Dealing with people’s growth and satisfaction, healthcare HR professionals are responsible for keeping these organizations moving. They’re responsible for ensuring healthcare professionals stay up-to-date within their fields, providing or managing training. Understanding what standards need to be met in every area of the organization and ensuring they hit those targets. This support works from the ground up, whether that’s surgeons or janitors.

The reality is that healthcare organizations cannot function without HR, as HR is crucial in bringing together every element required to make these complex entities work day-in, day out.

How has COVID-19 changed the needs of those working in healthcare?

It’s probably too early to understand the full impact of the COVID crisis on the healthcare industry, but there have already been some significant changes that have had to take place. The three key areas under discussion are:

  • How to become more flexible
  • How to boost response times to crises
  • What can digital offer

How to become more flexible

The biggest issue, as with many industries, is the need to become more flexible. This has put many healthcare organizations on a path to transformation, looking at how to evolve their business model and understand what flexible services look like, which is a big question when you cannot deliver the services you supply remotely.

How to boost response times to crises

Rapid response has become increasingly important lately. This issue is closely related to the growing need for flexibility. Whatever plans anyone lands on, they will inevitably be linked to speed. At the start of the crisis, many organizations’ outdated processes were on the back foot, and the sector has realized that can’t happen again. So being able to adapt isn’t enough if you can’t implement it fast enough. Healthcare organizations will need systems and processes that they can change quickly.

What can digital offer

COVID-19 also raised questions about what digital can offer healthcare. The reality is that digital solutions provide the most fitting response to the need for adaptive and flexible services mentioned above. While many sectors went ‘fully remote,’ much of healthcare didn’t have that luxury, but digital solutions are already being developed to combat the crisis we are still facing. Right now, many institutions are investing in digital to find innovative ways to keep their workers safe in the future.

How can healthcare HR departments respond to the changes brought on by the pandemic?

HR’s role will be twofold. To help the organization keep functioning no matter what they face in the future and ensure every one is as safe as possible. But if we learned anything from COVID, it’s that doing both these things won’t be easy.

HR is fundamental to how rapid any response can be. For the organization, it will be HRs responsibility to roll out changes, keep people informed of what’s happening and what’s likely to happen and adapt to new information. They’re the only ones with a big enough view to bringing all these pieces together fast. Keeping communication flowing and understanding what’s possible (and what’s not) will play a central role, one HR has always played in healthcare. Only now it’s time to take full advantage of it.

On a personal level, people will rely on HR to look out for their safety, to determine the risks employees and customers face, and the required responses. HR will have to create new relationships and rely on new systems, both internally and externally, to ensure that whatever people need, they can have instant access to it, either at the touch of a button or the end of a line. Healthcare HRs must also be on hand throughout to provide support, helping understand what each individual needs, and knowing where to send them next.

What’s the benefit of HCM for healthcare organizations?

Though HCM has a lot of features to support the role of human resources in healthcare, the big benefits come from using it to:

Attract, retain and grow your talent

People are what make your service work, especially in the healthcare industry. So how do you ensure your people are the best? HCM software lets you create a world of opportunities for your people, so you attract, retain and grow talent. It does this by freeing people to do more and empowering them to go further while aligning individual and organizational goals. Your HCM builds (for want of a better phrase) a happier culture, where everyone gets what they want from the relationship. In real terms, this means they have better opportunities, development potential, and improved experiences. Which, in turn, is what will ultimately attract others to you.

Realize and reward performance

If fully integrated, your HCM tools will let you track and control the performance of individuals and services at once. By centralizing data and integrating HR capabilities, you can immediately access all employee information and related documents to create better onboarding processes. Your HCM puts all employee information at your fingertips with tailored screens, so people only see whats relevant. Giving everyone instant insights into performance or how to help boost resource allocation.

Transform services and those delivering them

HCMs have always boosted efficiency. Thats the point. However, modern cloud HCMs, let you deliver genuinely transformative experiences. Now you can work and deliver anywhere with minimal disruption to make work and outcomes better and more satisfying to deliver. Digitize any process to create approval flows and forms or manage your organizational structure. Or even replace paper forms, data gaps, and silos within HR. Reshaping the way you adapt and approve work for your people and your organization.

Rethink decision-making

HCMs power integrations and give you a single source of data. Meaning you can report faster, plan for unknowns and what-ifs, go deeper in your analysis, and rethink, reshape and reset internal structures instantly. Or use self-service tools to people change or update personal information or analyze data themselves. You people have never had more freedom and independence in how they work.

Why do these HCM benefits matter in challenging times?

If youre searching for a complete solution to all the challenges healthcare faces today, it doesnt exist. Every challenge is unique, and no matter what anyone says, theres no rulebook to follow. But that doesnt mean you cant be prepared.

At Unit4, we always start by looking at whats happening and modeling our response around that. But then, any answer is only as good as the people and tools you have at your disposal.

This is where modern HCMs become necessary. As weve seen above, they give you the tools to tackle problems as they arise and help create the people-centric culture essential to ensure you always have the best people to face any crisis. But what does that mean?

It means you have talented and motivated people who can use your HCM to adapt and adjust every aspect of your service as needed. Greater access to data and modeling capabilities means you can test solutions risk-free, resetting and restarting until you find the best model for your organization.

It puts a world of answers and insights at your fingertips. Your HCM does this by supercharging how you:

Engage and enable people

Integrated talent enablement digitizes and informs how your people grow—making conversations and coaching more focused and natural.

Connect systems and processes

Streamline and automate processes and repetitive tasks. And let your people focus on more meaningful work.

Find solutions that work

Pull and apply data from all your systems into a single source of truth to inform analytics and reporting and boost decision-making.

How Unit4 HCM helps your healthcare organization

Unit4 HCM is an integrated and intuitive solution built to help people-centric healthcare organizations unleash talent and strategy with agility, improve employee retention, and adapt quickly. Giving you more individualized control, clearer insights for better decision-making, and faster time-to-value — all with a transformative People Experience. Discover what Unit4 HCM could do for you today.

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