In any organization, one of the most important intangible factors to worker performance is a healthy workplace environment. The uniqueness of a healthcare organization requires that special attention be given to the workplace environment to reduce likelihood of mistakes. The added advantage of increased staff retention due to a healthy work environment will not only save the organization in recruitment and training costs but also increase efficiency and lower costly mistakes. Below are some strategies that will create and maintain a positive work environment within a healthcare organization.
By organizational culture, this refers to a set of values, assumptions, principles and beliefs that underlie how people perceive and behave within the organization. Such values as courtesy, honesty, transparency, inclusivity, care and empathy, communicate to staff that they are valued, respected and treasured by the organization. In giving the organization a human face that is relatable and approachable, management can contribute to a healthy workplace environment.
By nature, culture is not an easy strategy to implement. It comprises of all the little signs that demonstrate care for staff. Whilst easy to overlook, these simple gestures add up. They communicate that staff are more than mere functionaries through whom medical procedures are delivered. It always pays to show that you care. Although their focus was on nursing, this research demonstrates comprehensively the centrality of culture to a healthcare organization's workplace environment.
It should not come as a surprise that most medical professional’s harbor ambition for career and personal advancement. Such ambition may take the form of improved capacity within the current position, or advancement to the next rank. An organization that creates opportunities for formal and informal training and equipping of staff will foster a positive working environment. Larger organizations can enroll staff for studies or adjust work schedules to allow for training. Staff can also be trusted to perform procedures that are challenging (under supervision) to improve their skills.
When an organization recognizes and provides opportunities for growth, it communicates trust to the employees. Staff will feel valued and empowered, which will motivate performance. Such staff members will demonstrate a deeper sense of loyalty and affinity with the organization. Such affinity inevitably translates to increased efficiency. Organizations must also note that development is not just professional it is also personal.
Everyone loves recognition. A word, note, salary increase, bonus, or even rewarding something as niche as pool financing goes a real long way to show that efforts and achievements are noted and rewarded. For senior and respected staff members to communicate the significance of the recognition, they should give such recognition. Recognition should be varied enough to match with the accomplishment and unique enough to be treasured.
Perhaps nothing has become more central to a health care organizations environment than enterprise imaging. The ability to access all the relevant clinical information necessary for patient care in the appropriate format and at the required time goes a long way to eliminating conflicts, frustration, delays and most of all, errors. An efficient imaging system allows the entire clinical staff to access all the necessary patient information through an improved communication and archiving system. Most healthcare organizations are re-structuring their imaging strategy to ensure that it is all encompassing and to obtain all the positives from their existent system.
A positive workplace environment is essential for the health and efficiency of any healthcare organization. Although subject to multiple variables, it is a worthwhile investment. Management must therefore invest sufficient time and resources to ensure that the workplace environment is healthy. Providing a defined and positive culture, opportunities for personal and professional development, recognition and notable imaging will go a long way in securing a positive workplace environment.