While healthcare executives are tirelessly working to navigate the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape, we can sometimes lose sight of our organization’s most valuable asset; our staff. Not only are leadership teams having to make critical organizational decisions about patient care, but they have to remember to look inward at their teams providing the care to make sure that our employee’s mental and emotional health is being cared for, too. A recent study highlighted this crisis facing our workforce.
Assessing how employees felt in May, 2020 compared to a short five months later:
- 45% increase in being extremely worried about being able to take care of their family
- 38% increase in being worried about their own mental health
- 50% increase in being extremely worried about access to essentials (food and prescriptions)
- 140% increase in being extremely worried about their own vulnerability to addiction
- 10% increase in finding it challenging to work under certain conditions
In March, US News ranked the top-24 most stressful jobs in America and 11 fell squarely in the healthcare sector. An already taxing workforce is now trying to mitigate a pandemic while finding an opportunity for self-care and self-healing and it’s not working. The reality is that organizations are not setup to provide sufficient mental and emotional support to their employees during a national crisis and the impact is exponential on those facing the virus on a daily basis.
As leaders, we can’t ignore these challenges and wait for them to pass. Even when a vaccine is distributed, our employees aren’t going to easily bounce-back. The first step in shifting this curve comes with communication. If you’re an executive, ask yourself: “When was the last time I sat in on a staff meeting? When was the last time I visiting a nursing station to talk to the nurses about how they are doing? How can I let my staff know that I’m there for them if they need me?”
With a long road of healing ahead, communication is just the beginning. We must reevaluate our Human Resources policies to make sure that we’re meeting the needs of our employees and we have to stop being reactive and start being proactive.
Questions about how Spyglass Solutions can help you to better support your employees? Contact us at 610-799-7400 or Info@SpyglassSolutions.org.