Human resources professionals will play a pivotal role in managing healthcare workplace trends in 2023, and the focal point will be providing employee care and engaging employees as the industry continues to face high levels of burnout.
G&A Partners’ experts recently identified trends they expect will help shape a significant workplace transformation in 2023. Along with boosting employee engagement to improve retention, other trends we expect in the new year include protecting privacy in HR systems and workforce management in a complex regulatory world.
Targeted strategies that boost employee engagement and improve retention
The pandemic significantly impacted healthcare workers, leading to high rates of burnout within the industry. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation/The Washington Post indicates that almost six in 10 U.S. healthcare workers reported negative impacts on their mental health due to stress during the pandemic.
Today, healthcare employees are still working hard in often thinly staffed environments. Burnout is real, and it’s led to high turnover throughout the industry as healthcare workers are turning to other industries or seeking non-patient care positions instead.
Providing employee care will be critical to healthcare businesses in 2023 as they hope to retain talent, especially since offering perks such as remote work or flexible schedules may not be feasible. HR teams and business owners can begin by actively listening to what their employees want. Planning and facilitating employee surveys, one-on-one conversations, or “stay interviews” will provide HR teams with employee opinions, ideas, and feedback that will be vital to making organizational changes that focus on retaining your employees.
Protecting privacy in HR systems
The new year brings new privacy laws that will take effect in five states, with more privacy-related bills expected in other states. Healthcare businesses are already well-versed in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) and the importance of protecting patients’ information.
But HR leaders and business owners will be keeping a watchful eye on the California Privacy Rights Act, the most stringent of the state privacy laws, as it extends privacy rights to employees and job applicants and the personal information employers collect. Also, privacy notices similar to those companies are already providing to consumers must now be provided to employees and job applicants when personal information is being collected.
Healthcare businesses already equipped to protect patients’ data will need to devote attention to these new privacy laws and how the requirements impact them. For the CPRA, that may include investing in systems capable of data mapping as businesses must now be able to pull details together to determine where employee data is coming from and being stored, who has access to it, and how is it being consumed.
Though the CPRA is specific to California, other states are considering privacy-related bills. Legislation regarding protection of biometric data such as the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act has also passed in several states. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act has been introduced at the federal level and has garnered bipartisan support.
With momentum for privacy laws gaining, business owners and HR leaders should stay abreast of the latest legislative developments, then invest in agile and flexible systems and tools that allow them to adapt to new laws in the future.
Workforce management in a complex regulatory world
Today’s U.S. regulatory landscape is fluid and increasingly more complex, in part because of the pandemic’s immediate impacts but also because of the underlying labor concerns that the pandemic triggered. Staying up-to-date on the latest requirements can be time-consuming and challenging for businesses. But when leaders aren’t aware of how the requirements impact their business, their businesses can become noncompliant, which can lead to potential fines, lawsuits, and claims.
For small and mid-sized healthcare businesses, working with employment lawyers or an HR outsourcing provider such as professional employer organization can help businesses understand new employment laws and how they impact their business.
Businesses that are uncertain whether they are compliant may consider conducting a compliance audit. A comprehensive audit can help businesses assess compliance with relevant local, state, and federal regulations. However, another approach is to assess one or two focus areas each year and complete an audit over time. Businesses can begin with the areas that might have the most risk—such as requirements under HIPPA or the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act—and work from there.
HR’s role in helping companies grow and thrive in 2023
Much of this workplace transformation will fall on the shoulders of HR teams and leaders, as they facilitate change management, update workplace policies and procedures, revise training protocols, reconsider retention efforts, lead compliance and safety efforts, and develop a supportive company culture.
While larger HR teams may have adequate staffing to tackle these new responsibilities, smaller HR teams may need assistance. If expanding staff isn’t an option, HR outsourcing services can help by offering their expertise in areas such as employee satisfaction and retention. They can also negotiate better benefits to ensure a company is offering competitive packages that will help attract and retain top talent. Internal HR teams that want to focus more on strategic initiatives can shift daily HR and administrative tasks – payroll and administering benefits – to an HR outsourcing partner.
An HR outsourcing service is also key in helping healthcare businesses stay abreast of the latest employment laws and requirements and maintain compliance. By identifying areas where a business runs the risk of noncompliance, HR outsourcing services can help companies avoid major problems that could lead to costly penalties, claims, and lawsuits.
Tiffany Guthrie, G&A Partners’ Manager of HR Advanced Support Services, has more than 20 years of HR experience. Based in California, Guthrie specializes in employee relations and legal compliance.