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Company culture isn’t all about happy hours and ping pong tables. In healthcare, company culture might look totally different. Most of the time, perks like games and snacks are much less important than building a supportive, healthy environment where employees can feel comfortable and do their best work. Here are six ways to build a company culture in healthcare to help reduce stress and support your workers. 

1. Communicate As If Your Staffing Depends On it

There’s hardly an industry or a position where communication isn’t a top priority. In healthcare, communication can be the difference between worker and patient risk and safety. One report from the Joint Commission found that 80% of serious medical errors came from communication issues. The obvious conclusion: strong communication is vital for both safety and reducing workers’ stress. 

No matter what healthcare position you’re managing, communication is a top concern for both employers and employees. Indeed, poor communication was the top reason home health aides gave for leaving their roles. Communication contributes to workers’ stress levels, job satisfaction, comprehension, and company culture in healthcare as a whole.

2. Hold Evaluations and Check-Ins

During hectic and challenging times, it might be tempting to let check-in meetings slide. Whenever possible, however, try to maintain these meetings. Check-ins and evaluations are opportunities to show your employees that you care about their performance, recognize their hard work, and are available to help them grow.

Employee evaluations can sound alarming to workers, but they don’t have to be. These evaluations can double as stay meetings, where you ask employees how they feel they’re doing and what support you can offer. Be sure to include congratulations and recognition of good work.

3. Invite Anonymous Feedback

Not every healthcare employee will feel comfortable giving feedback face to face. To address this, make it easy for workers to submit concerns anonymously. Anonymous surveys can ease concerns about being judged or penalized, as long as employees actually trust that their confidentiality will be respected.

Most importantly, try to actually act on employee concerns when possible. Without making changes, employees will quickly lose faith and become less likely to give honest feedback. Even when you can’t implement a change, try to welcome the suggestion and respond clearly about why it’s not currently possible. If employees see negative reactions to anonymous comments, they’ll likely stay silent in the future.

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4. Build a Culture of Appreciation

Burnout is a common issue for nearly every healthcare position. This has been true for years, but the pandemic has made burnout particularly common and intense. Over three-quarters of American healthcare workers report feeling exhausted, burnt out, and overwhelmed. 

There are steps you can take to reduce burnout or compassion fatigue in your facility, but one of the simplest and most important is to routinely express gratitude and appreciation. You may not be able to put an end to your workers’ stress, but you can shine as a supportive employer. This might mean something different for every organization. Think about what works for you, and what gestures your employees will appreciate. This could be verbal appreciation, employee recognition at team meetings, free meals, monthly birthday celebrations, or extra perks. The most important way to show appreciation for hard work, of course, is to make sure your employees have the chance to grow. 

5. Encourage Friendships 

Workplace friendships reduce stress and increase employee engagement, which is vital in a high-intensity industry like healthcare. Strong social bonds tend to make employees feel like they have a valuable place in their workplace, which can improve job satisfaction and productivity. 

As long as it’s not disruptive, resist the temptation to monitor employees’ socialization. Taking a moment to joke or vent during a workday can help workers let off steam and relieve stress, and may ultimately add up to a more relaxed company culture. 

6. Support a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Stress can affect performance for even highly experienced physicians. Healthcare is demanding, and if you have staffing issues, there’s a good chance your employees will feel overworked and overwhelmed at times. Protecting your employees’ work-life balance is vital if you want to help them enjoy and recommit to their work.

It’s tough to support work-life balance when you’re already struggling to maintain your staffing ratios, but a few key strategies can help with this. One is to offer flexible benefits, so employees can decide for themselves what kind of support they need. Another is to focus on amplifying your recruiting. With a quicker and more effective hiring process, you’ll be less likely to need employees to work multiple long shifts in a row.

Healthcare Staffing with Apploi

Apploi is on a mission to help healthcare recruit, hire, and manage talent more successfully. We give employers more control over staffing and improve company culture in healthcare by making talent management simple and painless for both candidates and managers. 

Interested in learning more about how you can recruit, hire, and onboard healthcare staff quickly? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end talent management solution.

Pritma Chattha, DNP MHA RN

Pritma Chattha, DNP MHA RN

Pritma is a Yale-educated nurse executive with 18 years of experience advocating for patients at the bedside and in the boardroom. She currently serves as the Head of Healthcare Innovation at Apploi—healthcare's leading recruitment and credentialing platform. Over the last decade, Pritma has honed her expertise as a health informaticist, building and improving electronic health records and credentialing platforms. She is the immediate former Executive Director of Electronic Quality and Safety for Alberta Health Services, the largest health system in Canada. Pritma enjoys rethinking healthcare processes to provide safer, better, and more accessible healthcare. https://www.linkedin.com/in/pritma/