Skip to the main content.

3 min read

The 6 Biggest Human Resource Issues in Healthcare

The 6 Biggest Human Resource Issues in Healthcare

Understanding the Biggest HR Issues within Healthcare

Human resources issues in healthcare have never been more prominent than they are today. The pandemic has introduced challenges that have deeply changed the way healthcare providers at all levels view their roles and the stresses that make it impossible to perform their jobs. Today the most common human resources issues in healthcare are deeply impacted by job satisfaction. 

Therefore, healthcare facilities must establish caring work environments where efforts to reduce stress and empower healthcare workers to do their jobs are a priority. Here we look at the six biggest human resources problems in healthcare today.

1. Keeping the Workforce Engaged

Employee engagement in healthcare requires transparency through effective communication. With the impossible strain placed on front-line healthcare workers throughout the pandemic, the desire to remain in the healthcare industry has dropped. To address human resources issues in healthcare, HR teams must find ways to create purposeful communication methods that demonstrate a commitment to a caring culture where employees feel heard. 

They need to see that patient care will not be impeded by poor planning, a lack of staffing resources, or a need to drive profits over patient and staff safety. Proactive HR planning allows healthcare facilities from GP clinics to major hospitals to actively source new employees and strategically transfer others internally. As a result, you always have the right people with the right skills on duty at the right time to maintain workforce engagement.

2. Attracting and Retaining Talent

Talent acquisition is a major issue in the pandemic era. In fact, 1 in 5 workers quit their jobs in 2021. With fewer people in the healthcare workforce, healthcare facilities face a decreasing pool of talent. The combination of high turnover and less talent means HR resources issues in healthcare are greatly impacted in the hiring process. 

While competitive compensation plays a major role in attracting and retaining talent, you also need to find ways to provide meaningful experiences. Other forms of compensation must contribute to improved life/work balance and wellbeing. Improved scheduling methods that make it easier to find hours that suit staff lifestyle, in hand with benefits aligned with today’s workers’ expectations, help you remain competitive to attract and retain healthcare talent.  

3. Building Authentic Relationships

Human resources problems in healthcare often develop due to a lack of commitment to building authentic relationships. These relationships exist amongst co-workers as well as between managers and staff. In some cases, management might be working completely separately from front-line staff who remain in the trenches, while remote work keeps managers apart. Today, relationships that foster stronger bonds between staff and managers are a must. Strong relationships foster trust and allow for open, honest communication both ways. Efforts must be made to maintain connections despite remote or hybrid work environments. 

Relationship building must be intentional to maintain the proper communication cadences laterally, upwards and downwards. With the right remote workforce management software you can formalize communication, understand employee engagement and productivity deficits, and find solutions to resolve related issues. You also improve accountability across all levels.

4. Poor Training and Development

High turnover increases the demand for training and development. HR departments must find ways to provide rapid upskilling and reskilling to make sure everyone is up to speed. This means your existing workforce can easily fill roles or move throughout the facility as demand changes across different departments.  The need for easy ways to identify and hone transferable skills amongst current staff members is critical. An employee database allows you to maintain up-to-date records on employee resumes, certifications, training, continuing education, etc. As a result, you can search for the skills required to fill roles, make informed decisions on skills gaps to improve development and even improve succession planning efforts.

5. The Allure of Travel Agencies

Nurses, and to a lesser extent physicians are moving to travel agencies to escape the demands of traditional healthcare employers. Agencies offer higher pay and improved flexibility in their schedules. Temporary assignments allow nurses to avoid burnout, getting paid more to work less. With an increasing demand for nurses and doctors, travel agencies are busy enough to offer hours suited to clinicians’ needs. 

Nurses are happy to take on local assignments that are close to home, provide new opportunities to avoid boredom, and work in varied environments where their presence is appreciated. This makes it harder to attract nurses and physicians who enjoy a life of higher pay, more meaningful patient experiences and a schedule that reduces stress. HR professionals can develop plans to address the factors that are driving employee turnover, including more flexible schedules and time off processes that allow employees to avoid burnout.

6. Employee Health and Well-Being

Human resources problems in healthcare not surprisingly focus on health and well-being. As stress levels continue to rise, and risks of contracting illnesses such as COVID and monkeypox pose a constant threat, self-care is more important than ever. Benefits that provide unorthodox wellness perks focused on mental health, flexible hours, more paid time off, or reduced workloads all contribute to a healthcare worker’s health and well-being.

Workforce management software offers the solutions required to address major human resources issues in healthcare. Facilities can provide a more caring work environment that fosters retention and well-being.  

About the Author

Kayla is the Marketing Manager at Paypro Corporation overseeing all inbound and outbound marketing and sales efforts. She has 7+ years of experience working within the B2B and SaaS based solutions space and thrives on creating messaging and campaigns that introduce products and services to those who need them most.

The 8 Biggest Human Resource Issues in Healthcare

The 8 Biggest Human Resource Issues in Healthcare

The 8 Biggest Human Resource Issues in Healthcare Whether you are a major hospital or a local physician’s office, you all share common human...

Read More

Top 7 Compliance Issues for HR Departments…right now

From labor laws to minimum wage regulations to healthcare legislation, the compliance issues that a company must be aware of is staggering – and...

Read More
The Complete Guide to Writing A Nurses’ Self Scheduling Policy

The Complete Guide to Writing A Nurses’ Self Scheduling Policy

The Complete Guide to Writing A Nurses’ Self Scheduling Policy With the challenges of retaining nurses in the healthcare industry, it is important...

Read More