Jackie Larson, President, Avantas
At the core of what we do here at Avantas is focused around HELM – Healthcare Enterprise Labor Management. All of our offerings are just pieces of the puzzle that is workforce management in healthcare. Smart Square, consulting, Workforce Planning Dashboard – all of these tools should be implemented within an enterprise strategy and solution.
We’ve worked with a diverse portfolio of healthcare systems over the years, and here are five qualities that they all share when they’ve embraced an enterprise staffing mentality.
1. Strong Organizational Alignment
The most successful leaders understand that core to leading any significant change is being transparent and keeping the lines of communication open. All employees should understand what is happening and the why behind it. Employees will be onboard with a new initiative if they can connect to its purpose. Having a clear vision of goals, shared responsibility, and personal accountability allows organizations to achieve results. Clear communication from leadership about action plans keeps staff aligned with objectives, ensuring project timelines are met.
2. Cross-Collaboration Between Leadership
Leadership should be informed and up to date on what is happening across departments and facilities within the system. This allows executives to work together to align their strategies and review outcomes. Leaders from various departments should have routinely scheduled collaboration sessions to provide updates on their staffing operations. This offers a platform to share ideas and successes with one another. This philosophy of transparency truly embodies an enterprise approach.
Instead of being stuck in the mindset of “this is the way it’s always been done,” organizations that have adopted an enterprise staffing approach also tend to be on the leading edge of other initiatives and projects. Leaders in these health systems are visionaries and not afraid to take risks.
4. Identified Workforce Strategists
Companies aligned with an enterprise staffing mentality know the focused effort it takes to keep the organization on track with workforce goals. Depending on the size of the system, there is typically at least one person who focuses on implementing, guiding, and monitoring enterprise workforce strategies. This leader is zeroed in on enterprise labor strategies and carries the decision-making authority to lead initiatives.
5. Open-Unit Philosophy
A unit classified as “open” fully embraces the enterprise staffing mentality by accepting competent staff being floated into the unit when needed, and will share staff with other units when there are greater needs. This team mentality requires strong collaboration between clinical leaders to use resources in the most effective manner and identify where the greatest need is. Clinical leaders know that sharing resources is not only what is best for the enterprise, but most importantly, ensures the best care for the patient.
Embracing an enterprise staffing mentality is a process that takes considerable planning and thought. But the outcomes are significant. Provider organizations that have adopted an enterprise labor management mentality realize operational efficiencies, better resource allocation, and improved staff satisfaction.