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Protecting the healthcare workforce post-covid

Since the pandemic, hospitals and the social care sector have seen rising staff vacancies. Here’s why protecting people in the workforce is essential.

The healthcare sector relies on the people in its workforce. The industry and the services it provides simply wouldn’t be able to exist without the nurses, doctors, specialists and carers within it. Add those who make food for inpatients and visitors, or the cleaning staff who help to maintain a safe and hygienic environment in hospitals, and it’s clear that the healthcare workforce is key.

In the wake of the pandemic, the global healthcare sector has seen a sharp rise in the number of staff shortages and absences due to sickness. In some instances, it’s received criticism for the lack of support given to its people, and as a result, our research has identified a feeling of discontent and even anger within the healthcare system. Rebuilding organizational resilience is crucial, and staff psychological safety will play a pivotal role in this endeavour.

Improving workforce well-being offers the opportunity to break the cycle of rising vacancies and diminishing motivation among staff.

Shifting the culture within the healthcare and social care sectors

According to the World Health Organization, 10 million more healthcare workers are needed by 2030. This is mostly the case in low and lower-middle-income countries but it’s also a reminder to other countries of how crucial it is to recruit and retain a fit healthcare workforce.

When it comes to creating a healthy workplace environment, your healthcare organization can start by identifying the causes of the problems and invest in the areas that will help to build a more stable and sustained workforce.

What can your organization do to support this endeavour?

Embedding well-being programmes that help to prevent stress and meet people’s basic welfare needs is a good place to start. With those needs met, organizations in the healthcare sector have the potential to see improved productivity and increased levels of engagement among their workforces.

For your organization, the big question is how to find greater opportunities for well-being in the workforce. Understanding what that looks like can help you create better systems that monitor the problems and, in turn, provide actionable and quality improvement in healthcare.

Addressing the mental and physical needs of healthcare employees is only really the start. If your organization acts swiftly, you can help curb the growing rise of vacancies and cases of employee burnout.

How we’re helping to protect people in healthcare

For decades, we’ve worked closely with the healthcare sector to give its workforce the support it needs.

The globally recognized standard ‘Psychological Health and Safety at Work’ (ISO 45003) is a tool for all organizations. It's designed to help manage psychosocial risks within organizations globally and provides a benchmark for any business to show they’re committed to the well-being of their workforce.

Learn more about prioritizing people in the medical workforce and pushing for quality improvement in healthcare by reading our whitepaper.