As the lifeblood of our healthcare infrastructure, the healthcare workforce is now in short supply. Because labor compensation historically has been the single largest contributor to health systems’ expense bases, most organizations have established a degree of discipline by which they manage those costs. But many organizations have yet to focus on the management of their workforce as a strategic imperative.
It’s time to take a new view of workforce management.
While current staffing shortages are creating crisis-level challenges for many healthcare providers, we have found that it is essential for health systems to not only embrace near-term solutions but also focus holistically on long-term workforce sustainability. Healthcare leaders should take the opportunity to reimagine and reinforce foundational aspects of workforce management—including staffing, utilization, and performance management solutions—as well as initiate transformational efforts focused on leadership development, employee engagement and retention, and care model redesign.
Now, more than ever before, combining disciplined cost management with a more holistic, people-centered approach is critical for healthcare organizations to accomplish their strategic goals and initiatives. When organizations take a comprehensive approach that provides the structures, technology, and tools to support a vibrant, capable, and cost-effective workforce, they lay the groundwork for success not only in the current environment but also for the years to come.