When a patient walks into a hospital waiting room, an ambulatory clinic, or even a doctor’s office, that person has certain expectations about the environment she will encounter. Healthcare facilities must not only meet visual expectations for cleanliness and organization, but have to maintain the right temperature, be comfortable, and lend themselves to the best possible care outcomes. And these indicators can often fall under the purview of healthcare facilities management.
To maintain a healthcare environment, facilities managers must engage in some degree of staff management and coordination. Managing staff goes well beyond creating schedules and solving communication issues to ensuring that you correctly utilize every staff member, and the entire team can work at its maximum efficiency.
Keep reading for some staff management best practices and how to apply them to the healthcare environment.
Managing Staff Levels
Healthcare facilities management can involve teams of all different sizes. Knowing how many people you need at any given time is part of the job for a facilities manager. In the healthcare environment especially, contributing to the overall goals of the facility through facilities management means that staff levels many need to fluctuate, for example during a renovation or construction project.
Doing More with Less
With facilities managers across industries reporting that they are being forced to accomplish more with fewer resources, healthcare facilities managers should ensure that they are maximizing the efficiency of their staff as much as possible.
One of the best ways to improve team efficiency is to ensure that every staff member is in the right role. This could mean promoting someone who has outgrown their role through experience on their team, it could mean shifting someone to a new position when they become disengaged with their current role, and it could also mean making the difficult choice to let people go when they are no longer contributing to the team. By ensuring that each employee is in the right role, you will help to build efficiency and foster better relationships within the team.
Outsourcing Where it Makes Sense
While outsourcing can certainly have negative connotations at times, the truth is that many facilities positions may be more successful with skilled contract employees from an outsourcing firm in place. These employees can provide a high level of service while often easing some budget strains, since the contracting company pays for some of the overhead, like benefits.
Including outsourcing as part of a strategic staff management plan does not necessarily mean having to cut any current employees. Rather, when a staff member leaves, a contract employee could be considered before a full-time replacement.
Keep Communications Channels Open
Great communication is the best pathway to successful staff management. As a facilities manager, your team should feel comfortable coming to you with any problem they may have with their job and its requirements. One way to keep communication flowing is by regularly meeting with staff and maintaining an expectation for regular communication through email, notice boards, calendars, and any other means that makes sense for your unique facility.
Good staff management means maintaining a habit of regular assessment of the staff, their skills, your budget, and how all those factors fit together. In healthcare facilities management, when you can supervise and manage your staff effectively, you are better able to contribute to the overall goals of great patient care that hospitals and clinics strive for.