Company Culture Matters: 10 Healthcare Employer Insights for 2024

Your company culture impacts the overall health of your healthcare organization. Job satisfaction, staff retention, patient care and ultimately the reputation of your brand are all affected by your company culture, possibly much more than you realize. 

A recent article in the publication Business News Daily cites a survey in which 77% of job seekers said they would consider a company’s culture before deciding to work there. And 56% of respondents declared a good company culture was more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction. And across the globe the same applies. 73% of international respondents said they would not work with a company unless the company values aligned with their own.

Those statistics confirm the fact that company culture matters. And in healthcare it’s extremely important to ensure a positive and healthy working environment. Happy, healthy and positive medical professionals provide much better patient care than those who don’t feel supported by the healthcare organization for whom they work.

What is Company Culture Exactly?

Industry experts define company culture as a shared set of work[place values, beliefs, behaviors, attitudes, purpose and standards. Your company culture reflects both formal codes of conduct, professional application of skills and those unwritten rules and standards by which  all people working for the healthcare organization conduct themselves. This includes everyone from the top on down. Consider company culture as the sum of all you think and say and do as an organization. 

Your culture goes a long way toward your brand as reputations very often precede direct knowledge of how specific healthcare facilities operate. Your culture is at the heart of your organization and the collective personality you exhibit.

Why Your Company Culture Matters

For your healthcare organization company culture is the foundation. When your staff feels as though their values, principles and goals align with that of their workplace it forges a bond that goes much deeper than the typical employer-employee relationship. When the culture aligns the staff feels invested in the success of the organization.

This sense of higher engagement has a very positive effect on your staff and your entire organization. A positive company culture fosters innovation and creativity, camaraderie and boosted morale which leads to a greater retention rate. Of course a healthcare employer realizes all of these attributes that come with having a positive company culture make attracting top notch medical staff with the right skills and talent far easier. That reputation we mentioned earlier makes your working environment very attractive.

Healthcare Employer Insights for Improving Company Culture in 2024

Company culture matters in healthcare more now than ever before. There’s a shortage of workers and an increase in need that promises to snowball in the next decade. Building your reputation as a desirable healthcare workplace depends on your company culture. Here are ten  ways to strengthen your culture.

1. Engage your Employees From the Beginning

Begin by creating a highly engaging orientation and onboarding program. Your culture was evident during the hiring stage now let your employees see you walk the walk. 

When the hiring process is complete take the new hires and personally introduce them to their coworkers. That way they can begin knowing a few of their peers. Make onboarding a relaxed experience for the newbies by assigning peer mentors. Choose these mentors from your top staff and exemplary nurses. 

New nursing staff members will appreciate the constructive mentoring and mentors provide encouragement and feedback along the way. That feedback allows new hires to improve where they might be lacking before their formal review. And mentorship is also a great way for the mentor to display their leadership skills for future career growth.

2. Introduce Your Organization’s Values into The Everyday 

As we stated above, your employees need to witness their healthcare employer walk the walk. Otherwise your values as stated in your company culture mean nothing. Here are some of the ways in which your healthcare organization can exhibit your strong company culture values.

  • State your values during employee orientation, stress the importance of these values during meetings and pose real case scenarios where these culture values were exhibited.
  • Reward and recognize nursing staff for exhibiting these values when called upon to do so.
  • Make decisions that are values-based.
  • Restate your cultural values during employee performance reviews. Guide your staff members in ways that underscore company culture. Use your shared values to help underperforming staff members improve and shine.

3. Embrace Flexibility

Nurses are the key point at which all of your patient-related healthcare systems come together. Physicians, patients and any other medical personnel depend on communication with nursing staff in order to prevent any potential errors. Given that your healthcare organization depends so strongly on your nurses you want to retain the best. To that end your company culture matters a great deal. How can you keep your nurses happy?

  • Offer flexible scheduling
  • Ensure competitive salaries and benefits
  • Don’t let short-staffing become an issue. Ever. 
  • Compensate going the extra mile with PTO or comp time.
  • Always recognize a job well done and reward staff in some way such as a gift card.
  • Be available to your nurses should they need to speak with you.
  • Find creative ways for team building 

4. Encourage Open Exchange of Ideas

When you encourage your staff to voice their ideas you make them feel seen and heard. Not only that but what better way to address problems before they become bigger issues than to listen to your “boots on the ground”. They’re in the thick of patient care. Their perspective is gold. 

Getting stuff to open up isn’t possible if they feel uneasy. Encourage them by asking questions. Don’t simply ask how things could be better. Ask specific questions such as:

  • Is there a problem no one has addressed?
  • What do you feel interferes with the best patient care?
  • How can we build a more cohesive team?

5. Regular Communication

The key to a successful relationship is regular and honest communication. When you communicate with your nursing staff on a regular basis you keep them in the loop and feeling valued-and vice-versa. Communicating through newsletters, company emails and even monthly meetings is great on a basic level but to truly communicate you must put forth real effort. Have team meetings where you take note of anything your staff feels needs to be addressed. Make sure you get back with them and follow ups in some way as soon as possible.

According to an NIH publication on improving outcomes of hospitalized patients the STICC framework for communication is a useful approach to communicating among colleagues. The acronym breaks down like this:

  • S = Situation. What is taking place?
  • T = Task. What is the required action?
  • I = Intent. Why is that the action required?
  • C = Concern. What are any other concerns?
  • C = Calibrate. Is the information clear? Are there any questions or concerns beyond what we’ve addressed?

In following this protocol your staff ensures the necessary information is clearly communicated  to their colleagues.

6. Encourage Collaboration and Team-Building

Find ways to help employees forge a connection through team building. This has long been a useful tool in corporate America and easily integrates into healthcare as well. Your staff spends many hours together under sometimes fraught circumstances. They need that connection to feel as though their colleagues have their back. That makes for a pleasant workplace and helps build on your company culture. Some team building events:

  • Trivia night at a local establishment
  • A team trip to an escape room 
  • Board game party

Anything that creates collaboration will forge a bond between team members. Social functions or fun and not necessarily competition are also important. Consider outings to your favorite pizza place where the healthcare employer picks up the tab, for example.

7. Repair Damaged Company Culture

Sometimes, in spite of all of your efforts, your company culture takes a hit. When that happens to your healthcare organization utilize it as an opportunity for improving. Here are some ways healthcare employers can repair damaged company culture. 

  • Clarify your culture to ensure there’s no miscommunication.
  • Develop those leaders whose values, beliefs, attitudes, standards and goals align with the reinforced company culture.
  • Reiterate and underscore the importance of change as it applies to your culture. Openly dialog and use clear communication to discuss the need for cultural changes. Your employees may have some great ideas of their own.
  • Align with your company’s culture from the top down and make every effort to support a positive culture at every opportunity. 

8. Trust Your Staff

This sounds simple enough and in the healthcare environment it is essential to trust your staff. An environment of real trust helps your nurses feel respected and also contributes to an attractive company culture. Most experienced nurses value the autonomy that goes along with trust. Potential employees prefer working for a healthcare organization that exemplifies an atmosphere of trust. 

And just as transparency encourages patient trust, being open and honest with your staff regarding the challenges you face builds trust among your nursing staff. Healthcare employers should take the time to get to know their staff members. Make yourself visible and engage as often as possible. Avoid the temptation to micromanage and let staff members take the reins every once in a while. Always follow through with what you say you will do and follow up to find out how things are going. Never let short-staffing become an issue. That’s a fast track to employee dissatisfaction and poor company culture. Along with increasing the possibility for errors that may impact patient care. 

9. Lead By Example

It’s important that a healthcare employer lead through genuine example in order to build a company culture that withstands even the above-mentioned damage. Leadership sets the tone that creates the and defines the culture throughout the healthcare organization. With that in mind take special care to:

  • Follow through on promises such as addressing any staff shortages that may create burnout.
  • Keep your demeanor upbeat and approachable.
  • You expect your staff to follow the rules so you must adhere to these same rules yourself.
  • Offer to lend a hand where you are qualified.

10. Keep Moving Forward

A company’s culture is fluid. To that end keep your culture attractive by constantly checking in. Check in with nurses, the pulse of any healthcare organization, and never pause on addressing and fixing a problem. Employee needs and patient needs constantly evolve so in order to ensure your company culture is in good standing you must evolve with them. 

Every healthcare employer sets the company culture through their own values and mission statement. A healthcare employer who demonstrates values of excellence in the workplace does so by incorporating these insights. An excellent company culture attracts high quality nurses and staff. Not only that but by walking the walk, a healthcare employer retains these nurses and staff to the betterment of their organization. Forging a great company culture is a win-win for all, most especially the patients.

Helping Healthcare Employers Walk the Walk

It’s never been more crucial to healthcare employers to attract and retain quality staff. Today’s nursing shortage only promises to become more dire in the next decade. Don’t risk your company culture. Reach out to BOS Medical Staffing for solutions to your employment needs. 

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