Pandemic puts extra pressure on healthcare HR teams

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers have faced challenges such as workplace shortages and burnout. These challenges have not only affected front-line workers but have also stretched hospital human resources professionals, according to an article published on the Society for Human Resource Management website. 

The article cited various issues that human resources departments at healthcare companies, health systems and hospitals have been tasked with addressing, including low staff morale, salary complaints, resignations, enforcing mask and vaccination requirements, policy shifts, hiring more cleaning staff, and supply chain shortages.

"It's been nonstop," said Maxine Carrington, senior vice president and chief people officer at New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health, who added that human capital issues during the pandemic have been "epic level."

Human resources professionals have handled strikes, 14 of which were reported on by Becker's Hospital Review in 2021.

They have also worked on tasks that are outside of their normal workflow, according to the article, including Ms. Carrington's team having to set up COVID-19 testing sites for staff. Rebecca Mohiuddin, chief human resources officer at Central Ohio Primary Care in Westerville, Ohio, also was tasked with getting 2,300 employees at 80 sites vaccinated against COVID-19.

Additionally, human resources professionals have had to adapt to a hybrid workplace. 

At Northwell, the health system developed an umbrella initiative called Workwell, which aims to support the well-being of employees through a customizable approach to work. This approach considered the future of work for employees who never had the option of working remotely during the pandemic, as well as for remote and hybrid employees. As part of the Workwell initiative, Northwell opened "Workwell Signature Hubs," which feature private workstations and collaboration rooms in areas repurposed for pandemic-related reasons.

To read the full report, click here

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