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LHRD in the Healthcare Industry and How to Effectively Promote Workplace Development, Health and Social Wellness

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Carvis C. Durr
September 11, 2023

To thrive in today’s dynamic work environment, companies must remain adaptable to changing social norms, technological advancements and global business demands. Employing effective Leadership and Human Resource Development (LHRD) practices can significantly affect workplace performance and employee satisfaction. A robust HR strategy can help you evaluate and improve engagement, watch team dynamics, overcome task-related challenges and perfect operational efficiency. Sometimes, your HR team may need to change equipment or move workstations to maximize productivity. Investing in social relationships can be a valuable form of capital, just like any other financial investment. Investment and recovery here are both social, and the resulting health benefits can enhance social mobility and overall wellness. In the healthcare industry, essential employees such as environmental services, nutritional services and transportation are often overlooked and undervalued despite being crucial to the industry’s success. To enhance workforce operations in healthcare, being a change agent is vital.

Social Capital

Social capital refers to the value individuals gain through their involvement in social networks and institutions within a society, whether formal or informal. It encompasses the advantages of personal relationships, trust, shared norms and accessing resources and information through these networks. Social capital plays a crucial role in social and economic development as it fosters collaboration, collective action and the creation of social goods. Social interaction plays a significant part in developing social capital, which can benefit one’s physical and mental health. For example, healthcare employees who interact with others can set up social networks that supply social support. Opportunities for learning and personal development and a feeling of inclusion and belonging are essential for individuals to thrive. These networks can also ease the exchange of resources, information and ideas, leading to increased productivity and innovation. Furthermore, social capital can promote social cohesion and cooperation, positively affecting mental health and well-being. Therefore, investing in social interaction and building strong social networks can lead to the development of social capital, which can be an asset for the unsung heroes of our healthcare system.

Employee Health (Stress)

For leaders to effectively manage the stress of many essential workers, they must understand the root causes. External factors can trigger internal reactions, and stress is a natural response to these demands. An imbalance between work and personal life can cause emotional and physical strain. There are two types of stress: functional and dysfunctional. While functional stress can help motivate individuals to meet goals, dysfunctional stress can lead to feelings of anxiety, tension and pressure, ultimately negatively affecting performance. Managers must model positive behavior and understand their team members’ personalities to foster a productive and harmonious work environment. Executives in leadership positions are the ones who make crucial decisions. Thus, they must be a part of the process of managing the stress of their teams. By promoting healthy stress levels, leaders can create a culture prioritizing high-performance standards and celebrating each team member’s unique skills and perspectives, resulting in improved cooperation, morale and efficiency.

Improving Workplace Operations

The key to improving the social wellness of healthcare teams and perfecting workplace operations is to prioritize employee learning and professional growth. This involves supporting leaders to understand their strengths and values, leading to impactful leadership. Practical leadership skills motivate employees to work collaboratively and contribute to the organization’s success. In healthcare industries, it is vital to recognize and prioritize the ongoing development of those who play a critical role in the success of nurses, doctors and physicians. Refraining from affecting their growth and improvement could change the quality of patient care. Continuous training and education of healthcare personnel are crucial for best service delivery.

Change Agent

Successful change management in healthcare requires more than just passing on information from executives or project managers to the organization. It involves supporting individuals within the organization as they transition from the current state to the future and understanding what is necessary to help their acceptance and integration of the change. An excellent example of this is the present situation with COVID-19, where people are continuing to adapt to a new way of life. Following this approach can significantly improve the chances of success and ensure that investments produce a return.

The healthcare industry heavily relies on the services provided by employees who work in areas such as environmental services, nutritional services and transportation. Despite being the backbone of the industry’s success, these employees should be more valued, and their contributions should be noticed. To bring about positive change in healthcare workforce operations, we must strive to be change agents who value every role and contribution and promote workplace development, health and social wellness.

Author: Meet Carvis C. Durr, a Ph.D. student, and Graduate Teaching Associate at the University of Central Florida’s School of Sociology and Statistics. Carvis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and two Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Leadership & Human Resource Development. Carvis is a member of the Scholar Strategy Network. Follow Carvis on Twitter @Iamcarvis or check out his professional profile on LinkedIn.

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