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Essay On Attracting And Retaining Staff In Healthcare

Question

Task: There are two choices (will be announced) for Essay 3 – for example, the ‘X’ sector, or the ‘Y’ sector.
You will write an essay on the key challenges in attracting and retaining a workforce in your selected sector.
Your essay will draw on at least five themes from Week 1 to Week 11 of this unit, being those most relevant to your selected industry sector.
Your essay will draw on the academic literature (including the articles from ‘Reviewing the Literature’ you developed for Assessment 2), and develop an argument applying that literature to your selected sector.

Answer

The essay on attracting and retaining staff highlights the argument on the topic i.e. ‘Key challenges in the attraction and retention of healthcare staff (or hospital management) in Australia’. The term hospital management is understood as the management or administration of healthcare, includes all the related aspects of health services, and managers. It focuses to coordinate and plan the healthcare services, to be provided to the patients and improve the level of efficiency. Australia’s health services revenue is expected to grow at the rate of 3.6% over other growing sectors of the economy (Australian Government Department of Health, 2019). Therefore, the essay on attracting and retaining staff will enlist challenges faced in attracting and retaining health in hospitals. HRM is vital to the health sector as it provides employees with the effective training for the development of technical skills to attain the health related outcome. Retaining staff in the healthcare organisations is crucial because they are responsible for providing services, which determines the performance of organisation. Thus, the essay on attracting and retaining staff brings in light the discussion over ‘talent attraction and retention of employees’ using the HRM concepts and five themes in the selected sector.

Human resource management is significant in the healthcare sector as all the health services are ultimately delivered by the people. Hospital management is the efficient systems providing the affordable and secured health service to the Australians. The HR managers in Australia undertake responsibility of controlling the safety & legal issues, and ensuring the efficiency in performance. They contribute to the healthcare by assisting in decision-making for the health related outcomes of the patients. Medicare is the base of the Australia’s healthcare system that governs public health systems, and networks, giving people the access to health services. Australian healthcare sector is facing challenges, amongst which attracting and retaining the skilled workforce is a complex issue, which impacts the healthcare costs and productivity (Hanley & O'Rourke,2016).

Therefore, essay on attracting and retaining staff will draw on the five themes, selected from the given list to analyse the issue.

Nurse turnover has been a serious issue facing workforce, affecting the critical care of the patients in Australian healthcare organisations. There are several factors behind the turnover of the nurse staff were limited career opportunities, lack of employee recognition, ineffective team-work, nepotism, negative staff attitudes, lack of employee participation, and delay in the payments to the staff.

According to Russell et al. (2017), it has been found in the essay on attracting and retaining staff that geographical maldistribution of the health workforce is a critical factor, which leads to low access to health services in the rural and remote regions. This had further caused poorer health outcomes of the patients in the Australian healthcare organisations, due to high turnover rates and low stability. The 2013 Review of Australian Government Health workforce program gathered that primary care workforce shortage was due to ineffective distribution of health workers. The average annual turnover of organisational nurses was accumulated at 35% in context to Northern Territory Government (NTG). These clinics are small and they experience the issue of high staff turnover (Thrimawithana et al., 2016).

Herein essay on attracting and retaining staff, it highlights the significant role of workforce/HR planning in changing environment in health sector. The term HR planning can be defined as the process of estimating the current workforce skills and need with the future human resource needs in the organisation for achieving goals. Additionally, it also states the rural primary care, which requires the workforce planners to analyse the shift in transition of workers into and out of rural and remote areas. Approximately, 7 million people in rural and remote areas are not provided with the efficient health service due to the shortage of health staff (El Arnaout et al., 2019). 

Job-satisfaction is correlated with the employee retention in healthcare dependent on the factors affecting their work, such as salary, working conditions, leaves and so on. Talent attraction in the healthcare utilise the social tools, or media, advertising, communication channels, and other software to hire skilled workforce in healthcare. Thus, the aim of the study conducted by the authors was manifold. It provided data and information regarding the turnover and retention patterns for nurses and AHPs providing clinical services. Therefore, it is discussed in this essay on attracting and retaining staff that HR planning is considered as the most proactive method to meet the current challenges and adapt to the shifting healthcare demands (Coyle, Traynor & Burns, 2018).

Nurse turnover rate in Australia is reported at 16.7% that affected the effectiveness of health care service to the patients. Employee development and training programs often require time and complex procedures. To address the above deficiencies of poorer health outcomes, inefficient staff, and compromised safety of workers, it is essential to invest in the adequate resourcing and staffing models in primary care (Vella & McIver, 2019). This will assist the managers to equate worker distribution strategy, ensuring proper healthcare delivery and employee retention in the healthcare. Hence, strategic planning is an effective tool for overcoming the workforce challenges of attracting and retaining staff in the healthcare organisations (Brown, Dickinson & Kelaher, 2018).

As per the study conducted by Sutcliffe & Dhakal (2018) considered in this essay on attracting and retaining staff, stated about the youth unemployment and the shortage of workers in the aged-care sector in Western Australia (WA). The issue of youth unemployment and ageing population has now gained attention as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This means the growth of ageing population and increased life expectancy has led to a major influence on the aged-care sectors in country like Australia. According to the research, the factors ageing workforce, increased dependency on migrants and inability to retain the young talent continues to influence the health sector greatly. Therefore, it indicates problem to retain the young workforce in the Australian healthcare (Coyle, Traynor & Burns, 2018).

Thus, the information provided in the essay on attracting and retaining staff highlights the significance of work-design challenges in a global environment i.e. the need to rectify work-related challenges affecting employee performance in the aged-care sector. The work-environment exerts a high influence on the workers ability to perform their job, and provide effective service to patients. Work design in health sector refers to managing one’s tasks, activities, relationships and responsibilities (Nankervis et al., 2016). In the health care organisations, it means the job characteristics i.e. job autonomy, workload, and working hours as some fundamental aspects. A supportive work-environment is an integral component of efficient and highly demanding aged care workplace crucial for retaining employees in organisation. It incorporates motivated supervisors, positive attitudes, high pay-scale, work relationships, job-content, leadership, support and encouragement by the managers in organisation (Nankervis et al., 2016). 

As per the information gathered to develop this essay on attracting and retaining staff, the Australian industry has a high proportion of aged-care workers (aged over 45 years), which indicated difficulty in retention of youth staff. Workload and patient morality must be improved as they create stressful work environment, negatively encouraging employees to leave the organisation. Job redesign is an important step, as cooperative team-members, flexible work hours, adequate wage payment, career prospects, effective communication must be initiated. Through this, the managers will make their jobs more appealing and competitive for retaining the workers in the healthcare organisation (Bleijenbergh, van Mierlo & Bondarouk, 2020).

Furthermore, implementing mentoring programmes and activities will improve the level of job-satisfaction, and possibly discourage the young workers to leave the organisation. In this way, job redesign motivates employees to show higher commitment towards managing healthcare services, and improving their performance, ensuring patient safety. Australian public health systems and other hospitals in the rural and remote area must emphasize on the redesigning of jobs for a better outcome. It will further lead to reduction in the cases of the employee turnover rates in the aged-care sector. Hence, a positive correlation has been found between the work environment and the employee retention to stay in the organisation for longer period (Australian Government Department of Health, 2019).

The essay on attracting and retaining staff will now discuss the key concept on the theme of Talent attraction and selection in the Australian health sector.

As per Thériault et al. (2019), stated the importance of staffing as a cornerstone in HRM in the health sector for the long-term growth. The author in their research states about the implications of psychological and emotional costs of the workplace stress, which impacts the mental health and wellbeing of workers. The study provided in this essay on attracting and retaining staff also demonstrates the importance of following adequate staffing in the health organisations, as it optimizes both patient outcomes and quality health care services (Thériault et al., 2019).

Nurse staff attrition rates in the organisation creates major financial burden on the healthcare. This essay on attracting and retaining staff signifies that it is considered as a significant step of creating a positive and right healthcare culture, leading to the overall development. The performance of any healthcare organisation is largely dependent on the continuous availability of trained and qualified workers, operating in a positive work environment leading to increased productivity. Therefore, Australian organisations must emphasize on following effective strategy of recruiting and selecting the health staff. Mindfulness program has been a crucial factor in the reduction of stress and burnouts which ultimately improved performance levels of employees (Haque, Fernando & Caputi, 2019).

The current/effective HR strategy to build the organisation’s pool of candidates in health sector consists of different aspects. It included attracting talent in-house, transfer of staff, and others options for talent attraction. The organisations focused on the hiring of contract, part-time and full-time nursing staff and other workers in hospitals. Recruitment process was conducted over a two-week process using the social media platforms, and through email communication to the employees from the health and wellbeing team in the organisation (Aloisio et al., 2018).

The health managers currently engage into different methods of hiring staff i.e. external pool of the prospect candidates to fit the vacant jobs. Through this, health managers placed right persons at the right job in the organisation which enhanced the efficiency of healthcare operations, and services delivered to patients. Social media campaigns, referrals, and published vacancy of staff in the articles and website on internet are used to reach large group.

Selection is the process of putting the right men or person at the right job with the required skills, and attributes in the sector. Employees are selected through following a sequence of steps that initiates from preliminary interviews, filling out application, than leading to tests and interviews, verification and checking references, and providing them an employment offer. So, it is discussed in this essay on attracting and retaining staff that the hiring managers interviews through telephonic and face-to-face interaction to select best candidate for the job. New employees are selected using the same process of screening and taking the follow-up through other main steps. However, the selection criteria of employees is inclusive of the essential staff skills, such as soft skills, adaptability, integrity, time management and positive attitude. Furthermore, in this essay on attracting and retaining staff, the selection criteria for the international applicants include all the skills, medical examination and ‘language proficiency are two additional skills required for these candidates (Buss et al., 2018).

In healthcare organisation at Australia, new employees are selected through outsourcing talent, and internal and external recruitment strategies. A major shift has occurred from traditional methods of recruitment i.e. ads in newspapers to the online advertisements using media. Thus, selection of best candidates in organisation will lead to quality performance, reduce operational costs, and will save time and money. Employing these changes in healthcare has influenced stakeholders greatly, in terms of increased credibility, transparency in information sharing, enhanced health outcomes. However, training has also supported the effective administration and overall staff development of health care ensuring retention (Pariona-Cabrera, Cavanagh & Bartram, 2020).

Progressing further, the essay on attracting and retaining staff will now discuss the theme Managing workplace health and safety in Australian health organisations.

Patient health and safety is a top priority in the effective health care systems, for delivery vital healthcare service to the patients. It focuses on prevention of any harm, or risks in the treatment process or provision of health service to the patients. According to Pariona-Cabrera, Cavanagh & Bartram (2020), stated about the increasing harm to the nursing staff, due to the workplace violence in healthcare organisations. Violence against the nurses has become a serious issue, which influences their mental and psychosocial health in long period. According to the data of Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of nurses working in Australia is lesser than earlier years, and amongst them 65% of aged care, nurses reported their experiences about violence. The study undertaken in this section of essay on attracting and retaining staff demonstrated the cases of mainly verbal and physical violence of nurses at the hospitals (El Arnaout et al., 2019). 

Therefore, it indicates the function of HRM practices to manage and mitigate the workplace violence in health organisations. It is because HRM handles the management of employees, their training, and performance. The author has mentioned about ‘quality appraisal’ approach that reduces incidents and increase the health and safety of workers, thereby increasing employee retention. This requires the RNs or nursing staff to carefully identify the potential risks or threats that may occur in the organisation impact staff health and performance (NSW Government, 2018).

Some other common case related to health and safety at workplace includes work-related stress, bullying and harassment to the nurse staff, and in the moving, and handling of equipment. Thus, maintaining a safe environment indicates the level of compassion and vigilant attitude towards the patient’s health, thereby determining the competent health system. As it discussed about workplace health and safety, therefore it indicates about ensuring the safety of both, employees and the patients. Effectiveness in patient health and safety undertakes the preventive steps for controlling and overcoming any injury and ill-health of patients in the healthcare (Hogh et al., 2019).

Evaluating HRM towards the future is the last theme covered in the essay on attracting and retaining staff, for understanding the talent management in healthcare. The evaluation of HRM means the appraising the degree or level of success of HRM being implemented in the organisation. It explains how well the managers has used their physical resources i.e. employees in the organisation in the attainment of predetermined goals.

According to the words of Tursunbayeva (2019) utilized to prepare this essay on attracting and retaining staff, there has been a rising concern of the public and private health worker shortages in the Australian healthcare. This requires the strengthening HR, and adopting the potential HRM technologies such as Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) and other improved processes. This will assist in the effective collection, storage, and reporting the workforce data, as one major step towards meeting the HRM challenges in healthcare. It states required changes adopted by the HRM practices with the changes in the dynamic environment, i.e. working with the new work processes, and technology, to attain their organisational goals. The process of evaluating the HRM towards the future in any organisation states about identifying the current scenario of HR and then carrying out a proper research to meet the performance standards and attaining high organisational performance (Halcomb & Ashley, 2017).

Additionally, it is expected from the research on few Australian healthcare centres considered herein essay on attracting and retaining staff, that using HRIS, it will enable managers to launch, manage and provide an insight into the overall talent management aspects. This means effectiveness in activities such as recruitment and selection, continuing to the payroll system, benefits administration, managing performance, and planning for their career development. A successful HR strategy in healthcare organisations in Australia is essential due to the challenges of hiring, development, and retaining the talented and skilled workforce in the organisations. Hence, it will support in the effective utilisation of workforce in health sector, and assist organisations to retain staff for the longer period (Halcomb & Ashley, 2017).

To conclude the above discussion done in this essay on attracting and retaining staff it can be specified that retaining talented staff is a major factors towards high performance and growth in the health care organisation. There is a significant role and contribution of HR managers in the hospitals, to manage the health outcomes, risks and organisational efficiency. Themes such as HR planning, and work environment also depicted the effective ways of enhancing the employee performance, and retaining them. The safety of the nursing staff and workplace are the key indicators of high organisational performance. The essay on attracting and retaining staff has further discussed about the role and significant contribution of HR technologies and systems for the effective implementation and evaluation of HRM in healthcare. Thus, the essay on attracting and retaining staff has elaborated the benefits of employee retention in the healthcare, for improving the nurse staff quality and healthcare services. Hence, health organisations at Australia must emphasize the attainment of their workforce related goals for acquiring high levels of productivity, sustainability and success in long-term.

References
Aloisio, L. D., Gifford, W. A., McGilton, K. S., Lalonde, M., Estabrooks, C. A. & Squires, J. E. (2018). Individual and organizational predictors of allied healthcare providers’ job satisfaction in residential long-term care. Essay on attracting and retaining staff BMC health services research, 18(1), 491.

Australian Government Department of Health. (2019). The Australian Health system. Retrieved from: https://www.health.gov.au/about-us/the-australian-health-system

Bleijenbergh, I., van Mierlo, J. & Bondarouk, T. (2020). Closing the gap between scholarly knowledge and practice: Guidelines for HRM action research. Human Resource Management Review, 100764.

Brown, A., Dickinson, H.& Kelaher, M. (2018). Governing the quality and safety of healthcare: A conceptual framework. Social Science & Medicine, 202, 99-107.

Buss, V. H., Shield, A., Kosari, S. & Naunton, M. (2018). The impact of clinical services provided by community pharmacies on the Australian healthcare system: a review of the literature. Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice, 11(1), 22.

Coyle, M., Traynor, V. & Burns, P. (2018). Registered nurses and delirium recognition in older people in hospital: A clinical nurse consultant workplace study. Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 25(7), 33.

El Arnaout, N., Chehab, R., Rafii, B. & Alameddine, M. (2019). Gender equity in planning, development and management of human resources for health: A scoping review. Human Resources for Health,17(1), 52.

Halcomb, E. & Ashley, C. (2017). Australian primary health care nurses most and least satisfying aspects of work. Journal of clinical nursing, 26(3-4), 535-545.

Hanley, G. M. & O'Rourke, A. (2016). The race without a finishing line: legislative means for confronting bullying in the Australian workplace. Essay on attracting and retaining staff Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 54(3), 352-368.

Haque, A., Fernando, M. & Caputi, P. (2019). The relationship between responsible leadership and organisational commitment and the mediating effect of employee turnover intentions: An empirical study with Australian employees. Journal of Business Ethics, 156(3), 759-774.

Hogh, A., Clausen, T., Bickmann, L., Hansen, Å. M., Conway, P. M. & Baernholdt, M. (2019). Consequences of workplace bullying for individuals, organizations and society. In Pathways of Job-related Negative Behaviour (pp. 1-24). Springer, Singapore.

Nankervis, A., Baird, M., Coffey, J. & Shields, J. (2016). Human resource planning in a changing enviornment (9th ed.), Human Resource Management: Strategy and Practice (129).South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning.

Nankervis, A., Baird, M., Coffey, J. & Shields, J. (2016). Work design challenges in a global environment (9th ed.), Human resource management: Strategy and Practice (178). United States: Cengage AU.

Nankervis, A., Baird, M., Coffey, J. & Shields, J. (2016). Human resource planning in a changing enviornment (9th ed.), Human Resource Management: Strategy and Practice (129).South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning.

NSW Government. (2018). Work health and safety: Better practice procedures. Retrieved from: https://www1.health.nsw.gov.au/pds/ActivePDSDocuments/PD2018_013.pdf

Pariona-Cabrera, P., Cavanagh, J. & Bartram, T. (2020). Workplace violence against nurses in health care and the role of human resource management: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Journal of advanced nursing, March 16, 2020.

Sutcliffe, J. & Dhakal, S. (2018). Youth unemployment amidst aged care workers shortages in Australia. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 37(2), 182-198.

Thériault, M., Dubois, C., Borgès da Silva, R. & Prud'homme, A. (2019). Nurse staffing models in acute care: A descriptive study. Nursing Open, 6(3), 1218-1229. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.cqu.edu.au/10.1002/nop2.321

Thrimawithana, T., Abdelmalek, S., Al?Maliki, S., Ali, S., Gupta, A., Hassan, N. & Stuchbery, P. (2016). Multidisciplinary involvement in completion of a hospital medication management plan in a tertiary hospital in Australia. Essay on attracting and retaining staff Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research, 46(2), 192-194.

Vella, E., & McIver, S. (2019). Reducing stress and burnout in the public?sector work environment: A mindfulness meditation pilot study. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 30(2), 219-227.

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