ASHHRA Survey Details HR's Strategic Priorities

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , July 25, 2011

What new technology are you planning to adopt to achieve your HR initiatives?

  1. Performance management (appraisal) software (36%)
  2. Social Media for recruiting (32%)
  3. Time and Attendance/Workforce Scheduling Absence (24%)
  4. Behavioral Assessments (24%)

It is heartening and reaffirming to see that HR understands – and is embracing -- its dual strategic and tactical roles in improving patient satisfaction and safety through employee engagement. Common sense -- and a growing body of practical experience -- tell us that neither of those critical quality benchmarks can be improved upon unless employees are happy and buy into the healing mission.

That engagement starts with HR's role in shaping the healing mission at the strategic level. On the tactical side, it is HR's job to help new employees during the recruiting and orientation process, using that introductory period to affirm the organization's mission. Good HR executives understand the need to developing tools, benefits, training programs, favorable scheduling options, and other processes that demonstrate management's commitment to staff, actions that help the employee grow with the organization

The "challenges" with the job that are detailed in the survey also point to the inherent frictions in HR's dual role. It's difficult to articulate long-range strategic HR goals when there isn't enough time, or there are too many competing initiatives clouding the picture, or the budget is too small, and the technology is antiquated.

No doubt these are frustrating practical problems that should be addressed. But they should not distract us from the fact that healthcare HR has gone strategic. 

John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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