Top 10 Traits of an Exceptional Healthcare Worker

Healthcare is an essential service that no community can live without. Since people in this field serve the most vulnerable groups in society, they must have the best traits to cater to unique needs in the face of illness and disability. Yes, it is a challenging profession, but it certainly brings about huge rewards.

Becoming the right person for a healthcare job takes more than just a degree in related studies. The pivotal role of helping people enjoy the best quality of life at a difficult time requires particular character traits, which are also your tickets to success.

Do you think you fit the job to the core? Check out if you have the following skills, qualities, and traits that exceptional healthcare providers possess. Read on.

  • Passionate. The passion for the job shows one’s commitment to helping others. If you love what you do, you will have the same intense drive to perform your best in whatever role you must take. The statement is true whether you are the main man or a locum tenens care worker. When your heart is at it, you are always up for the job, no matter what it takes. Your passion greatly intensifies whenever your skills and services are required.
  • Empathetic. A visit to a medical facility is almost nerve-racking for some patients. They need empathy more than sympathy to stay calm and inspire a willingness to get treatment. They need you to relate to their feelings, validate their woes, provide comfort if they need it, and be there to listen. Your empathy will keep them positive no matter how complicated or frustrating their situation may be.
  • Respectful. When you treat your clients with respect, patience, and open-mindedness, they will grow confident to let you handle their issues. Patients may come from different backgrounds and may have different beliefs and lifestyles. The only language understandable to all is one with respect. 
  • Knowledgeable and experienced. While it is true that healthcare workers are judged by their credentials before they get into the job, how well they can practice the principles matter more. Once they are in a healthcare setting, the knowledge they earned through experience will work for them as they start dealing with patients. The last thing your clients would mind is the school you attended. It matters to them more how you can meet their needs efficiently.
  • Dedicated. Healthcare workers go through extremes while on duty, and it takes dedication for them to keep up. They say getting into this profession is more of a calling than a career, and rightfully so. Healthcare workers often put others before themselves. They are expected to continue holding their ground despite the pressure and stress of the job. It takes a good sense of dedication to the profession to have that kind of motivation.
  • Friendly. To become an exceptional healthcare provider, you need more than just a diploma. You need a kind heart to help steer you in the right direction when dealing with patients of all kinds. Moreover, you must keep a warm and positive attitude all the time to let them open up. Your friendliness is an assurance that they are in good hands.
  • Can multitask. Healthcare workers typically have a lot on their plates and are doing two or more things at a time. The ability to stay calm under pressure and keep your focus in such a busy environment is essential to carrying out your tasks. With all the chores you need to do simultaneously on-site, your talent in multitasking can give you a significant advantage.
  • Good communication skills. Care professionals can only build healthy relationships with their patients if they communicate effectively. This type of job requires you to be around people most of the time. If you do not know how to listen and explain medical jargon in layman’s terms — in a language ordinary people could understand — you will have to start learning because only then can you relate to your clients effectively.
  • Critical thinking. Healthcare facilities get about hundreds of different situations each day. So critical thinking is a crucial trait that workers must possess. They must have an apparent ability to keep up with the challenges within a short time. Good problem-solving skills help healthcare providers to work rationally and calmly, even in the face of distress. If you can come up with a suitable solution to satisfy everyone, especially during crunch time, despite the last-minute changes, you are most welcome in this industry. In an industry where one mistake could result in devastating effects, you should know how to properly call the shots, pay attention to details, and keep track of the possibilities to deliver the best outcome.
  • Physically fit. With so much going on in healthcare facilities, fitness is another requirement. You must be active enough and have the energy to keep up with your duties until your shift is done. This fast-paced job will keep you on your feet, lifting objects, or hovering around. How can you help others be in their best shape when your health is compromised? Hence, you must work hard to achieve a level of fitness that will allow you to accomplish your tasks for the day without difficulty.

The care industry is complex. It can be overwhelming most of the time, and you must be prepared if you plan to get into any role within this field. The challenges of the job are aplenty, and they come in different forms to test your professional and personal skills. More than your educational background, how you perform well under pressure matters. You have to learn to deal with the difficulties on-site to become an essential team player in the facility. 

You will know if you have what it takes to be an exceptional healthcare provider if you are armed with the right skills and character traits to keep up with the issues and resolve them effectively. How well you can practice the principles of taking care of others and looking after their wellbeing would impact your success.

Image: https://pixabay.com/illustrations/doctor-medical-healthcare-6695949/ 

HR Future Staff Writer

Authentic employee engagement should be a key pillar in every business’s people strategy  

As businesses recalibrate to excel in a world where Covid-19 has gone from pandemic to endemic, some speak about adjusting to a new normal, which, as we know, is a well-worn phrase. On the contrary, rather than settle into a new steady-state, our endemic and post-pandemic world is likely to continue evolving and changing and the only way businesses will maintain a genuine connection with their staff is through authentic employee engagement.

Employee engagement is crucial not only to lift staff morale and boost performance in a hybrid workforce but also to ensure people choose to stay with their employers. Whether one uses the phrase “talent tsunami” or “the great resignation”, the cold hard facts are that we are in the midst of a global realignment where staff are resigning in large numbers, driven in part by pandemic burnout and a feeling of being disconnected because of remote working.

In our local context, add the human capital flight where skilled workers can work almost anywhere thanks to the pace of digitisation, it becomes clear why authentic employee engagement is an existential imperative for organisations.

Employee engagement should be seen as a measure of the emotional commitment an employee has to an organisation, its employees, its vision and its goals. Simply put, it gauges the satisfaction level of an employee. When employees are engaged, they are emotionally connected to others and cognitively attentive to the direction of the organisation. Engaged employees have consistently shown to be more productive, profitable, safer, healthier, and – crucially – less likely to leave their employer.

The most vital pillar of authentic employee engagement is building and maintaining a positive, virtuous company culture where employees feel valued, recognised and have opportunities to grow as an individual – personally and professionally. While many companies may feel they managed to make headway in this regard pre-pandemic, most will admit that maintaining and adapting this in a hybrid and remote world of work is challenging – especially for new hires and younger staff members.

Another important pillar of employee engagement is prioritising employee recognition. One of the biggest motivators for employees is to be held in high esteem by their peers – being acknowledged for exemplary performance. A winning employee recognition programme doesn’t have to be expensive – it starts with having a company culture that advocates appreciation for top performers. This can be the foundation for solid staff engagement, continuous employee development, and retention strategies for the future.

A third pillar to focus on is work-life integration which became a major challenge for many employees. A direct effect that remote work has on employees is that the natural boundaries they once had between work and life have been eliminated. While this is not a new concept, the desire to achieve it skyrocketed as a direct result of the changes in the world of work. It is known that many people have worked far longer hours – the productivity of these notwithstanding – and have had great difficulty delineating between work time, family time and personal time as all three were forced into the same space.

Managing and measuring employee engagement

The only way organisations can manage employee engagement is by keeping their finger on the pulse. In the same way that measuring a pulse is used as a fundamental indicator of human health, the pulse of an organisation can signal its health or underlying challenges. It is crucial to see this as a continual investment. With the concept of people managers, Altron Karabina strives every single day to make an employee feel part of a family, and what are some of the components of a healthy family? Communication, trust, respect, honesty, transparency, shared responsibility, support, and commitment.

 It may seem odd at first, but technology really can, and does, improve person-to-person engagement. We, like others, had to invest in human resources technology to be able to reach and engage with employees working remotely. This technology has been integrated into employee recognition tools, performance management tools and survey tools. This is the beauty of technology used correctly – it enables an organisation to deliver better, and quicker, results. In other words, it augments carefully curated policies and procedures.

Measuring the key drivers of engagement enables an organisation to determine whether its employees are, in fact, engaged or disengaged. Surveys are a starting point to keep abreast of what is happening with employees and to identify areas in the organisation that need to be developed to increase productivity, motivation, and morale. It is important to note that when doing surveys, the global participation rate benchmark is 70% for an organisation to be able to generalise the results.

However, it is not enough to simply conduct an engagement survey – the organisation needs to take effective action based on the feedback from employees. After conducting a survey the data needs to be analysed, reported and acted upon. This is true for all surveys, whether engagement or exit. Important to note is that organisations might not be able to solve all issues at once or please everyone, however, they need to focus on key initiatives and take successful action.

In our case, each business unit is analysed so that both operation and people managers can make meaningful changes in the organisation to work towards more authentic engagement. We also encourage the business units to meet with team members and communicate survey results. After this, we create action plans that address survey feedback and recommendations.

Once initiatives have been implemented, a pulse survey – which is what we call them – needs to be sent to employees, measuring the impact of the changes made and whether staff engagement has increased. Over a longer period of time, by following these disciplined steps organisations will start seeing the return on investment because engaged workers are more productive, and more productive workers improve the bottom line.

The focus on mental health, workplace flexibility, staff retention and the drive to develop safer and more inclusive workplaces will continue to accelerate in the coming years. In order to stay ahead of the curve, businesses must make authentic employee engagement a key pillar in their people strategy.

Louisa Spangenberg is a Senior People Manager at Altron Karabina.

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