By this next year of 2020, Millennials are said to comprise half of the American workforce. By the year 2025, roughly 75% of the global workforce will be Millennials. They are no longer up-and-coming: they are here. Anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a Millennial (pewresearch.org). The “job” and “workplace” as we now know it is evolving into something completely different and for some, unrecognizable. Tools and technology that are used in the office are changing, and therefore the workspace and culture of companies are completely altering as well.
The significance of culture cannot be stressed enough – “It affects or defines the ability of the leadership and employees to relate to each other for the common good of the organization and operate within a mutually agreed and acceptable boundary of cultural values and emotional interface” – (Entrepreneur.com). Culture means everything, and the culture of organizations will be directly shaped by this generation’s habits and expectations.
Despite a reputation for being lazy, self-centered, and noncommittal to their employers, research and surveys have affirmed that Millennials are actually motivated and driven by numerous things. According to a recent Deloitte Millennial Survey, Millennials desire roles that offer purpose and the opportunity to change their personal and professional environment. How do they want to make their impact? As stated by The Future Workforce Study, the answer is through technology.
Millennials have been exposed to technology and have had more screen time than any other generation in history. As it has become completely incorporated into their everyday lives, Millennials no longer ask for competent technology at their work; they expect it. While this expectant behavior may be seen as entitlement, Millennial workers are really just wanting the tools needed to perform their job efficiently.
As this tech-dependant generation is close to representing more than half of the global workforce, organizations are looking for cutting-edge tools to meet their employees’ needs. One of the most essential needs is personal and career development through learning programs (Forbes.com).
In a recent poll by Gallup, 87% of Millennials surveyed claimed professional development was an imperative part of their job. This desire to learn and grow is a key trait that separates Millennials from previous generations in the workplace. Learning management systems, certification programs, and workplace training opportunities are not just attractive benefits, but absolutely necessary in engaging and retaining these employees.
Learning management systems have the ability to enhance training programs and help with certifications through video, audio trainings, and quizzes. These strategies are critical in retaining this group of employees, because although they have a reputation for moving from job to job, Millennials have a record of remaining with organizations that offer personal and professional development opportunities.
In addition to these personal and professional development opportunities, Millennials crave and require feedback and communication. This generation has experienced the accelerated evolution of communication through technology. Immediate response time of text messages, instant messengers, and group chat applications are not just for personal matters, but are now an employee demand (Paycom).
Millennials and technology are undoubtedly changing the workforce. In this era of rapid changes, it is important to understand how technology has become an integral part of Millennials’ goals to impact this world of change. Do not wait – give your workforce the technology they need to innovate and change the world in ways previous generations would not even dream of.
If you are like the majority of Americans, you are probably glued to your smartphone. You likely use it to check emails, keep track of the news, and interact with friends on social media. In fact, 2016 was the first time that mobile Internet use surpassed desktop use, tipping the scales at 51.2% for mobile, and 48.7% for desktop (techcrunch.com).
With this in mind, it’s important to understand how crucial it is to have a mobile accessible platform and content. Just because your organization has a website, doesn’t mean it is optimized for phones and tablets. Not to mention, there are 56.7 million Americans who have a disability (2010 U.S. Census). According to the World Health Organization, there are 285 million people with visual impairments worldwide, 39 million of whom are blind, as well as more than 360 million people who have disabling hearing loss.
Mobile plays a central role in providing an exceptional degree of autonomy to individuals with these and other types of disabilities. Mobile devices and applications can provide access to information and services that might otherwise be unavailable. In 2013, Georgia Tech’s Wireless Engineering Rehabilitation Research Center conducted a study that showed 92% of people with disabilities use a “wireless device such as a cell phone or tablet.” Many use a screen reader, which is a piece of software that relays content and functions audibly to the user.
Additionally, the New York Times reported in October 2017 that the Baby Boomer generation (those between ages 53 and 71) are a coveted buying audience by many industries, primarily due to having discretionary income and the time to spend it. The New York Times also cites a report by eMarketer for AARP, which claims that more than 60% of boomers owned a smartphone is 2016, and 73% of people ages 50 to 59 owned a smartphone and used it daily. Incidentally, age-related farsightedness, which makes screen text difficult for some, affects both men and women around the age of 40.
Mobile websites and applications have revolutionized the way we stay in touch, conduct business, search for goods and services, and keep ourselves entertained and informed. As these services and information sources move to a mobile environment, it is critically important from both civic responsibility and litigation standpoints, that content be available to everyone. It’s also important for mobile web designers, developers, and content providers to remember the end user – and that even if you aren’t directly impacted by a disability, many in your potential user base could be (Vivian Cullipher, microassist.com).
Making online content accessible means building a website, app, document, video, or other digital medium in such a way that people with disabilities can perceive, operate, and understand your content, even when using assistive technologies such as screen readers or magnifiers. Web designers and developers, as well as the companies that own and host websites, should ensure that accessibility is built into their website from the very early stages. If you’re still not convinced, here are four more important reasons to design your mobile website to be accessible:
- Google Prioritizes Mobile-Friendly Websites
Mobile-friendly websites are prioritized over those that are not in mobile search results. The Google algorithm change that occurred in 2015 completely changed the way Google displays mobile search results. Websites that are optimized for mobile rank better than those that do not.
- It’s Becoming a Standard Best Practice
Countless websites are mobile-friendly with more and more coming online every day. Responsive web design has made mobile optimization more direct and accessible to everyone, which means users have begun to expect this level of functionality to become standard when browsing on their mobile devices.
- It Builds You Credibility
Having a mobile accessible platform and content helps you build credibility with your users, clients, and other influencers in your industry. With a mobile website, the chances of anyone who visits your site on a mobile device will more than likely have a positive experience, and this will encourage them to see you as a credible resource for information and services.
- It Benefits Your Reputation
The importance of a mobile accessible platform and content benefit you not just online, but offline as well. People will take note and remember a website they have a great experience with, and consequently they will also take note of a website that gave a poor experience. Reputation is everything, and most businesses and organizations cannot afford to give people a bad experience – digital or otherwise.
Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly are quickly falling by the wayside as our world is quickly evolving into a predominantly digital environment. Waste no time in contacting us today to help guide you in building what your users want and need. We are here to help!
Written by Kris Merchant and Christen Aldrich
The impact of COVID-19 on our present situation has been described in abounding ways: disruptive, burdensome, never before seen, unprecedented. Regardless of whether you are a student, nurse, marketing analyst, or HR Director, your professional life has most likely been dramatically affected. With this, you have undoubtedly been faced with conducting your management, learning, or business over Zoom and other virtual formats. For some, this may make things easier; for others it presents unfamiliar challenges. The world speculates when things will “go back to normal,” but there are many indicators that this is the new normal, and the way we now work is here to stay – with or without the pandemic.
It is often surmised that people grow when they are challenged, and their status quos disrupted. As COVID-19 has disrupted and continues to disrupt life as we know it, adaptive leadership becomes a crucial entity for HR Directors to represent. Adaptive leadership is a “practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt and thrive in challenging environments. It is being able, both individually and collectively, to take on the gradual but meaningful process of change” (Cambridge Leadership). The practical tools of adaptive leadership help you identify and make progress on moments like these in your own life, team, or community (Acumenacademy.org).
One practical tool that has become not only critical in these times, but necessary for continuing business is moving things online. For the past several years, businesses, start-ups, higher education, and other sectors have deliberately been taking their work and learning online (Harvard Business Review). As most industries are being forced to move online due to the ongoing pandemic, “having a digital presence is more important than ever” (Reach Further, Eastwestbank.com). Many sectors face a two-fold challenge: successfully reorienting their products and services to be as appealing to their consumers as possible, and maintaining, engaging, and focusing their mostly-remote workforce so operations can continue and grow. Of all sectors, healthcare is particularly disrupted.
Healthcare has forever struggled to adapt to our increasingly digital world. Some would argue the barriers to a digital transformation are often decidedly nontechnological (McKinsey & Company). In a recent interview, Harold F. Wolf, president and CEO of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), considers a change of culture to be the biggest hurdle in the industry’s digital transformation. Today, the challenge of redesigning the delivery of care, and the recruitment, engagement, and development of its workforce seemingly overnight is substantial. Services such as telehealth, whose growth to scale lagged prior to March 2020, have been forced to market out of necessity. Reports in April indicated that as many as 90% of physicians in the United States were utilizing some form of telehealth technology to treat patients remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (Healthaffairs.org). Moreover, social media and marketing have been instrumental in appealing to a younger healthcare workforce over the past few years as Millennials and Gen Z-ers come of working age, and many healthcare facilities have begun to dip their toes into concepts such as “employee engagement” and “engagement apps.” These signs are promising, yet the shift towards digital is still reluctant and lethargic. Perhaps one of the biggest difficulties for healthcare organizations during this time – particularly HR and training managers – is the shift towards virtual learning.
Every healthcare HR Manager understands, from experience, the burden that conducting workforce trainings can become (Group Management Services). From annual in-service trainings to new employee onboarding, professional development, skills-building, re-certifications, and metric-based training requirements, the traditional training delivery and management process requires a lot of staffing, coordination, paper, collection, tracking, reporting, and occasionally, unhappy participants that don’t want to sit in a room for an hour. In March 2020, when social distancing and crowd-size regulations began taking effect, the traditional training model was flipped on its head.
As previously stated, every disruption is also an opportunity for growth and experimentation. The last five months have been exceedingly difficult for healthcare HR, particularly in workforce training and development. These obstacles are caused by the unprecedented need for training on new policies and procedures, remaining compliant with new and ever-changing regulations, continuing existing training and certification programs, and offering employees professional development opportunities that lead to better job satisfaction or promotions. Is COVID-19 here to stay? If not, is it really worth overhauling an entire training program if things will just go back to the way they were in a few months? The short answer is yes, it is worth it, and you need to know why.
Our future is unknown. It is impossible to tell if COVID-19 will be around in 6 months, a year, or even five years. But there is growing proof-of-concept for the value virtual learning has, especially within healthcare. Here are a few promising signs:
- It is already happening – virtual learning has been implemented, tested, and proved viable prior to COVID-19. The International Nursing Association of Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL, www.inacsl.org) and the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH, www.ssih.org) issued a position statement on use of virtual learning and simulation during the pandemic on March 30, 2020. Within that statement, the simulation organizations made the following assertion:
“… We can attest that virtual simulation has been used for over a decade successfully. Further, research has repeatedly demonstrated that use of virtual simulation – simulated healthcare experiences on one’s computer – is an effective teaching method that results in improved student learning outcomes…”
- For the organizations and facilities currently utilizing virtual learning to conduct at least part of their training, doing so is saving them time, resources, and money. Other benefits of online learning include:
- Larger audiences
- More subject matter
- Organization and control
- Record keeping
- Up-to-date compliance requirements
- Conducive to all types of learners (Dr. Jim Collins).
- Even after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, regulations restricting group-sizes and social distancing will likely remain in effect to some degree, suggesting the necessity for virtual solutions long-term. Furthermore, in circumstances where there may be a heightened risk of cross-contamination, rampant infection, and person-to-person transmission of pathogens (COVID-19, for example), the ability to train remotely offers medical educators and learners a tremendous opportunity to develop and maintain clinical proficiency without physical contact (CAE Healthcare).
- The healthcare workforce is increasingly Millennial, who prefer virtual learning so they can engage on their own time, with their own devices, and in places they choose. By the year 2025, roughly 75 percent of the global workforce will be Millennials. Across the globe, 70 percent of tomorrow’s future leaders might ‘reject’ what business as traditionally organizational has to offer, preferring to work independently by digital means in the long term (Deloitte).
All this said, there is still a critical question that healthcare HR has: So how do we do it?
This question is what we strive to answer for you. This blog is the first installment in a new series Health WorkForce New York is releasing that explores virtual learning and how it can be implemented at your organization. We will take a look at the challenges and opportunities of virtual learning, its long-term value and impact beyond COVID-19 focuses, and will provide expert recommendations, resources, and a toolkit for successfully implementing a virtual learning program at your healthcare facility. With 8+ years of working with healthcare organizations and workforce development organizations, we will bring our insight, experiences, and expertise to you within this series.
HWapps has created an affordable, convenient service for healthcare organizations called Rapid Compliance. This hassle-free, online compliance training is designed with you and your employees in mind. The 16 healthcare compliance training modules prepared by subject-matter experts are kept up-to-date with industry regulations and on-the-job best practices, as well as optimized for learning on any device for accessibility. Within 24 hours, employees can log in to their learner accounts, access their dashboard, and begin their trainings from any internet connected device at anytime during the compliance year. Employers have the option to send automated reminders that can go out as emails or SMS text messages in order to easily and conveniently keep your employees on track. HWNY will also remove the burden of tracking your employee’s compliance training progress by sending routine compliance reports, exactly as you need them. Throughout this entire process, we provide hands-on customer support to you and your employees to ensure they’re compliant and you’re stress free.
Contact us today to learn more!
During the past decade, organizations have used onboarding programs with the hopes of seamlessly integrating a new employee, all while attempting to improve retention, engagement, and their overall employee experience. Sadly, most companies are completely failing at implementing a successful onboarding program. According to a survey recently completed by Gallup, only 12% of employees agree that their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees. The consequences of this are detrimental – significant turnover within the first year of employment and low engagement among employees who stay.
So what exactly has gone wrong with onboarding? And how do companies fix it?
Socialization is a key component of an employee joining a new team, and arguably crucial to success in any role. However, onboarding always seems to be “someone else’s job,” with leaders, managers, and team members not taking responsibility. If no one is reaching out to help the new employee, it’s no wonder that employees never feel fully engaged and leave the company early. When managers take an active role in onboarding, employees are 3.4 times as likely to strongly agree their onboarding experience was exceptional (Gallup).
Another major problem with onboarding relates to too many details slipping through the cracks. There are many circumstances that can affect the extent to which details are missed during employee onboarding, however, too many missed opportunities can cause stress on the new employee. Not to mention, it doesn’t paint a positive picture for what their experience may be in working with this organization. Some common examples of missed details include:
- Employee’s key card doesn’t function on the first day
- A key piece of equipment did not arrive before the employee did (i.e. laptop, computer mouse, cell phone, etc.)
- New hire arrives before supervisor on the first day
- Email address isn’t set up by IT in time
- Employee uniform was not ordered before the new hire arrived
- A benefits enrollment meeting was forgotten (Exacthire.com)
Not only does the disregard of these details leave your team scrambling at the last minute, it also makes a negative first impression on your brand-new employee. Think about what these new hires may be saying to friends and family about their first few days of work. In addition, think about how this might be amplified on social media. Great onboarding = great PR for your business.
Gallup discusses how company culture can also play into great PR for your business, and this begins with onboarding. A PowerPoint slide with your core values listed is not enough to truly convey what makes your organization an extraordinary place to work. New employees want to know if they belong with you. Furthermore, they want to know what you believe, and how that makes a difference in the way work gets done. Organizations need to provide immersive experiences that let employees feel your values, not just be able to name them.
An example of this might be focusing on safety. If safety is essential to your culture, consider bringing in managers who can explain a story about tough calls they made in the name of safety. Introduce and celebrate safety award winners in front of new employees. You could even create immersive role-playing scenarios where the real managers evaluate teams on their safety thinking. The purpose of onboarding is to get new hires acquainted and inform them about the company’s values, mission, vision, and history. New employees should leave work those first few days feeling excited about their new journey and engaged in their work.
Engaged, talented people want to work with you because they see opportunities and possibilities. Ben Wigert, Director of Research and Strategy at Gallup explains, “Onboarding can often feel like a bait-and-switch operation, where many of the opportunities promised during the job interview are shown to be illusory. It may not be time to talk promotions, but managers should have conversations about an employee’s dreams and desires early on.” All of this can be built into the onboarding process. Employees should also be introduced to learning and development opportunities that extend training beyond formal onboarding. Again, something that can be built into the process. Employees who strongly agree they have a clear plan for their professional development are 3.5 times more likely to strongly agree that their onboarding process was exceptional.
Compared with employees who rate their onboarding experience at a “4” or below on a 5-point scale, employees who give their onboarding a “5” are twice as likely to strongly agree they feel fully supported and prepared in their new role. In fact, if your employees aren’t consistently scoring your onboarding process a “5 out of 5,” the majority of people going through your program would not strongly agree they feel fully prepared and supported in their new position. “In other words, if your onboarding is not exceptional, it’s broken. To make onboarding work, HR leaders need to design a consistent, creative and deeply engaging experience that wows new employees,” says Ryan Pendall, writer at Gallup.
Depending on the size of your organization, allowing for flexibility may also be necessary within your onboarding process. Jessica Stephenson, Vice President of Marketing and Talent at ExactHire claims, “Failing to customize the onboarding experience can be just as detrimental as not having much of an onboarding process, too.” It’s important to determine the core elements of your process – those activities that must be introduced to all new hires, and then flex the experience to cater to different new hire requirements that may be based on:
- Employee geographic location
- Department and/or division
- Employee role/level in organization
- Special accommodations for employee
- Assessment results (ExactHire.com)
The definition of employee onboarding encompasses so much more today than it did in the past, so it’s no surprise that numerous potential problems now exist. Today, there are many things to track, and many people to involve. Some growing organizations are utilizing independent systems to mitigate some of the administrative burden. Emails are manually sent to different stakeholders to remind them to complete things, such as ordering new business cards, creating schedules and timesheets, and coordinating department members’ agendas for a new hire lunch. Excel spreadsheets are used to keep track of which employees have signed off to acknowledge the latest policy update.
This gradual approach to systems is a step in the right direction; however, it pales in comparison to the efficiency and productivity that can be achieved with web-based onboarding technology. By having a single system to integrate all onboarding-related forms, tasks, activities and assignments can help alleviate (and even avoid) many of the problems often associated with onboarding. At the very least, it can help free up time to address more intricate aspects of the onboarding process. “Robust employee onboarding software can handle your tasks, notifications, employee signatures and HR countersignatures, form updates, prompts for benefits enrollment, equipment provisioning, training curriculum and more. Plus, moving cumbersome paperwork into the cloud means no more illegal handwriting and incomplete fields on statutory forms,” Stephenson says.
A broken onboarding process not only loses exceptional talent, it loses your organization money. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employee turnover can be as high as 50% in the first four months for hourly workers, and 50% in the first 18 months for senior outside hires. The cost of recruiting, hiring, and training are exceptionally high. Conservative estimates indicate that it will cost a company one-half to two times an employee’s annual salary to find and onboard a replacement. The average cost of turnover for a bedside RN is estimated at $49,500, but costs can range from $38,000 to $61,000 depending on hospital and location. And some reports estimate that replacing a physician is at least $200,000, but can reach as high as $1 million per exiting doctor (Businessdailypay.com). In a competitive talent marketplace, a broken onboarding process causes you a lot of wasted time and wasted money. It’s time to make employee onboarding a priority in your organization.
Contact us to discuss how to improve your onboarding experience. We are here to help!