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Why Organizational Culture Still Matters to the Healthcare Workforce


February 16, 2024
Organizational Culture Matters Blog Image

“Culture” is more than a buzzword when it comes to healthcare. It’s increasingly becoming the measurement by which potential clinical candidates judge healthcare facilities they’ve worked at or want to work for. What’s important for healthcare leaders to realize is that not only can organizational culture impact the well-being and engagement of their staff, but it can also affect the quality of care and delivery of services to patients.  

The ultimate goals of building a strong and positive organizational healthcare culture are to enable staff to give patients the highest quality of care and to recruit and retain talented clinicians. The way to accomplish this is through embodying inclusivity, creating a sense of belonging in your workforce, following up with new hires to get feedback, listening to your existing staff about what’s working and what’s not within your facility, and understanding the role that leaders play in building an organizational culture.  

Building an Inclusive Environment 

In our DEIB article, we defined inclusion as being aware of and sensitive to everyone’s experiences, with just as much time and energy being spent with the majority and minority groups within an organization. Clinicians from various backgrounds should always feel valued, respected, and included in their work setting. This diverse healthcare workforce brings a range of perspectives and experiences, contributing to the overall quality of patient care.  

It’s important to remember that building an inclusive culture is much more than simply checking off a box on an HR list. It’s a commitment to recognizing and appreciating the unique strengths each team member or candidate can bring to your facility, promoting collaboration and communication and helping clinicians feel supported so they’re more likely to be engaged and invested in their work.  

Nurturing a Sense of Belonging 

Do the clinicians in your facility feel valued and appreciated for their individual and team contributions? Is there effective communication and transparency? Are there opportunities for professional development and growth? Are there opportunities for staff to get involved in company initiatives outside their everyday role? These are just some of the questions healthcare leaders can ask themselves to determine if they’re nurturing a sense of belonging with their facilities.  

It’s more than organizing team-building activities—your clinicians want to be heard, feel valued and supported, and know that their presence matters as much as their work. This can be achieved in many ways, such as through mentorship programs, regular check-ins with their supervisors, professional development learning paths and courses, and a culture that encourages transparent communication without fear of retaliation.  

Gathering New Hire Feedback 

An often-overlooked aspect of building a strong organizational culture is ensuring that new hires have the necessary skills and awareness to do their jobs effectively, while also being supported to meet their personal and professional goals.  

Implementing a feedback loop for new hires at their 60-day mark and 90-day mark, at least, sets the tone for their experience. Following up regularly helps leaders and clinicians identify areas for improvement and address any concerns that might arise as early on as possible. This in turn allows healthcare leaders to continuously adapt their onboarding strategies to best align with the needs and expectations of incoming staff, contributing to a smoother integration and encouraging positive organizational culture.  

Listening to Your Core Staff 

Your core staff is on the frontline, day in and day out, experiencing the realities of your facility’s culture. By conducting regular surveys, focus groups, or even one-on-one meetings with your existing staff, you can uncover valuable insights into what’s working well and what improvements can be made. You may also gain a greater understanding of what skills gaps may exist.  

Involving your existing staff in the conversation about culture shows you value their opinions and their well-being, building trust and a positive work environment.  

How Leaders Set the Tone 

The role that hospital leaders play in shaping organizational culture cannot be underestimated. If you’re a leader in your facility, you’ll want to set the tone through your actions, decisions, and communication. You can model the desired behaviors you wish to see from your direct reports and encourage supervisors to do the same for theirs. This fosters a culture of accountability and professionalism.  

Additionally, invested leaders emphasize the importance of ongoing education and training, showing that they value continuous improvement and adaptability.  

Organizational culture will likely always remain a measure of success in healthcare. It shapes the unique experiences of your diverse staff and patients, plus plays an integral role in recruitment and retention. By prioritizing inclusivity, fostering a sense of belonging, gathering feedback from new hires, and actively listening to existing staff, healthcare leaders can build and sustain a positive culture that meets the demands of their workforce and enhances the quality of patient care.  

Matchwell, part of the Medical Solutions healthcare talent ecosystem, is your culture-focused agency alternative that matches clinicians with top healthcare facilities looking for local and per diem talent. Start a conversation today!     

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