The landscape of healthcare organizations has changed dramatically over the past few decades. The concept of “healthcare consumerism” has gained significant traction with health systems, hospitals, and medical practices. Healthcare consumerism is a movement that advocates patients’ involvement in their healthcare decisions-moving away from the mindset of “do what the doctor says” to a model of a working partnership between the doctor and patient. Previously passive patients have become empowered consumers due to the extreme financial burden placed on their personal paychecks. This shift towards value-based care impacts how patients are cared for and how physicians and hospitals are paid. The rise in consumerism in healthcare is pervasive and has created a workplace that is more demanding, more complex, and more collaborative than ever before.
Healthcare organizations will need to hire and train healthcare employees with the right professional skill sets to provide well-coordinated, high quality, patient-centered care. Finding healthcare workers who will contribute to the value-based care environment means hiring staff with the right balance of hard and soft skills.
While hard skills are related to technical knowledge and training, soft skills are personality traits. Candidates should possess exceptional skills in communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and adaptability. Soft skills were often overlooked in the past but should be considered a core criterion for hiring today.
According to SkillSurvey Inc., 2019 soft skills are a collection of personal, positive attributes and competencies that enhance their relationships, job performance, and add value to the market. In today’s workforce, soft skills should be considered essential to managing and working with people, customer satisfaction, and forming a positive work environment. When patients encounter rude behavior from medical staff, there is an increased likelihood of labeling future interactions as rude and as such patients are more apt to be rude in turn. Patient care suffers because people are afraid to speak up, and the level of ambient rudeness goes up.
Here are five tips to help leaders find the best candidates for their organization (National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) 2015; Parker 2011; Skill Survey Inc 2019)
Make soft-skills part of your organizational culture.
Identify soft skills that matter to the position you are hiring
Design job descriptions to communicate required soft skills
Conduct a detailed assessment prior to extending an employment offer
Make soft-skills part of your organizational learning and development programs.
Mastering soft skills is an on-going process and should continue throughout a person’s professional career. Proper use of soft-skills can not only create valuable healthcare team members but also creates an environment to provide the best patient care.