EMBRACE THE CHANGING WORKFORCE
Malaysian healthcare system is currently moving towards a better environment and Malaysian citizen is more in favour of private healthcare facility such as private clinics and hospitals. With that in mind, we must be more competitive in serving general population. One of the most highly valued in a private healthcare facility is not only the infrastructure or mega building, but the workforce itself. They are the ones playing the major role in making sure that the patients will stay loyal and keep coming back if they or their family members want to seek professional medical service.
We as leaders must be more involved in creating competent and productive working environment. Communication is the key, and it works both ways. Listen to your workforce and get feedback from them to uncover any hidden issues that can be improved or resolved. By providing 2-way effective communications, you can apply appropriate resolutions or policies. In this way, they will feel empowered and appreciated as part of the team. Besides that, it’s good to have team building or special events which can break the ice and improve the communication between team members.
Healthcare workforce must be given room for improvement such as sending them for training or courses. By going for training, they will be updated with latest knowledge and can contribute back to the workplace. Currently, there are a lot of courses covered by HRDF (Human Resource Development Fund) which are beneficial for employers since they are tax-deductible. These courses or trainings will increase employee’s potential to provide a better service and becomes more efficient.
In general, healthcare industries are competing for skilled workers, and it goes the other way as well for them. While prestigious names seems attractive, skilled workers nowadays are more savvy when choosing company which offers more perks and benefits aside from salary alone. Among the benefits that they are looking for are salary increment, bonuses, health benefits and paid leaves. Some conglomerates even offering discounts on other linked companies such as discounts on hotels and vacation spots. Hence, finding new ways in offering competitive and attractive benefits is needed.
Different generation of workforce has different expectations of working environment, therefore we must be more flexible to cater both older and younger team members. Younger generations prefer to have a good work-life balance and not in favour of long working hours. With new Employment (Amendment) Act 2022 which includes reduction of working hours from 48 to 45 hours per week, it poses a challenge in recruiting people for the around-the-clock business of healthcare. However, we must emphasize on our expectations when hiring, while offering competitive and fair benefits to them.
Ultimately there is no one set of rules applicable for all when it comes to embracing the changing workforce. With increasing preferences of private healthcare facility and medical tourism in Malaysia, we must keep up our game and be more involved with our workforce since they are one of the main pillars holding the reputation of the company. We must adapt and improve ourselves to stay relevant in the healthcare industry.
Dr Ahmad Wildan bin Azhar
Chief Medical Officer
Pantai Hospital Laguna Merbok