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Ten forces reshaping the modern workplace

Equal parts challenging and harbingers of opportunity, these structural shifts hold great potential to upend traditional growth paradigms

Words by Shalini Naagar

The healthcare industry is in a constant state of flux because of new technologies, emergent skill sets, ever-changing regulations, and increased competition. As business and societal trends continue to alter the trajectory of organisations’ human agendas, the organisation and its leadership are at a pivotal moment for reframing. To succeed, leaders must evolve alongside their organisations and embrace a new set of fundamentals to mobilise employees and teams toward new outcomes. Here are some human resources (HR) trends that will influence the industry in the coming years. 

Continued focus on employee well-being

Employee well-being has received a lot of attention in recent years and will continue to be a major focus in the healthcare industry. Employers are putting a greater emphasis on mental health support, work-life balance, and building inclusive and friendly environments. Companies will prioritise employee well-being by developing initiatives such as wellness programmes, flexible scheduling, and remote work possibilities.

Diversity and inclusion in the spotlight

There is a rising emphasis on creating diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces. Companies are working hard to create cultures in which people from diverse backgrounds feel appreciated and included. DE&I efforts will be recognised as critical not only for social progress but also for fostering creativity, productivity, and better decision-making.

ESG reporting will evolve beyond compliance to attract talent

The evolution of ESG reporting beyond compliance represents a strategy shift towards attracting talent. As job-seekers prioritise sustainability, particularly in the healthcare business, organisations that demonstrate a true commitment to environmental, social, and governance considerations will gain a competitive advantage in hiring the best employees. 

HR digital transformation

The healthcare industry will use technology to streamline HR operations. To improve productivity and reduce administrative challenges, automated solutions for recruitment, onboarding, and other functions will be implemented. Furthermore, digital platforms will facilitate seamless communication and collaboration, allowing for remote work and enhancing employee engagement.

The rise of people analytics

The use of data and analytics in human resource decision-making is gaining traction. HR professionals will use people analytics to learn more about employee performance, retention, and productivity. This data-driven strategy will help HR teams make sound decisions, optimise talent management strategies, and connect HR practises with organisational objectives.

Agile HR and workforce planning

Human resources departments will implement agile methodologies to respond to rapidly changing business requirements and workforce dynamics. Agile HR enables healthcare organisations to be more adaptable, collaborative, and responsive in their talent acquisition, performance management, and learning and development strategies. Focusing on skills deficits, succession planning, and workforce scalability, workforce planning will become more strategic. This approach will enable healthcare organisations to provide efficient care to patients while maintaining cost-effectiveness.

Continuous learning and upskilling

As technology advances and job requirements change, learning and upskilling will continue to be emphasised. There will be more robust learning and development programmes that provide opportunities for employees to acquire new skills, remain relevant, and adapt to shifting job responsibilities. Enhanced partnerships with learning platforms, online courses, and educational institutions will facilitate personalised and accessible learning opportunities.

Flexible work arrangements

The COVID-19 pandemic has expedited the adoption of flexible work arrangements and remote work policies. HR will develop policies and guidelines to facilitate remote and hybrid work arrangements. In a remote work environment, they will address productivity, work-life balance, and employee well-being issues.

Improved Employee Engagement

Healthcare organisations will prioritise employee engagement initiatives to increase job satisfaction and decrease turnover. The establishment of employee feedback systems, recognition programmes, and regular communication channels will foster a sense of belonging and autonomy among employees. Consideration will be given to employee engagement as a crucial factor in delivering high-quality patient care.

Continued emphasis on ethical leadership

Ethical leadership will grow in importance in the healthcare sector. In their leadership practises, organisations will place a stronger emphasis on integrity, transparency, and accountability. Priorities will be placed on ethical decision-making frameworks, compliance programmes, and cultivating a culture of ethical behaviour to maintain patient confidence and a positive organisational reputation.

As the healthcare industry undergoes significant transformations, HR trends will play a crucial role in moulding the workforce. To adapt to these changes, healthcare organisations must prioritise diversity, employee well-being, and technological advancements to improve their HR practises. By focusing on talent acquisition, employee development, and flexible workforce management, healthcare organisations can cultivate a skilled and motivated workforce capable of providing exceptional patient care despite shifts in the industry. Adopting these HR trends will allow healthcare organisations to thrive in a dynamic environment, ensuring the success of their workforce and the delivery of high-quality healthcare services.

Shalini Naagar is HR Sr. Director, India, and Shared Services, Kuala Lumpur for Baxter

She has over 24 years of experience in various industries including IT, ITES, Pharmaceuticals, and Retail with proven expertise in transforming organisational culture by focusing on growth mindset and driving excellence. She is a Strategic HR Leader who creates value by driving the people agenda in partnership with business leaders to achieve business outcomes while bringing in the best of Human Resource programs in organisational effectiveness and design, talent management, and leadership practices.


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