Even in times when things seem to be going just as you planned and all is right with your strategy and expected outcomes, it is hard to find time to plan, gather data, hold meetings with your leaders and find money to make sure that these “nice” times continue.
I can almost guarantee you if everything is great and seems to be perfect, it will not remain that way. Life seems to like things to be a bit hectic and it finds a way to take us there. When all hell is breaking lose, and consumers are upset, and you have high employee turnover, business meetings seem to run longer, morale is down, and you know you need to make things happen; then time and money become critical. I would rather plan for resources when all feels good than when times are bad. But in either case, the need for resources is an ongoing challenge.
Factors Driving the Ongoing Need for Resources
There are 4 factors that will continue to demand change from Healthcare and Academic Institutional Leaders. They will, and in fact already are, having a profound effect on locations, and the services that support them. I am sure there are many more than 4, but these concepts feel interrelated and a change in any one of these areas will have an effect on the others. They will drive change and will require resources to progress.
- The Increasing Power of the Voice of the CustomerConsumer power is impactful. You need a process to listen to the voice of your consumers, and to all those that use and deliver your serviceConsumers expect a lot. Things like access, convenience, efficiency and effectiveness.In Healthcare they want to:
- Clearly understand their wellness plan and the reasons for it being designed and delivered the way it is.
- Understand the charges for the services they receive and would like to know this cost up front.
- Be greeted nicely and keep their dignity throughout their experience.
- Have employees that are well trained and professional in their work and are pleasant and sociable.
- Be treated in facilities that are up to date, clean, and feel safe, secure and comfortable.
- Good food with a menu that reflects the needs of their community.
- Be treated as a consumer of services not just a patient.And they want the cost of Healthcare to go down, not continue to rise.
In Academic Institutions consumers want:
- A voice in their schedule
- A voice in their educational plan
- To understand why this is the best avenue for them depending on their ambitions
- Access to education in less expensive methods, at locations convenient to them. Online and remote classrooms are growing.
Those that choose to physically attend a college or university want a complete experience. They want:
- Style in their dorms
- Convenience to their spaces of work and social activities
- Dining options that meet the needs of their diverse student bodies
- A role in creating those options and perhaps a chance to work in them to develop and learn life skills
- Environmentally designed campuses and structures that support them
- Technology to be available on demand, with options to choose from and they want the convenience and speed of this format.
- The cost of education to go down and the value to go up.
You want to get and use data and actionable facts to plan how to change to meet their demands.
2. Advancements in Innovative TechnologyThe pace of creative innovative work is moving at record speed, Automated Systems for building management and power conservation. Medical equipment design, modern drug development with cure as the expected outcome not just maintenance. Nano technology, 5G speed of exchange of information, robot surgery, robot mail delivery….teachers on line to reach many with less resources involved.
As this AI/Innovative technology continues to arrive it retools the design of the work and the workspace. It drives the need for new training, or automated learning to deliver on its promise of efficiency and improved outcomes with quality results. Technology needs to increase efficiency and lower costs and to deliver and track facts and data that lead to educated decisions to manage and lead these businesses.
3. Staffing Shortages
As work patterns change and the use of technology becomes the norm the skill sets of the workers will need to change. This will not happen overnight but there will be a change. Even now there are shortages of human resources in both HealthCare and Academic support service positions.
It is important in both these markets to understand that the human factor is where the heart of the organization resides. People make the support services business work. They are the heart and soul of the place. They need to be respected, listened to and paid accordingly. They require detailed thinking and diverse teams need to be coordinated to deliver the needs of the different marketplace communities.
Service excellence is essential to success, at all levels. As technology advances so to must the skills of those involved. Leaders need to recognize the importance of this and plan for the time and resources to make it happen.
It is very difficult to bring about change in an area that that does not feel secure and the people do not feel safe. Today’s leaders must plan for this and have a plan of action for any breach of protocol.
if we are afraid and insecure in our work and living environment it slows down the time frame for change and makes it harder to move forward. Doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from if you feel insecure you will be very cautious as you try to make change happen. Leaders need to focus themselves and a team of experts on making their people feel safe and secure.
Executives and Staff are spending their precious time looking for resources to adjust their support services to meet the pace of change. Support services gets caught up in all of this activity. Support Services can often be a source of resources. Efficiencies can be found, processes updated, jobs realigned. Data and facts need to be gathered and plans need to be executed no matter what circumstance causes the change of process. It takes time and focus to review all the support systems that make these Institutions run.
Almost every comprehensive review finds a way to reduce costs and improve results. The question is how do you find the time to find the resources to get this done? Sometimes a fresh set of eyes and perspective is the best way to make change happen and improve outcome.
Soriant specializes in driving excellence in the operations of support services. We are here when you need us. Soriant’s teams have assisted over 300+ Hospitals and Academic Institutions.
“We treat every opportunity to work with our clients as partnership, and we make it our mission to create sustainable solutions that leave you with the knowledge and skills needed to continue making progress long after we leave.” Erik Scott CEO Soriant