Employee health and wellbeing should be more than just an HR initiative. It is a business imperative that will result in greater operational efficiency, higher employee productivity, and happier customers – and is key to achieving business excellence.
Over the last two years, healthcare organisations and staff across the globe have unanimously felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and united together to ensure continuation of service and the health of the population while operating in exceptionally uncertain conditions. As a provider of critical IT and software solutions to healthcare companies, and in light of the dual pressure of both performance and pandemic, protecting not just the health but also the happiness of employees, who sit at the heart of servicing these organisations, has become a business imperative.
Here at Hicom, our people are our business. Investing in our colleagues is, therefore, an ethos that underpins everything we do, as Donna Coppe, HR Manager, Hicom, explains.
Marcus Lemonis’ ‘Three Ps’– ‘People, Process, and Product’ – are frequently cited as the building blocks of any highly successful operation. Arguably, these principles are today more important than ever before:
1. People are the most important resource in a company – ultimately, they are the ones who drive business improvement and so ensuring their motivation, capability, and wellbeing is key.
2. Processes must support people to work in the most efficient and productive manner, with the use of appropriate technology where it supports business aims.
3. Product – the product or service needs to have features to meet and exceed the customer’s needs, and be designed in a way that supports optimum workflows, reliability, and usability.
It sounds like a simple approach, but many companies will struggle with, or lose sight of, at least one of these aspects at any point in time.
People like to know that what they are doing is adding value. People feel better about themselves, and their work, if they know that what they are doing has a purpose – it is an important part of why people go to work.
Having a clear company purpose helps to motivate and inspire employees, and ensure that everyone feels aligned with their colleagues, and with the business as a whole. In Hicom’s case, our purpose is defined as being “a trusted partner to support a client’s digital transformation journey”.
We fundamentally believe that our products and services have a bigger meaning, given that we are developing and supporting clinical and operational systems that, both directly and indirectly, improve patient care. Our role is to help NHS organisations and staff improve and streamline processes and make healthcare more accessible; that is our greater cause.
This purpose should be continually communicated and reinforced at all levels of the business and aligned to staff objectives and key performance indicators. Employees are instrumental in achieving success in business – with this in mind, it is paramount to ensure that they feel recognised, supported and appreciated, and know that their opinions and ideas are heard and acted upon.
Customer feedback is a hugely valuable aspect of this, which is why we share and celebrate any testimonials or project milestones as a whole. Similarly, ideas for improvement can come from anyone in the business. We embrace a culture where everyone is encouraged to continuously ask where and how we can improve our services, our quality and innovate for new ideas – and every suggestion is taken seriously and given due diligence.
It’s not just about our products and services where this ethos applies; the same goes for our working environment and broader corporate values.
Advocacy for employee wellbeing can be anything from improvements to the working environment, such as ergonomic workplaces; and flexible and hybrid working; to our ESG values. What changes can we make to be more sustainable, for example? What charities do we want to work with? What initiatives can we put together for fundraising or volunteering days?
These may seem like small measures, but they have tangible effects in reinforcing a company’s commitment to its employees and making clear that their health and wellbeing permeates systems and processes – beyond HR.
Yes, accreditations, such as being part of Investors in People – and we are extremely proud to have recently achieved our Silver accreditation – and ISO 9001 & 27001 are important. But to be a genuine component of business success, employee wellbeing must be more than a tick box or compliance exercise.
How do you really know that your efforts are paying off, therefore? Ask the question.
Undertake regular employee surveys. Ask how you are doing. Encourage your employees to provide you with their feedback so you know where you can make improvements.
The benefits extend beyond employees. Improving your productivity allows more time for training and development, and investment in generating further improvements that will improve delivery and service performance, customer feedback, and satisfaction. This cycle of continuous improvement can only be enabled by keeping people at the heart of everything that you do.
At Hicom we believe that a key measure is our employees’ length of tenure. As a relatively small company of 56 staff, yet now in our 36th year, 48% have been with us for more than five years, and 14% 10+ years. In such a competitive market, these numbers really do speak volumes about how we operate as a business, and how we look after our people.
The NHS and healthcare systems internationally are increasingly embracing the digitalisation agenda, both out of necessity and borne from the recognition that digital transformation is key to better ways or working and better patient outcomes. There is a growing demand for specialist systems to support clinical teams across the broader health ecosystem, such as those Hicom develops and supports.
If you’re interested in being part of this growing team, please contact us today.