27 August 2021
Creating a successful team and meeting compliance obligations
Human resources (HR) management focuses not only on finding and employing new talent, but retaining and managing them, while adhering to your legislative and ethical compliance obligations.
It’s a vital part of any organisation and, done properly, it also guides employees to their best performance and increases morale by improving relationships between employees and employers in their shared goal of striving to make your healthcare practice successful.
And it starts well before you post the job ad.
Recruitment, selection and induction
Effective recruitment begins with thorough planning. Consider using this seven-step process:
- Job analysis: Identify what resources you have, what you need, what you can afford, and what you’re trying to achieve with this role. Your answers will reflect your overall practice vision, mission and goals.
- Develop the position description and selection criteria. (Spending more time on steps 1 and 2 increases the likelihood you’ll hire the right staff. These steps are critical also because you can use these details to performance manage your staff.)
- Advertising the job: The role and skills you seek will determine where and how you advertise and your costings.
- Review and cull applications: Strive to be open, equitable and transparent in this process.
- Conduct interviews and reference checks: Plan this crucial step well. If specific skills are required, include a person with those skills on the interview panel. Use scenario style interview processes or technical assessments where appropriate, e.g. test typing speeds, ECG usage, if required for the role.
- Make your selection and the offer.
- Commence employment and induction, being aware of your compliance obligations here.
When you store your practice’s policies and procedures and record of tasks, roles and responsibilities in PracticeHub, you can easily translate these into a job analysis and position descriptions. PracticeHub includes position description templates where you can record the purpose of the role, who they report to, and any compliance requirements such as health and safety.
Meeting your recruitment compliance requirements
In Australia, non-discriminatory hiring practices are legislated. So, the best basis for candidate selection must be on merit. Onboarding your new recruit also comes with obligations around pay and working conditions, including:
- award wages
- meeting employee entitlements
- employee privacy and confidentiality
- safety and welfare.
Failing to comply with these potentially exposes your practice to legal action.
In PracticeHub, you can hyperlink to external websites with helpful information, such as the Fair Work site, for awards and conditions. Linking directly to these sites means you and your team always access the most current version of any employment legislation, keeping you compliant.
When you onboard a new team member, you can send them a link via PracticeHub to all the relevant induction documents they need to read and sign on commencement. This not only saves time, but gives you a record of what they’ve read – as we know, documentation is your best protection against potential disputes.
This is not merely an appraisal system focused on performance, it aims to create a work environment in which all staff can achieve their best and be involved in continuous quality improvement through training and development, which then contributes to the practice’s vision and goals.
It’s important to identify the areas each team member is to perform in, also known as key result areas (KRAs), e.g. Finance, Customer Service, HR management. Under each KRA sit the key performance indicators or KPIs, e.g. under Finance, a KPI might be to produce a monthly profit and loss statement and balance sheet. This way, staff know what’s expected of them, how they perform against those expectations and what resources they need to succeed.
When staff underperform
Managing underperformance can be tricky, not only on an interpersonal level, but because there are particular legislative considerations to comply with. To make the process easier, it’s important to identify and manage any performance gaps when they happen, not at the annual appraisal.
Ask yourself: What’s the employee’s current state versus the desired state? Once you ascertain these, any gaps become obvious.
Next, set goals with the employee for improvement. What resources or training might they need? Continue to provide feedback to them on how they perform against these new goals. Keep your communication open and transparent with a focus on supporting the employee.
Failure to manage poor performance well could result in an unfair dismissal claim. Fair Work has guidelines for this and, should you need to terminate a team member’s employment, they also have templates for this process.
Training and professional development
Does your practice provide a learning environment for ongoing team development? This is critical to the success of your daily operations and the services you deliver to patients.
PracticeHub is especially helpful in setting and monitoring staff training. With eight inbuilt online training modules in foundational topics from risk management and infection control to organisational culture and patient health records, you can easily assign modules to certain staff roles and track their progress.
Consider creating a file for each staff member in PracticeHub that includes their training and development plan, targets and goals, resources and support required and completion dates. Documenting these things keeps people accountable. You can create training registers for individuals and groups and document if the training is done internally or externally, online or in-person. Having this information ready, so you can demonstrate training completed is important for accreditation.
Good HR management is about openness and transparency around systems and processes. Managing your documentation through automation lets you focus on enhancing the performance of your team. Which makes your practice more successful.