There are significant benefits to creating a cross-functional workforce governance model that both promotes trusted employee relationships and enables a collaborative approach, said Kathye Habig Nippert, vice president of workforce management at Catholic Health Partners in Cincinnati.
During an educational session at the KronosWorks 2012 conference in Las Vegas on Monday, Nippert explained how Catholic Health Partners, a healthcare organization that includes 24 acute care hospitals in Ohio and Kentucky and employs more than 32,000 associates, was able to embrace workforce labor improvement efforts and meet multiple strategic and organizational initiatives and goals by using a cross-functional workforce governance model.
When Nippert arrived at Catholic Health Partners in 2008, she said, the organization was facing a lot of labor challenges. It lacked a corporate chief nursing officer and chief medical officer, was undergoing a change in leadership, central operation struggled to meet regional and local needs, cost reductions always looked at labor first, and some regions were stronger than others in managing labor.
Nippert said Catholic Health Partners began making all labor management information and standards transparent to employees using upgraded workforce management software. She also said all hospitals within the organization began to collaborate on workforce efforts and ideas to make improvements.
[See also: The importance of successful staffing processes]
“We provide analytic interpretation of data and collaborate with regional leaders and teams to identify areas of opportunity for improvement by comparing labor performance to peers and best practice research,” she said. “We facilitated process redesign through performance engineers funded by the regions.”
Nippert said Catholic Health Partners also created a Workforce Strategy Committee that kept several key strategies in mind: change management by having more communication and collaboration; keep all work transparent through regional and divisional reports; and have standardized methodologies that include a benchmarking process for acute care facilities and productivity monitoring.
“Our workforce strategy prepares our system for the decade ahead of us with a goal of improving organizational financial health,” she said.