Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre was facing
challenges in getting skilled manpower and retaining them. However, a well-thought
out strategy in employee engagement and retention has worked wonders. Express
Healthcare provides an insight
It is a paradox that the Indian healthcare industry known
for its people-driven approach is today plagued by high attrition and lack of
trained manpower. You can blame it on the growth and the increasing options
available to its people and lack of training institutes to dole out sufficient
number of skilled manpower. Layers of staff requirement and the depleting ratio
is not just restricted to clinicians anymore. And the rising demand for trained
managers and paramedics has only increased. Getting trained personnel who understands
healthcare finance, HR and materials is a mammoth task. Besides management and
administrative staff, it is always a challenge to get technicians for pump,
cathlab, nuclear medicine etc as the demand is more than the supply.
Madurai-based 650-bed multi-speciality hospital, Meenakshi
Mission Hospital and Research Centre (MMHRC) was facing similar challenges in
getting skilled manpower and retaining them. However, the shift in the attitude
and innova tion within few crucial areas played the trick. Today, the hospital
with the total employee strength of 2,223, is reaping the benefits of its
out of the box' thinking.
Obtain and Retain
promote and embrace mentoring in both individual and organisational levels"
- Dr N Sethuraman
try to balance individual aspiration with the organisation goals to prevent
loss of talent and opportunity"
- Dr S Gurushankar
MMHRC has started the initiative of mass interviewing the
non-clinical candidates. This step has turned out to be an immensely time saving
and practical way of recruiting the staff in this category. Through mass interviewing,
the soft skill deficiency of the person is analysed. We evaluate leadership
skills, communication skills, body language, presentation skills, drive etc,
says Dr N Sethuraman, Founder Chairman, MMHRC. The hospital has been recruiting
most of its doctors, managers, technicians during conferences and through word-of-mouth
publicity. The forum, known as Federation of Hospital Administrators (where
Dr Sethuraman is the founder Chairman), makes a good platform to recruit through
While attracting good people is half job done, motivating
them to higher goals and retaining them is an uphill task. MMHRC has devised
strategies to motivate and retain staff that includes a right mix of training
initiatives and employee welfare schemes.
Appraisal and Training: The hospital started preparing
a training need chart based on the 360 degrees performance appraisal
of each staff. We conduct 360 degree performance appraisal of all the
staff once in a year and undertake re-skilling of staff from one department
to other. We make the staff realise where they stand and how they can modify
their roles, Besides, the regular training programmes in technical as
well as soft skills has been emphasised upon and almost three per cent of turnover
is spent on the same. The hospital has started involving the employees in the
decision-making process. The suggestion schemes have been floated in the hospital,
whereby employees can give their suggestions about different functional issues.
The hospital has identified key performance areas (KPAs), key result areas (KRAs),
managing points (MP) and core functional teams (CFT).
Glimpse of a training session
One of the summer camps
The hospital has started a crèche for its employees
Addressing aspirations: We develop our staff
to do things differently- what others dont do. We try to balance individual
aspiration with the organisation goals so as to prevent loss of employee confidence,
talent and opportunity. For this we communicate effectively with our staff,
says Dr S Gurushankar, Vice Chairman, MMHRC.
Dr Sethuraman points out that MMHRC is trying to build an
atmosphere where people will be treated not just as resources but as capital
of the institution. We strongly believe that rules, regulations, restrictions
will not work in todays modern employee management. All staff is empowered
so as to decide on their own. We inculcate high performance and high caring
culture as core values among our staff. This only brings innovation in our institution,
The hospital has been diligently following a model where
compensation is based on an employees experience, skills and above that,
their output and not reflect biases. We promote and embrace mentoring
in both individual and organisational levels, shares Dr Sethuraman.
Employee welfare schemes: MMHRC initiated employee
welfare schemes which cover welfare benefits apart from superannuation and statutory
benefits, like the festival bonus, educational allowance for their children
etc. We take care of the entire family with initiatives like appointment
of spouse and educational allowance. This year we have sponsored the entire
expenses for employees children admission in the medical college,
It also organises summer camps for the staff children in
the hospital premises. This initiative motivates our staff and gives exposure
to their children about our hospital. This has developed a strong bond with
the staff, adds Dr Gurushankar.
Addressing grievances: Often people leave for flimsy
grievances and for lack of mechanism to address them. Thus, a CFT has been established,
which keeps a watch on the grievances of key performers, and in case of any
issues, they are settled either then and there or by a methodical approach.
Permission to fail: According to Dr Sethuraman, the
best way to learn is by failing and this is also important while retaining talent.
We permit them to fail as we feel that failure is the best trainer for
future success. Giving them the permission to fail and learn from
their mistakes is as important as empowering them to take crucial decision,
says Dr Sethuraman.
Train the Leaders: 'Do you work for the organisation
or for your boss' is often a debated topic. We strongly believe that employees
are not leaving the institution, but they are leaving their boss. We periodically
motivate, train, teach the team leaders about the importance of affection towards
their staff, says Dr Gurushankar.
|Family Medical benefits:
Free medical treatment to all employees and 50 per cent concession to their
dependents. Free medicines worth Rs 500 (maximum) is given to an eligible
employee who is admitted as an in-patient in the hospital.
Maximum of Rs 3,000 per child/per year.
The hospital runs a crèche for the employees kids on free
Employees Welfare fund:
It caters to urgent needs of the employees who have completed one year
It extends to the spouse of the employee in case of death.
PF, ESI and gratuity benefits are offered.
Other benefits:Hospital gives loyalty bonus
and various types of incentives to eligible employees.
Humour at work: In Dr Sethuramans words, earlier
HR meant horror, but now in MMHRC it means humour at work. Humor also
helps reduce the day-to-day stress of office life. It helps people cope with
frustrations, tiring schedules, irate clients, etc, resulting in reduction in
stress, he shares. Firms that have a light hearted working environment
are better places to work in. People feel unafraid to express their thoughts
or ideas, which brings in vitality to the organisation. Employees work with
constant energy and motivation that produces better output for the firm. Also,
it results in an increase in productivity. When people work in a vibrant office
environment, they work with a lot of motivation. This happens as they work not
only for a living, but also because they derive a lot of joy from the job.
Boredom at work is one of the main reasons why people quit jobs. The high attrition
rate adds to the organisational costs of hiring and training new people. A pleasant
atmosphere at work is a breeding ground for creativity and innovation, as it
allows employees to think creatively, which can bring great results for a company.
Such well-thought strategies have helped the hospital to retain talent. Almost
70 per cent of our staff and almost 40 per cent of our doctors are with us for
more than 10 years. We have developed a sense of belongingness among them,
he says. Thus, in spite of industry-wide high attrition in the nursing staff,
the hospital claims to have successfully retained 45 per cent of its nurses.