Healthcare workers continue risking their lives on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, but many of them do not feel confident that the measures their leaders take can adequately protect them. There are some steps that can help improving the situation, says the latest survey by Gallup
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According to Gallup’s data, only 36% of full-time healthcare workers in the US think they will be safe following their organisation's health policies regarding COVID-19, and slightly more (38%) are sure they can keep up with their work if the outbreak continues.
One of the reasons here may be the lack of clear communication about a facility’s COVID-19 plan to the staff. Less than half of the respondents (48%) say they have been properly informed by the management.
Amid the pandemic, healthcare leaders should put additional efforts into strengthening the safety culture in their organisations. To succeed, they can take a number of specific steps.
Communicate the organisation’s COVID-19 safety plan. It is not enough to have safety policies and procedures developed and in place. They also need to be pre-emptively and clearly communicated to the staff with both words and actions through various channels. The practical application of those policies should also be continuously discussed between managers and employees.
Outline managers’ responsibilities. Managers are key for their team’s success, and leaders need to make clear what their expectations from and what the responsibilities of the management are. Leaders also should remind their managers of relevant policies and the need to engage in regular communication with employees.
Show support through dialogue. Robust communication flows, both as top-down approach and getting feedback from the frontline stuff, demonstrate leaders’ support as well as help to create trusting relationship and improve the COVID-19 strategies and safety policies. An efficient culture of safety implies clear expectations, effective collaboration mechanisms, rapid information flow and efficient error reporting. Leaders should not only get feedback from their employees but also act upon it.