How to Recognize, Reward, & Retain Top Revenue Cycle Talent

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Optimizing Workforce Performance with Effective Intelligence

Workforce challenges are mounting in today’s healthcare organizations, and the impact can be felt across every clinical and operational role. Yet when it comes to operational margin, there is an undeniable link between a healthy bottom line and the effectiveness of a revenue cycle team.

As the industry continues to reel from unprecedented staffing shortages and burnout, the root cause of lackluster revenue cycle performance is often much more complex than a lack of people. Unfortunately, too many healthcare organizations are caught up in a whirlwind of maintaining staffing levels, and ultimately missing the bigger picture of workforce optimization as they attempt to meet increasingly higher employee expectations.

The good news is there is a better workforce model—one built on a culture of recognition and reward that allows healthcare organizations to motivate existing revenue cycle teams and retain top talent. It all starts with the right foundation of effective intelligence and visibility into each unit of work effort of every team member.

Workforce Trends in the News

The Great Resignation is now the Great Regret, and “quiet quitting” has turned into “act your wage” all while companies make employee compensation decisions in an uncertain macro-environment.

The Forever Labor Shortage: It remains incredibly hard to find and hire enough qualified people for the roles [employers are] desperately trying to fill. Somehow, workers still hold the power — and a massive shift that’s underway in the labor market could keep it that way forever.

A new analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics data found that for five consecutive quarters, year-over-year productivity has declined at the fastest rate in approximately 75 years. In the first quarter of 2023, productivity dropped 2.7 percent from the end of 2022 and 0.9 percent year-over-year.

The New Staffing Landscape

Many provider organizations equate optimal bottom-line performance to having a particular number of staff working on a revenue cycle team. In reality, the problem is more likely a staff effectiveness issue that reflects changing dynamics in the workforce.

For many workers, the concept of work-life balance has moved center stage as a precursor to job satisfaction. Consequently, hybrid and remote work options made possible through virtualization are now key to recruitment and retention.

Key influencers and motivators in today’s work environments

Gartner recommends that employers take actions that focus on:

  • Intentionally reinforcing greater and more impactful ways for people to connect with your culture

  • Ensuring leaders take a more human (authentic, empathetic and adaptive) approach to overseeing people

  • Hybrid work environments and greater flexibility

A 2023 Robert Half survey of 2,500 workers uncovered these trends:

  • 87% of workers considering a job change are interested in hybrid or fully remote positions.

  • 77% of workers who have flexible work schedules and locations are putting in more hours now than three years ago

  • 32% of workers who go into the office at least one day a week are willing to take a pay cut for the ability to do their job remotely all the time.

The psychology behind the current state of employment

In addition to flexibility in work location, a major shift has occurred in recent years related to the psychology behind work. Most people are familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which theorizes that physiological needs and safety are our top priorities. But, when those needs are met, priorities move up the triangle to love and belonging and esteem.

As a result, employees are more apt to seek rewards, recognition and status like they find in various forms of social media and online culture.

Financial leaders should now view the top of Maslow’s hierarchy—self-actualization—as the ultimate objective for employee performance, helping revenue cycle teams go beyond a historic baseline or average by setting goals that push individuals to do better.

By motivating employees to essentially “compete against themselves,” and push the boundaries of their perceived capabilities, they can gain satisfaction from knowing they have performed at their highest capacity and be acknowledged for it.