April 30, 2019

Round-table Discussion: Agency and Temporary Staff – Business Friends or Unaffordable Overhead?

For the longest time, healthcare providers in both the public and independent sector have depended on agency staff, particularly around nursing, in order to meet their organisational objective.

For many, what was once seen as a short-term fix to a capacity challenge has turned into a dangerous over-reliance that threatens both the patient and the profitability of the entire enterprise. We brought together leaders from around the independent sector to look at creating sustainable workforce: what worked, what didn’t and what can be done going forwards.

BETTER MEETING THE NEEDS OF YOUR WORKFORCE    

Many attending were at pains to point out that people don’t always turn to agency work out of choice:

REWARD

There was a lot of discussion of rising salary costs, competition with NHS pension increases and the race to the bottom of profitability. One of those attending however, had a different way of looking at it:

TRAINING & PROGRESSION

Others were keen to add, it’s not just about financial and material reward

PERSONAL RECOGNITION

Other forms of reward are important too and none more so than personal recognition:

BUILDING A CULTURE

What was interesting on the day was to hear the stories of those who had successful transformed an organisation’s workforce to be sustainable:

THE IMPACT OF MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP

The event was also a moment for self-reflection on leadership’s and management’s own contribution to the agency problem:

PROACTIVELY USING AGENCY

The question was raised, is agency really the enemy? Are there good times to use agency?

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