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The Great Re-Engagement

When you’re in a situation that feels completely out of control, have you ever been told that the one thing you can control is your response? I’ve been reminded of that as I have spent time considering Loretto’s workforce challenges. It seems that none of us, as employers, had the option of whether or not to participate in “The Great Resignation.” The job market is a reality that employers have had to face, leaving many with workforce challenges. However, now many headlines mention “The Great Re-Engagement,” the phrase used to describe the response that some are taking to attempt to overcome the loss they’ve experienced in workforce recruitment and retention.

In my own candid words, “The Great Re-Engagement” is employers who are determined to control their response and make the best of a not-so-great situation. Instead of stopping with “everyone is experiencing workforce challenges,” – they’re digging deeper to determine how they can re-engage their current and prospective workforce. As I shared in a recent guest column for McKnight’s at Loretto, we’ve decided to become a part of this movement.

Here are a few of the things we’ve actions we’ve taken to engage current and prospective employees:

  • Stay interviews – candid conversations with our employees to learn what they like and dislike about working at Loretto.
  • Flex hours – obviously, in the healthcare industry, we have limits to the flexible hours we can offer, but we are testing four-day, 10-hour work weeks where we can.
  • Staff development – investing in our frontline caregivers through a Frontline Caregiver Advancement Project, Loretto EDGE, which provides nationally recognized certifications and wage increases for our staff; and leadership training with a focus in leadership training on core values and valued behaviors.
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) – educating and investing in improving processes and policies to create a culture of inclusion and belonging.
  • Staff organization – re-evaluating the structure of our internal team – adapting and bringing in new skills, and embracing a greater focus on engagement to meet the needs of today’s employees.

Whatever position you find yourself in, you have the opportunity to control your response to the workforce crisis. That might mean implementing new initiatives for your team, but it could also mean coming to work and doing the best you can while you’re there. Both can be challenging, but many of us have the opportunity to make a positive impact on this difficult situation.