With increasing number of people suffering from sleep disorders, the number of sleep centers or laboratories is also increasing. This gives rise to a demand for qualified and skilled sleep professionals like sleep study specialists, technicians, attendants etc. If finding the right sleep professionals can be difficult, retaining good ones is even more challenging. Today, considering the demand for qualified sleep professionals, sleep centers have an urgent need to look at the churn rates in the industry and take the necessary steps to prevent employee attrition in their facility.
Late night or overnight shifts are quite common for those working in a sleep center or any other medical facility. However, night shifts would mean a change in the normal working hours, which can affect the overall functioning of the person. Sleep centers usually function 24/7 and at times, sleep professionals have to work 22 or 24 hour shifts to track a particular patient's progress. When running a sleep center, you need to understand that even sleep professionals can become victims of sleep disorders, if the work-related stress is not dealt with properly.
To make sure that your sleep center staff is efficient and alert even during late night or overnight shifts, here are a few points you should remember.
Educating your staff about fatigue-related risks -Sleep professionals are those who help people get over their sleep disorders. But if they donít handle their work related fatigue or stress properly, they could also end up with sleep problems, setting a bad example for the patients. To improve performance of your staff, it is important that you help them understand the risks of the stress that comes with the job.
Managing shifts/rotations - Scheduling is one of the most important factors that can help your employees deal with stress and fatigue. Scheduling must be done considering the shift timings, the duration of the shift, number of continuous shifts for the employee etc. With proper scheduling or rostering, you can help your employees maintain a work-life balance and prevent them from falling victim to sleep disorders.
Have clear schedules to allow planning - Preparing the schedule and planning out activities for the coming period, at least a month, will give your staff enough time to adjust their activities accordingly, to create a balance.
Working in healthcare setups can be relatively more demanding. Along with the stress that comes with the job, added work pressure and an unfriendly working atmosphere can lead to frustration among your employees and result in high attrition rates. While the nature of work cannot possibly be changed, the working environment and certain HR processes can be modified to keep your employees contented.
When a job is well done, be sure to appreciate the employee to make him or her happy and reinforce positive behavior. A small "thank you" or a "good job" can go a long way in motivating your staff to give their best at all times. Even in case of underperformance of the sleep technician or the specialist, you should provide constructive feedback and avoid negativity as far as possible.
Organizing social activities and events from time to time is a good way to keep the working atmosphere a little cheerful. Even during the working hours, allowing your staff to take small breaks whenever necessary can help in improving their performance significantly. If needed, sleep professionals working late night or overnight shifts should be allowed to take short naps in between, so that they can stay alert during the rest of the period. This can usually be done by rostering staff in overlapping shifts.
When it comes to financial compensation, be sure that you offer the best package in the industry. Otherwise, there is a high chance of losing competent sleep professionals to competition in the industry. The compensation should also include employee benefits.
If you want to retain performing employees, you should be sure to reward them appropriately. Considering the demand for professionally qualified sleep center professionals, you may not be able to find suitable replacements for all the efficient employees you lose. So whenever required, you should offer generous rewards like bonuses and other rewards to the best performers.
Allowing your staff to progress in their career is one of the most effective ways to retain them. To help your employees grow professionally, you should consider organizing training programs that can help them stay updated with the developments in the sleep medicine field.
Once in a while, sleep center specialists and technicians who work long hours at the facility should be allowed to take a few days off. Studies have proved that allowing employees to take small breaks or vacations occasionally, makes them more productive and efficient when they come back. Not only that, allowing time-off from work can also help your staff to relax and beat off the work-related fatigue quickly.