One of the many effects of the Covid-19 pandemic has been a dramatic shift in the way people approach their professional careers. Rather than suffering in silence, those who don’t feel fulfilled are running toward the exit, in record numbers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “the number of Americans quitting their jobs in any given month hovers near all-time highs, and job openings across the country hover around 10 million” (The Business Journal). In November of 2021, a record 3.5 million resignations were reported, with healthcare being one of the hardest hit industries.
This comes as no surprise to CIOs and other leaders, many of whom are scrambling to recruit and retain top talent. With tight margins to consider, competing with tech and other lucrative verticals is out of the question, prompting more organizations to rely on hybrid and remote work models as an incentive.
With these new models, however, comes a new set of challenges – one of which is ensuring teams are utilizing PTO and taking time to recharge. This, as many employers are finding, is easier said than done. According to a survey by software firm Skynova, despite the fact that nearly 39 percent of employers have increased the amount of PTO offered, the majority (around 64 percent) of employees say they “sometimes or often avoid taking time off because they feel they are unable to do so.”
The result is a disconnect that has left many feeling frustrated, to put it mildly. For healthcare leaders, it has upped the ante when it comes to ensuring IT, clinical, and security staff are able to maintain balance in their lives.
The big question, of course, is how? To that end, healthsystemCIO reached out to a handful of influential leaders to get their thoughts on how they’re addressing these challenges. Previously, we’ve heard from Aaron Miri, Nicholas Szymanski, Kate Pierce, and Craig Richardville.
In this installment, Chani Cordero, CIO at Brooke Army Medical Center, shares her perspectives.
When you take time off, are you able to disconnect completely, or do you tend to check in?
It largely depends how long I am gone. If it is for a few days, I may glance at my work phone, but I mostly deal with it when I return. If it is for 2 weeks or longer, I will empower the Deputy CIO to make decisions on my behalf.
Have your habits changed since Covid – and the ensuing spike in hybrid/remote work models? If so, how?
Yes, I have actually changed my leadership style since Covid. As such, I learned that you must fully understand the position, and the person occupying the position to determine if it should be remote, hybrid, or in-house to achieve work efficiencies.
Do you encourage your team to disconnect on vacation, or does it depend on the situation?
Yes, I do encourage the team to disconnect. I try not to include them in messages (email, group texts, team’s chat, etc.) unless it is something they need to know when they return.