Embrace COVID-19 Effects on the Behavioral Health Industry – Part 1

By May 21, 2020
Embracing Industry Changes

With many stay at home orders lifting and states slowly beginning to emerge from quarantine, we are starting to see how we as an industry will return to ‘business as normal’. But will business ever return to normal as we once knew it? We can all agree COVID-19 has and will continue to have many effects on our families, industry, culture, and world. So, the question becomes: what long term effects do we anticipate within providing Behavioral Health & I/DD services? How can we embrace and maximize the two most prominent areas of impact to our industry – Staff Engagement and Client Engagement? Our desire for this two-part blog is to layout a renewed perspective for both client and staff engagement, as well as provide one efficiency tool to give you back one day a week to create WOW moments for others within each.  

Staff Engagement 

Burnout among clinicians and staff turnover have plagued this industry for years. It’s safe to say the industry does not perceive this as a new issue, but simply something this virus has more deeply exposed. So, what have we learned from COVID-19Staff engagement effects the bottom line of every agency, therefore, integrating new practices to engage your staff and prevent burnout are essential.  

Renewed Perspective on Staff Engagement 

Your agency has undergone two unexpected and mandated transitions. In addition to the likely pivot of providing telehealth services, most agencies have navigated the move of becoming a fully remote or majority remote agency. If providing residential services, your business has significantly changed in the protocol and safety measures your staff have been required to integrate. These transitions beg the question: how will you address today, the need of your staff to re-energize from the many changes they have undergone in the past two months? As well as, how will you address tomorrow the need your staff have to sustain the provision of services in an industry continuing to grow as a result of this pandemic? To build out a plan to address these questions, we encourage you to refresh on the engagement tips provided in the blog, Agency Advantages to Engage Remote Teams, as well as read Two Essentials to Increase Employee RetentionHere are a few additional considerations:  

  • Is flexible scheduling possible in order to allow your clinicians the freedom to determine when their services are available during times that work best for their family?  
  • Are you able to transition to a majority remote office over the longterm, saving your agency operational costs while integrating remote best practices to further cultivate employee health, engagement, and retention? 
  • Are you clearly communicating expectations within your agency and providing centralized resources in order that staff are confident in what is being asked of them during a time where many things are uncertain and unclear? 

One Day Back through Staff Engagement 

One tangible step towards increasing your team’s happiness is to devote resources to learn about engagement best practices and create a plan of engagement for your staff. We recognize not every leader has mastered these skills – and being short staffed – attending an outside training just isn’t an option. As part of our above and beyond service, we are now offering Leadership Development Workshops for our clients at no additional charge. We come to you on your time and your schedule. Our overall goal is to help you to improve behavioral health outcomes by providing the tools and resources to help you be successful in your business, not limited to technology. For additional information on this service, click here

As your agency continues the pursuit of maximizing the effects of COVID-19 in the context of our new normal, we urge you to reinvigorate and reinvest in your resources surrounding Staff Engagement & Client Engagement – knowing your team and the clients your team serves, have been, are currently, and always will be, at the crux of your agency’s future success. 

To check your organization’s pulse, download our FREE Employee Engagement Rater Tool here!

Engagement Rater Tool