healthcare sector, healthcare industry

If you have recently visited any of the bigger and better hospitals in the country, you may have entertained a stray thought —how do these hospitals manage to ensure that order prevails despite the all-pervading life-and-death struggle that plays out in every corner. Perhaps nowhere else other than a war zone,is there so much chaos and order at the same time—panicky patients, bewildered family members, doctors on whose decisions hang many lives and the many medical and non-medical staff who are supposed to be holding it all up.

Says SV Kiran, senior general manager-HR, Southern Region, Apollo Hospitals, “No one comes to a hospital willingly or for any enjoyment. Most of their time spent in hospitals is fraught with stress and anxiety. So, it becomes imperative for the hospital’s employees to reach out to patients and their attendants with empathy.”

However, the work environment in healthcare is tremendously demanding and poses physical, psychological and emotional stresses. Therefore, ensuring that employees are happy and satisfied was essential to ensure that customers were happy. “One of the pursuits of the hospital is to make patients feel that they are being taken care of,” says Kiran. “The hospital can achieve this only via its employees and the workforce needs to feel that the organisation is simplifying their lives at work.

Being one of the most recruitment-intensive industries, establishments in the healthcare sector rely heavily on technology to hire and retain a diverse, knowledge-based workforce. At Apollo Chain of Hospitals with its 32,000-strong workforce and 61 hospitals, consistent engagement and enhancing the employee experience of this massive workforce was proving to be a herculean task. It, therefore, chose to partner with American enterprise software maker Oracle in its journey towards enriching employee experience and engagement.

“To reach 32,000 employees, you need technology,” says Kiran. “We needed an HR technology solution that would make sure that all the benefits reach all our employees at the same time, and in all fairness.” The implementation of Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management (HCM) and Talent Management Applications is one of the most transformational initiatives that has happened in Apollo. Scalability, reliability, security, adoptability and integration with existing systems were some of the key parameters based on which Apollo chose Oracle Fusion HCM.

“Transparency is the key to providing employee satisfaction and augmenting employee engagement. Platforms such as Oracle social network, where HR and employees both can communicate effectively, go a long way to cement the trust between the employees and the management,” says Kiran.

Technology today can play a key role in enhancing employee engagement as companies embark on their employee engagement journey, says Shailesh Singhla, country head and senior director – HCM at Oracle India. “High employee engagement is on the minds of nearly all organisations, with Deloitte reporting that 87% of executives rate culture and employee engagement as their biggest HR challenge,” he adds.

According to Singhla most firms have still not attempted to utilise the latest technologies in the workplace to enable their employees to do their jobs effectively.

Oracle HCM technology enabled Apollo to clear the bottlenecks, eradicated the functional silos and helped it to manage the complete life cycle of an employee with ease, says Kiran. It gave an integrated platform to handle talent management challenges. This involves an integrated approach, that is, a focused recruitment strategy to attract niche talent, talent reviews, succession planning for key positions and training and development to enrich the performance of every associate.

“Technology has disrupted not only the way we treat our patients but also how we reach out to our employees. There is no way to escape from technology and we need to be prepared for this disruption. I am working on imbibing this disruption and preparing my people to handle it effectively,” says Kiran.