furloughed staff

Bringing Back Furloughed Staff: Now, When, or Never?

With recent challenging times, healthcare organizations across the country have been forced to make the difficult decision to furlough many of their employees.  While furloughs generally offer temporary relief, there’s a new level of uncertainty that comes along with this pandemic—will my employees be available when it’s time for them to return to work or have they found another position?  As the country starts to recover and reopen, you might find yourself asking, “Do we have the essential employees in place to keep the organization going?”

Now is the time to look at positions and utilization throughout your organization. Many healthcare facilities have experienced extreme peaks and valleys of staffing in a short period of time, however, that certainly depends on the unit or department you’re staffing. For example, when we look at nursing  we’ve watched numbers soar in Med Surg, ER, and ICU, understandably so with the given circumstances of the pandemic. On the other hand, we’ve seen a significant decline in OR, Cath Lab, and Interventional Radiology to name a few. In regard to allied health, we’ve watched most positions come to a halt with the exception of Respiratory Therapy, which spiked tremendously over recent months. As the effects of the pandemic start to level off with the flattening of the curve and elective services begin to pick back up, healthcare facilities are now finding themselves at the “what do we do” point around bringing back furloughed staff. 

You now ask yourself, “Is this the time to start ramping up with our perm staff?” and you might find that there isn’t an easy answer. Forecasting, which was once a reliable source to turn to, is now a friend of the past, as no one has experienced or could’ve predicted the staffing numbers of current events. Staffing today is a delicate dance of when to lead and when to follow. If you bring your staff back too soon, will you have to furlough or lay them off again? If you do have to temporarily let go of your perm staff again, will they trust that they’ll have a position with you in the future? If you don’t bring back the right number of staff, will you be underserving your patients and overworking your perm staff? This is where we step in.

FocusOne Solutions is here to assist you and your organization as your consultative business partner to discuss strategy and best practices, as well as help fill the unexpected gaps of employment that you might find yourself with today. We’ll be by your side to ensure that your staffing needs are met on a temporary or permanent basis as you begin to navigate the waters of the “new normal” and bring your organization back up to speed one day at a time. 

Laura Romano

Laura Romano

Laura is the Business Relations Consultant for FocusOne Solutions, focusing on a variety of needs throughout the MSP organization. She has been in the staffing industry for five years, starting her staffing career as an Account Manager with Aureus Medical Group before joining the FocusOne team in March of 2015. Prior to her current role, Laura spent her time as the Manager of Client Relations for FocusOne. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling. She is also the proud dog mom of her Shepard Retriever, MacDougal.

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