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Here’s a worrying statistic: 1 in 5 workers don’t trust HR. In addition, more than 30% say that they avoid going to HR for problems. Some employees worry that HR won’t act impartially, or they think their problems are too minor to justify a visit. All in all, HR reputation suffers.

You may know that your HR department is trustworthy, but proving that to your staff can be an uphill battle. Employees may not trust that HR is there to be an unbiased resource, especially if they’ve had bad experiences at their past places of employment. But you can bolster your HR reputation through clear communication and transparent HR practices. 

Here are five ways to boost trust in your healthcare HR, and, in turn, strengthen your company culture. 

1. Communicate Mindfully 

Communication is key to improving your HR reputation. Everything from email copy to a casual conversation can turn an employee “off” to HR, or, conversely, build trust. Make it clear that employees will be listened to no matter what the situation. Use friendly and team-centric language, and clarify that you’re there to be as unbiased as possible. Take special care in respecting people’s identities and experiences. It can be helpful to train staff on diversity and cultural competence. 

Tip: Consider Trainings on Active Listening 

While active listening may seem intuitive, it’s a skill that not everyone has. Research shows that only 10% of people listen effectively. Train your HR staff to be active listeners, and help your employees feel heard. 

2. Encourage Financial Literacy 

Financial wellness has a huge impact on people’s lives, and affects both their mental health and quality of work. However, there’s still a lot of stigma around talking about money.

In one survey, only 40% of U.S. respondents were able to correctly answer four out of six financial literacy questions. Consider offering financial literacy workshops, and create clear pathways to merit raises and promotions. Setting this precedent will make employees feel more comfortable about turning to you for resources. This can be especially helpful when employees are navigating their retirement options. 

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3. Support Mental Health

Healthcare workers face unique struggles in their daily lives that may contribute to mental health issues, especially during COVID-19. HR can be an excellent hub for mental health resources. 

Just like with financial wellness, simply communicating and acknowledging mental health issues can make employees comfortable. But to actually build trust in HR, you’ll need to back up your words with meaningful actions. Workers are extremely attuned to empty words. If you can offer wellness perks, that’s certainly nice, but it’s even more important to create a work culture where employees can thrive. As a part of this project, consider offering flexible benefits with options like childcare and commuter reimbursements. In addition, try looking into mental health apps, especially those with licensed professionals. Some even offer company discounts. 

Ultimately, the best thing you can do to support your workers’ mental health is to offer concrete benefits that make their lives financially and logistically easier. Prioritize work-life balance with PTO and related benefits. Long term, it pays for the company to have a happy staff. 

4. Build Your HR Reputation By Getting Feedback From Your Employees 

Gathering ongoing feedback from employees can help you understand their needs. In addition, it boosts your HR reputation when employees see that you’re taking the time to listen to them. Make sure employees have a seat at the table for any major policy changes. Send out surveys quarterly, or even weekly to keep a pulse on the company. 

By the same token, make sure you’re actually using employee feedback. Workers will quickly lose faith in HR if you make a habit of collecting their input and then failing to integrate it. If you know you can’t change something due to financial constraints, don’t include it in your survey.

Tip: Anonymity is Your Friend 

Using anonymous surveys can make your employees feel comfortable giving their honest feedback. 31% of employees say that they’ve feared retaliation after taking a problem to HR. Having an anonymous option on your surveys allows employees to more freely express themselves. 

5. Prioritize Accurate Documentation 

Employees entrust HR with their deeply personal information. It’s important to protect their privacy by making sure your employee records are encrypted. Also, make sure you keep accurate records of complaints or other incidents so you can easily return to them if necessary. Employee records should be filed and accessed only according to state law and company policy. Accurate documentation is incredibly vital for your HR reputation. 

Tip: Consolidate On One Platform 

With a platform like Apploi, you can keep all your records in one place for easy reference. The encrypted platform also eliminates any privacy concerns

Better Hiring with Apploi

When it comes to boosting your HR reputation, first impressions matter. Apploi can assist you in creating your ideal hiring and onboarding process. Interested in learning more about how you can recruit, hire, and onboard healthcare staff quickly? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end talent management solution.


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Melanie Boroosan

Over her six years in healthcare administration, Melanie has managed human resources, legal, compliance, payroll, and recruitment efforts at a corporate level. This oversight granted her a deep appreciation for the unique needs of healthcare managers, and for the direct ways that business operations affect the wellbeing of each employee. As Apploi’s Director of Healthcare Innovation, Melanie draws from her experience in healthcare HR and ancillary long-term care to pursue a vision of holistic healthcare staffing. Her work is rooted in the knowledge that great care begins with improving quality of life for all healthcare workers.