Modernize the HR strategy
Before rolling out any technology training program, health companies should develop incentives and performance metrics for employees that align with the digitally fit culture they seek to develop. They also should revisit their recruitment and retention strategies to compete for a gig workforce that is attracted to a virtual work environment.
Consider how best train your employees
Companies looking for better ways to train their employees in technology use can embrace digital tools to engage and educate them. Many companies lack in-house training capabilities—either expertise in training or the learning management system required to train a national workforce—and will have to partner with external organizations to deliver advanced training. Some healthcare companies—and in particular academic medical centers—are already aligned with educational institutions and may be able to advance more quickly.
An example of those who partner to train their employees is AT&T, which is working with the online training platform Udacity and the Georgia Institute of Technology to teach such skills as data science and cloud computing. The arrangement also helps employees obtain low-cost master’s degrees and so-called “nano” degrees, which focus on a single subject.15 The company plans to spend more than $1 billion training its workforce to be ready for the future instead of relying on technology that’s expected to soon be obsolete.16
Academic institutions may be able to adapt by incorporating training on intelligent automation into their curricula. Learning how to design data-driven, evidence-based care plans using AI or RPA could make the clinicians of tomorrow more capable and effective caregivers.17
Consider which employees should get top priority
Healthcare companies already have experience training their employees on technological systems, including one notable example: electronic health records. As they did then, companies won’t have to train every employee immediately, and they won’t have to train each employee at the same level. Consider your company’s immediate needs and which employees might benefit most, such as leadership and key staff who can spread knowledge to others. For example, Nokia Corp. has said that it will train all its employees on the basics of machine learning, while a pool of experts will consider ways to implement the technology more broadly.18 Identifying those employees can yield rapid benefits for a business.
Some employees, such as a hospital system’s IT team, will soon need strong abilities in a given subject area, such as developing a technology. Others, such as nurses or social workers, may need fewer capabilities in using that technology once it’s deployed. Fifty-one percent of employees whom HRI surveyed said they felt that training in AI, RPA and analytics would help them do their jobs better.19 These skills should be developed in tandem with strategic goals to ensure a company is ready to act on its strategy. Companies also should consider measuring employee engagement and success. Just because an employee has access to training doesn’t mean that employee will—or has time to—take advantage of it.