Kieron Hill: Employment Services: Tips on working with staff when things have to change

Kieron Hill, from Kieron Hill Employment Services, offers some tips on working with staff when things have to change.

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Kieron Hill

For more information about Kieron Hill Employment Services visit their website or call 0161 850 1122. You can find them at 23 New Mount Street, Manchester, M4 4DE.

THERE IS no doubt in the healthcare sector that things have to change. There is a shortage of GPs, nurses and other experienced staff, and simply saying we will train more staff doesn’t solve the problem we are facing.

The latest plan is to encourage GPs who are close to retirement to stay on a little longer, by offering bribes.

That may work, but the GPs I know who are looking to retire are not the sort of people who are likely to be swayed by a few quid extra; indeed a fair number of them are so heartily sick of the health service they are retiring at the earliest opportunity.

I don’t presume to have the answers. However I do know that when faced with such a challenge in the commercial sector, companies would look to change the way they work or close down.

In my experience, the surprising truth is the changes needed have nearly always been worked out by the staff. In a large number of cases the staff have become frustrated by the inability of management to take the necessary steps.

Quite a few years ago when my hair was still light brown and I didn’t trouble GPs from one year to the next, Europe banned the import of British meat. This meant many processing plants on the east coast were suddenly left without a market.

In one particular case the management discussed the problem with their employees and they came back with the simple idea of retooling the plant to process vegetables. It wouldn’t save every job, but it did mean that a work force of 500 continued to be employed.

Despite what people say, employees usually know when there are problems and are just waiting for management to do something; often they also know the solutions. Yes, there will be obstructive staff who try to block any change (and I will deal with those in my next column), but most are reasonable if you treat them like adults.

So if you are looking at a problem which is likely to change the way you do your work, drop us a line at or give us a quick call and we’ll be happy to talk.


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