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7 Key HR Trends for 2019

February 1st, 2019

By Dee Brown

As HR personnel and practice managers prepare for the coming year, it’s imperative to explore the emerging trends that may have a significant impact on their practices and employees. While many key elements of an effective HR strategy aren’t new, various policy changes and an overall shift in employee mentality throughout the healthcare industry are changing what it means to run a practice. These are seven key HR trends that will help medical practices flourish in 2019:

  1. Employee Engagement

Improving employee engagement will continue to be a challenge in 2019. By taking a more permanent approach to engagement and making it the core of every process and procedure, practices leaders can generate an environment where employees want to come to work.

Leadership should focus on the mission, vision and purpose of their organization and the value of employee contributions, communicating how and why their work matters and where it fits in to bigger picture. Keeping employees well informed also allows them to engage in the practice and its future. Practice leaders should review workplace culture, professional development opportunities, rewards and recognitions, and team relationships to identify areas for improvement.

  1. Direct Coaching

Managers should conduct one-on-one coaching sessions with their direct reports on a monthly basis. This may push some managers outside of their comfort zone, so practices should provide adequate training that focuses on the value of feedback and individualized support. An effective strategy for this process is the “FUEL Model of Coaching,” developed by John Zenger and Kathleen Stinnett.

  1. Culture of Trust 

In a recent survey by Ernst & Young on trust in the workplace, around half of the 13,000 respondents reported that they do not trust their current employers, their boss, or their colleagues. The reasons for lack of trust were cited as unfair compensation, inconsistency in opportunities for promotion, lack of leadership, high employee turnover, and non-collaborative work environments. Respondents also shared the ways they believed employers could build trust:

  • 67% – Delivering on promises
  • 64% – Providing job security
  • 63% – Providing fair compensation and good benefits
  • 59% – Communicating openly/transparently
  • 57% – Providing equal opportunity for pay
  • 57% – Promoting deserving employees regardless of differences
  • 57% – Operating ethically

  1. Learning Opportunities

Learning and development programs are key to increasing employee engagement. Practice leaders should begin implementing a culture of continuous learning that will improve employees’ skills and drive originality. When employers invest in staff members’ futures, this dedication fosters loyalty and improves retention.

  1. Legislation

Employment legislation changes frequently, and remaining in-the-know about critical regulations will help promote a positive work environment and mitigate potential liabilities. Some key legislation and areas that employers should pay attention to include: the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), LGBT rights, sexual harassment and bullying, and legality of marijuana-derived supplements.

  1. Personalized Processes

Leaders should offer learning and development opportunities that are designed for individual employees. By taking time to learn candidates’ and current employees’ personal and professional goals, managers have the ability to accommodate those needs and develop mutual objectives for growth and success.

  1. Wellness

Practices should consider providing employees with wellness program options that they will find useful and achievable. Some examples include:

  • Unplug: Encourage employees to leave work behind when they walk out the door, and set clear expectations for unplugging. Practices should also place emphasis on the importance of disconnecting from social media and focusing on time to relax.
  • Nutrition: Host an on-site nutritionist to educate employees on a beneficial diet.
  • One-Stop Options: Provide a resource for healthy food options, fitness facilities, and spa experiences to assist with work-life balance.
  • Remote Work: Consider a remote work program. Millennials and Gen Z candidates will often seek flexible working arrangements rather than traditional corporate roles.
  • Wellness Checkups: Place an emphasis on wellness checkups and support employees’ appointment times.


To learn more about this topic, Medical Mutual members may listen to the January HR|Experts mini-webinar, titled “Key HR Trends for 2019.”

Dee Brown is Medical Mutual’s on-call human resources consultant. Medical Mutual members may contact her directly at dee.brown@callhrexperts.com or 919-431-6096.


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