Five Key Facts and Findings from the 2020 Executive Priorities Report

DATIS recently released its 2020 Executive Priorities Report, and it’s full of the latest industry insights on workforce management trends and challenges. This report collected responses from over 100 executives in the health and human services industry on topics that included recruiting and retention, ensuring financial sustainability, improving operational efficiency, and the state of workforce management during and after COVID-19.

You can check out the full report here for detailed stats on all of these initiatives, but we’ve highlighted a few standout insights below for a quick overview of our findings.

1) Most organizations have adapted well to challenges related to COVID-19. 95% said they were able to pivot to address COVID-19, and 70% are still reporting steady or rapid growth at their organization.

Just about every business had to make some drastic changes to adjust to COVID-19, and the health and human services industry was no different. The vast majority of organizations reported that they pivoted to offer remote services to their clients and allowed some or all employees to work from home when feasible. Despite these massive changes, demand is still high for health and human services, and organizations are still looking at steady growth. Relatively few organizations reported having to furlough employees or downsize as a result of COVID-19; and similarly, relatively few noted rapid increases in employee headcount to handle the increased demand for services.

2) Whether willingly or not, organizations are leaning heavily on digital tools to manage their recruiting and retention efforts, with 65% reporting they are leveraging existing digital tools or investing in new ones.

With the rapid (and mostly forced) shift to remote work, health and human services organizations reported that they were increasingly relying on digital tools to help manage their organization, including with their recruiting and retention efforts. About two thirds of executives reported either that their organization was leveraging their existing tools in new and innovative ways or that their organization was investing in new digital tools to help with recruiting, retention, and everything in between. Looking ahead to a post-Covid future, the majority of organizations said they would be continuing to use these technologies in the future.

3) Health and human services executives are very optimistic about their organization’s financial future. 80% say they have the finances available to continue operations in the future.

Ensuring financial sustainability for the organization is important for being able to provide continuous and high-quality care to clients. Despite today’s economic uncertainty, human services executives said they were confident about their organization’s financial future and ability to continue to deliver services going forward. Overcoming the initial challenges of COVID-19 may have contributed to this confidence, providing the perspective: if we can handle this, we can handle anything.

4) Communication is key to ensuring the organization is able to operate smoothly in these socially distant times. 83% said they are increasing the frequency of communications and using multiple channels of communication to reach their employees.

While shifting operations from an in-person setting to a remote business model posed a number of challenges, executives noted that communication was the key to success. Human services executives were able to increase the frequency of their communication and use multiple channels of communication to help maintain a sense of connectedness amongst their employees and throughout the organization. Being more flexible with how they offer services and with employee’s schedules also helped organizations maintain their operations.

5) Our top three workforce management priorities are still our top priorities: recruiting and retention, financial sustainability, and operational efficiency. However, diversity and inclusion has also become top-of-mind for more executives.

At the start of 2020, human services executives identified recruiting and retention, ensuring financial sustainability, and improving operational efficiency as their top three workforce management initiatives. In our mid-year follow-up, these remain the top three priorities. However, we did note a significant change in another initiative – diversity and inclusion. While this initiative was rated as the lowest priority in January, it become the fourth highest priority in our mid-year report. With the Black Lives Matter movement coming to the forefront of national attention, it’s encouraging to see executives looking to prioritize it more within their organizations as well.

For more detailed information on these findings as well as many more stats like these, check out the full 2020 Executive Priorities Report. If you'd like more information about DATIS and how our HR and Payroll solution can help your organization achieve its mission, contact us today.

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