As the healthcare industry becomes increasingly competitive, it is imperative for healthcare organizations to invest in their patient, employee, and brand experiences, says Mariawaty Santoso, Group Human Resources Director, Mayapada Healthcare Group, in an interaction with People Matters.
Mariawaty gets candid about why the healthcare industry needs to be more transparent, digital and invest in employees’ engagement and career. Here are the excerpts from the Interview with Mariawaty.
If you could tell us about your career so far, your journey so far as an HR.
I started my career as an Auditor in the bank for four years. I graduated from Accounting and decided to become an Auditor because I loathed ‘behind the desk’ job. I liked numbers and people. The role of Auditor allowed me to interact with people, work with them and numbers and I absolutely loved my job. However, after being a mother, frequent traveling became a challenge and hence, I decided to explore other options. In 1994, I was introduced to Hay Management (now Korn Ferry). The company was looking for a Compensation & Benefits Analyst. While I wasn’t aware of the role but I took it as the role involved understanding- ‘numbers’ and ‘people.’ After spending three years in Hay Management, I joined Willis Tower Watson and understood salaries and compensation across industries. I loved being a consultant and almost decided to retire from WTW. However, I realized that if I want to become an HR practitioner, I would need to pursue a core HR role where I can implement all the knowledge I acquired being a consultant and I joined Prudential and launched the company’s Flexi-benefits plan. In 2010, I moved to AIA for eight years and last year I joined Mayapada Healthcare.
You have worked with the biggest MNCs. However, now you are in a very different industry and in a homegrown/ private company. What kind of challenges did you face?
The biggest challenge in the Healthcare industry is mindset!
When I joined Mayapada, HR was still treated as the Admin. This is the case in all the hospitals in Indonesia. It is difficult to find a good HR professional and equally challenging to get an HR professional from the healthcare industry. For instance, I interviewed an HR professional from one of the biggest healthcare companies in Indonesia. I asked her how big the HR team was in their company and she responded “two including her.” I was amazed because how a team of two people can manage an employee base of 500 professionals? The foremost challenge that I faced when I joined the company was to building HR credibility so that HR is viewed as a business partner instead of admin.
The other challenge we faced was recruiting Top HR talent from Healthcare Industry as managing HR in Healthcare is quite different as it is being governed by both Ministry of Manpower and Health and the process is complex and includes lot many regulations that we have to comply to be able to pass Accreditation.
Another challenge that I faced was Digitization. Communication with doctors is difficult. Communication with doctors is a challenge sometime and hence, the first thing I did was to create a communication group to keep everyone updated with any employee-related information/ announcement.
What are the other activities you are doing/planning to digitize the HR processes?
In Indonesia, people prefer ‘touch & feel’ approach over digital. They are not digitally disciplined.
Honestly, we at Mayapada are currently taking smaller steps towards digital which involves making employees digital ready. You can’t force them to use a digital platform until they understand its importance and prepared to use it. The number of smaller steps that we have taken recently towards the digital journey includes:
Centralizing the processes: We have three hospitals in Indonesia. Before I joined, all the three hospitals have different payroll and it became a challenge to access and analyze the data. The first thing that I did was to centralize the payroll for all the three hospitals. I introduced mobility and aligned all HR practices in those three hospitals, i.e. remuneration, incentives policies.
Employee Engagement Score: In hospitals, it is imperative to have an employee engagement survey. Earlier, the company used to do it only for accreditation. However, recently we launched the survey through mobile and making it more personalized to let all Doctors, Nurses and hospital staff know that we want to hear them.
What does it need to take the healthcare industry as compared to other industries to a greater level concerning Digitization?
Transparency. The importance of patient experience in the healthcare industry cannot be overstated. For hospitals whose patients report a favorable patient experience, organizations found that timeliness improves, the quality of care improves, and the bottom line increases.
Management should focus not only on doctors’ engagement but patients too. There is a need to capture patience experience to ensure doctors are more disciplined, nurses are readily available and empathetic to the patients, etc.
Management needs to understand that they are competing with other hospitals and the patient’s experience impacts the hospital brand. Getting transparency in the business is a key to business. Once the businesses understand the importance of transparency, they will readily accept digitization. With digitization, organizations can operate with greater transparency and efficiency.
Image credit: Marie Claire Indonesia