Recruitment and Staffing Blog

Removing Obstacles for a Positive HIM Work Environment

Obstacles Can Affect Everyone

Earlier this summer, HIM Connections conducted a survey of HIM managers and team members to learn about what creates HIM department happiness. Continuing our mission to improve HIM job satisfaction and consistently identifying roadblocks and barriers that negatively affect staff performance, our goal is to shed light on obstacles that may inhibit a positive HIM work environment and offer sensible tips on how to remove them.

Creating a positive work environment is more than just weeding out the bad eggs. Ensuring happy employees requires:

  • Frequent and open communication
  • Consistent recognition of outstanding job performance
  • Constructive feedback
  • Flexibility
  • Offering development opportunities
  • Building trust
  • Providing a sense of purpose

So as not to put the cart before the horse, we will touch on the specifics of creating a positive work environment in a later post. Step one in creating the positive HIM work environment is identifying the obstacles that could lead to a negative work environment.

Common Obstacles that Affect HIM

Do certain obstacles universally make HIM employees unhappy? Absolutely. HIM survey respondents were asked to identify problem areas in HIM departments and reported the following four factors as detrimental in cultivating a positive work environment:

  • Micromanagement and lack of trust—not giving employees autonomy to do their jobs; managing by intimidation
  • Ineffective communication and team engagement—lack of clear expectations as to what is required to do a good job and achieve success individually and as a team
  • Failure to value people for their abilities and contribution to the organization—low morale or lack of motivation
  • Resistance to change—not open to new ideas; set in old ways of doing things

Does any of this sound familiar? The first step in improving HIM work culture is to hone in on the factors that are dragging down morale, causing intimidation, and throwing up walls of resistance. If you can immediately relate with any of these factors, read on.

Defining the Elements of an Effective HIM Work Culture

As you might imagine, our survey results overwhelmingly discovered that most HIM employees want to be part of a culture that makes them feel valued, respected, and appreciated. HIM employees want to work in an environment where their accomplishments are valued in a place where they don’t feel intimidated to speak up and communicate ideas or concerns. Setting clear expectations and managers who are open and accepting of new ideas were two additional conditions that survey respondents felt created a positive work environment.

HIM department managers simply can’t afford to ignore the impact on staff psyche that these factors present. Effective HIM leadership should work towards establishing a solid culture foundation that, at its core, provides an opportunity for staff to feel comfortable expressing their concerns and motivates them to share ideas on how to make improvements.
Up next in our blog series: What are the elements to construct an effective work culture?

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