Human resources (HR) professionals can play a major role in improving nursing worklife. The social subsystem, comprised of the people who work in the organization and the relationships among them, must be able to successfully meet a number of interrelated challenges: attain the goals set for the organization, adapt to the organization’s environment, integrate the activities of the organization’s stakeholders, and fill essential, occupational roles through recruitment, socialization, and retention initiatives. More broadly, the social subsystem includes the reasons that employees choose to work for an organization, their attitudes toward it, their expectations of it, patterns of supervisory-subordinate relationships, skill levels of employees, and the nature of the subgroups within the organization. The STS theorists contend that the surest way to direct the efforts of organizational members toward organizational goals is to identify the needs that people bring with them to the workplace, and incorporate the means to meet those needs through technological design and the work itself. In short, the social subsystem encompasses all of the human qualities that each member of an organization brings with them to the workplace.
Human Resources is best situated to assist nurse leaders with understanding the needs nurses bring to work. Human Resources plays a large role in shaping and enhancing the social sub-system of an organization. Using data from the quality of nursing worklife survey, Human Resources is learn the most important needs that nurses bring with them to the workplace, and can then design strategies to meet those needs through various compensation and employee benefits, learning and development, and other human resources programs. Nurse leaders can collaborate with HR to select those evidence-based practices that can help deliver greater levels of individual performance, organizational performance, productivity, which all help provide the larger organization with sound financial performance. From labor and employee relations training, to creating effective on-boarding programs, to individual and team coaching initiatives, working in collaboration with Human Resources can influence the social subsystem. In this session, a senior human resources executive will review selected, high impact HR practices that can be used to improve the quality of nursing worklife.