What we might give up when we sacrifice experience for efficiency and vice versa. Do we have a choice?

Allison Cuthie, ForgeWorks team member, is working from Germany through the spring of 2022, and uses some of her experiences overseas to add some global depth to our blog library.

On our second full day in Germany, I required some minor medical attention. In the United States this issue would require lab work done at an Urgent Care and an antibiotic.

At the doctor’s office (arztpraxis), which included an urgent care, pediatrics floor, general practice floor, pharmacy and Botox floor, I was led into an exam room. Instead of greeting me with a stack of paperwork to fill out, over the next hour, the staff put me through an EKG, along with several other diagnostic tests that had nothing to do with the ailment I had, much to my bewilderment. After an ultrasound of my thyroid and internal organs, a breathing test, and bloodwork (also none of which was necessary to diagnose my ailment), I was stuck with a vaccine to prevent encephalitis in the event of an apparently eminent tick bite. This assembly-line poke and stick treatment felt cold, impersonal, and demeaning. While the staff was mostly congenial, the process felt like a carwash, and I bounced from one soapy, disorienting cycle to the next.

Leaving the office clammy from a combination of ultrasound goo and the insecurity, I was in awe at the efficiency of the process in which I was moved from test to test, evaluated and sent on my way with a prescription.

While the experience lacked the warmth, comfort and general concern for how I might be feeling than I might have had in a typical United States doctor’s office, I had tests, confirmation, diagnoses (more than I asked for, mind you) and treatment in a mind-boggling amount of time and lack of hassle.

So What?

Workforce development, recruiting and just plain keeping employees, has become increasingly difficult as we recover from the effects of COVID-19. We are coming out of a COVID curve, where just around the bend organizations must create an experience for their employees, and the Human Resources departments are a place to start.

We tend to move candidates through a process of paperwork, with a little poking and prodding in an unfamiliar environment. New hires are exposed for what they don’t know, introduced to an overwhelming amount of people, have to learn a new “language” and maybe even stuck with a vaccine they didn’t ask for. While efficiency of these departments seems crucial to filling the holes in our collective boat to keep afloat and chugging along, the process can be lacking in warmth, comfort and general concern for how a candidate might be feeling. Sound familiar?

Culture Matters

German residents and employers pay into the healthcare system, and all residents are required to have coverage. All bear the cost, and everyone is covered. While my experience was less friendly and a bit harsher in nature, the efficiency of the system is outstanding and the German current life expectancy  for both men and women outpaces the U.S.

Was I okay with how things turned out at the end of the day? Yeah, pretty much. Do I want to go back? Not particularly! We should view workforce development through the same lens to build strong culture that attracts and keeps employees for the long haul.

Consider allowing ForgeWorks to evaluate the experience vs. the efficiency of your organization. Culture matters to the life expectancy of an organization, and our team can help you work through what your customers, and/or candidates are sacrificing for what you are offering.