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How Leadership Development Enables Employee Retention in Healthcare

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by 
Erin Cushing
on July 29, 2016

We’ve talked a lot about the skills gap in healthcare, and how it affects both employees and patients. Identifying and hiring quality employees is a top challenge, and is forcing organizations to concentrate even more on their existing workforces. While healthcare organizations are grappling with how to empower their employees to learn the skills they need, they should take one other learning element into consideration; when used correctly, learning and leadership development can also help healthcare organizations retain their best talent. Here are a few ways how:

Leadership Development Identifies High-Potential Leaders – and Retains Them

Preparing healthcare professionals for leadership roles is a challenge for many organizations, which is why early leadership identification and development is crucial in healthcare. Finding an individual that understands both clinical procedure and business acumen on the outside is a tough feat for many; instead, you should find potential leaders within your organization and place those individuals in specific leadership development programs that are tailored to help them acquire the skillset they need to move into a more leadership-oriented role.

Not only are you saving yourself from a lengthy and costly leadership recruiting experience in the long-term, but you are also helping foster short-term and long-term employee engagement and retention. Identifying skilled individuals that have career potential and offering them the resources and opportunities to grow communicates how much you value their work and time. By clearly outlining a path of career development, and helping them advance along that path, you will foster a greater sense of loyalty in that employee – which hopefully affects their decision to stick with your organization. Additionally, employees who know they are potentially being groomed for advancement will concentrate on elevating their current work – which translates here into happier patients and better organizational outcomes.

Leadership Development Empowers and Retains Current Leaders

Leadership development programs aren’t just about the long-term payoff – the strategy can also help you retain your current leaders as well. Good healthcare leaders aren’t content to rest on their laurels – they want to improve their own leadership and clinical skills. Just because they’ve been promoted doesn’t mean the performance assessments stop – and neither should the learning opportunities. Continuous learning helps new leaders adjust to their roles, and helps more entrenched leaders grow and re-engage with their work. This continued investment in leaders’ success demonstrates their value in the organization – and makes them want to stay on board.

Leadership Development Enables Leaders to Better Retain Employees

We’ve said it before – many healthcare professionals who are promoted to leadership roles might have superior clinical skills, but a less-developed business sense. Placing these people in charge of teams – filled with employees with their own needs and goals – can often mean placing both the leader and the employee at a disadvantage. The leader might not have the necessary skills to address an employee’s needs, which in turn dissatisfies the employee and causes them to seek another opportunity elsewhere. Both parties have been set up to fail. By training healthcare leaders to not only advance business interests, but to enable and empower their teams, you’re not just engaging them with their work – you’re giving the employees the leadership resource they need to perform well – and stand by the company.

 The right leadership development strategy for healthcare requires the right talent management partner. Learn why PeopleFluent has been the partner of choice for healthcare organizations around the world.

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