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Talent Management for Healthcare: Is it a job, a career, or a calling?

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Kerry Fuqua
on June 12, 2015

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend the ASHHRA 2015 Region 1 Conference in historical Hartford, CT. As many of us in talent management know, our discipline is rapidly changing and many aspects of it are quite different in the healthcare space, which made for some intriguing discussion. Attendees learned how healthcare organizations are revitalizing their HR teams with new compensation strategies, new organizational structures, and new learning techniques.

The audience was an impressive group of committed HR healthcare professionals who are driving change in their organizations to increase employee and patient satisfaction. This focus stems from the remarkable connection organizations are seeing between employee engagement and patient satisfaction. "Hospital organizations with exemplary talent management practices demonstrate 13% higher patient satisfaction scores" states the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey1. Because of this connection, PeopleFluent’s customers, such as Medical College of Wisconsin, are implementing similar changes to drive employee engagement and satisfaction. 

Scott Cawood (President, Synygy), the keynote speaker, presented the opening session. In this session, he shared what is vital for HR organizational revitalization, how to get a 10% higher Return on People Investment, the strategic role HR can play to build a great workplace, and how to increase employee engagement and patient satisfaction. Some of the suggestions to get a higher Return on People Investment were to establish the premise that quality is important and should be a priority in an employee’s everyday activities, and to establish confidence in leadership. A great way to establish confidence in leadership is communicating corporate goals and strategies that are then linked to individual goals.

Scott then led one of the day’s most interesting discussions on why many healthcare employees work for organizations. Either it’s a job, it’s a career, or it’s their calling.  It was interesting that HR executives in the room had different perspectives on this and some organizations definitely had more employees who were there because it was their calling, while others felt employees were there as a job. What is your experience? Do you have more employees in your healthcare organization who are there because they need a job, or because it is their calling?


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