Kubus warns that hospitals face an exodus of managers from the baby boomer generation and that hospitals should be actively grooming younger generations. The importance of engaging younger generation doesn't apply simply to grooming future managers. Kubus warns that generations X and Y (also known as the millennials) want workplaces where they can progress and with access to continuing education that will help them advance their careers.
"Senior executives need to be developing staff constantly, so they are using their talents to the utmost," Kubus says. "Otherwise people will get bored and check out. Engagement will drop and productivity will drop, and you'll see it in your staff and customer satisfaction scores."
Kubus identifies three steps for a leadership development plan.
1. Identify staff who have potential: those who are competent nurses who have demonstrated skills in leadership, influencing others, and communication. Most people don't go into healthcare to become managers and leaders. Nurses, especially, may fear career progression means an end to caring for patients at the bedside. Get to know staff, coach them, and find out what their career aspirations are.
Talk to high-potential staff about management and administrative positions and relate the work to the organization's overall goal of providing excellent patient care.
"Make it sound exciting," Kubus says. "Many nurses see management as just administrative drudgery, rather than a rewarding leadership role. Start selling it."