To create a pipeline of future leaders, healthcare organizations must be strategic about hiring and career development. Explore how to build a workplace culture that develops and incentivizes high-performing talent to stay long-term.
Workforce shortages are significantly impacting the healthcare industry. Combined with a growing population and increasing lifespans, the perfect healthcare storm is brewing: a surplus of patients and a scarcity of providers.
The workforce shortage exacerbates challenges the industry already faces, such as margin pressure, changing payment models, employee burnout and the need to evolve to remain competitive. What healthcare organizations need now is strong leadership – but, as the workforce shortage grows, and current executives retire, they are positioned to leave an ever-widening leadership gap in their wake.
To meet these challenges, healthcare organizations must transform their approach to leadership today to secure the leaders of tomorrow.
Attract and Nurture Talent Early
To fill the pipeline of future leaders, healthcare organizations are partnering with health sciences, nursing and medical schools to create immersive internships that provide hands-on clinical training. These partnerships allow organizations to fill temporary vacancies and give prospective employees a preview into an organization’s culture. Healthcare leaders can use these partnerships to identify and nurture high performers.
Build a Team to Take Your Job
While financial results and clinical outcomes are important metrics for evaluating performance, healthcare organizations must prioritize the development of others as a key leadership responsibility. Current leaders should approach their teams’ development as though they are trying to find their replacement. This involves taking the time to show the team what a leadership role demands, educating others about the transition from an individualized role where they are responsible for their own work to one where they are responsible for others.
Understand Your Market
Healthcare leaders can mitigate the effects of the talent gap by identifying areas of the organization where leadership will be most needed in the future. Leaders should consider what skills or specialties consumers have access to that their organization does not provide, and what value and experiences their organization can bring to consumers that are not readily available in the market.
For example, if your market is lacking in exceptional pediatric care, leaders should outline a strategy to attract, retain and develop employees to address that community need. Leaders can partner with community resources or other organizations to build their expertise or bring in speakers that can provide skill building and proactive education to teams.
As the population continues to grow and live longer, healthcare organizations will be under significant pressure to meet increased demands. Explore more ways healthcare organizations can proactively address the leadership gap and position their teams for continued growth.
Craig Deao is a managing director in Huron's Studer Group business. Erin Shipley is a coach in Huron's Studer Group business.