Ward Alles

Four questions HR managers should be asking right now

By Ward Alles on January 16, 2017

How keep to good young talent in your healthcare organization

One can hardly read an article or blog these days that doesn’t mention the word Millennials.

  • How they are obsessed with finding fulfillment at work, valuing purpose, culture and personal development over compensation.
  • How they will leave your organization if they aren’t quickly and regularly motivated, rewarded or recognized.

If these stereotypes are true, then the C-suite and HR executives at all types of companies – let alone at staffing-critical healthcare organizations – will be battling costly retention issues, potentially for an entire workforce generation.

Rather than shake our heads and mumble, “Young people these days”, wise leaders will admit the challenge exists and plan to do something about it. But what?

If you want to attract and keep top talent in healthcare in order to build your brand reputation, ask yourself these important retention risk-mitigation questions:

  1. What do retention problems cost you today? In time. Money. Productivity. Efficiency. Organizational knowledge. Patient/customer satisfaction. Employee satisfaction. Have you calculated the dollars going out the back door? Do you know how you fare versus the competition? In other words, quantify the size of the business problem.
  1. What factors are proven to retain good employees? Over 30 years of research by Great Place to Work says it’s: Trust. Pride. Camaraderie. A feeling of purpose. (“Our work makes a difference for our patients/customers.” “I’m needed and appreciated here.” “I enjoy solving problems or providing service with my co-workers.”) Accept that the “feeling” side of business is worth managing – even for seemingly selfless healthcare professionals.
  1. How well do you communicate and cheerlead around such factors? Obviously a physician or a nurse understands their general calling of healing and caregiving. But how well do you tie their individual performance back to your culture’s special brand of healthcare? Similar leadership questions apply for those companies in senior care, medical device manufacturing or even insurance/payment services. You’ve got to connect the dots regularly for your employees.
  1. If you could only improve one thing in your retention strategy this year, what would you change? Consider every employee touchpoint: Recruiting. Hiring. Onboarding. Evaluations. Supervisor/leadership training. Company communication (online or in person). Can you start consistently telling compelling, real-life stories – throughout the employee’s lifecycle at your organization – about how your staff lives the brand and impacts patients or customers in a unique way?

Bottom line, HR managers throughout the healthcare industry need to make “a big deal” about their particular brand of service and their employees’ priceless role in delivering it. It’s the reminder that many talented young (and even, old) professionals need to stay working for you. If your competition does this better than you, you run the risk of losing your talent to them.

So start telling your brand story. And do THAT by start telling your employees’ stories. They’ll want to come back the next day and do it all over again. Even better.

Ward Alles is a Brand Consultant and President of Core Creative.