What if I told you that you could learn valuable talent management lessons from one of the most successful artists in the music industry? What if I told you that this artist was 25-year-old Taylor Swift…? Before you stop reading this article and go all “Kanye” on me, sit tight and let me finish—because sometimes you really can find inspiration in the most unexpected places. Taylor Swift’s education and experience may have come courtesy of the music industry, but the lessons apply to a much broader audience, including talent management professionals.

Love her or hate her, there’s no denying that Taylor Swift is one of the most influential cultural icons of our time — Time Magazine has even gone as far as  to call her “America’s most important musician.” She has broken records, racked up dozens of high-profile awards, and amassed a fortune most people only see in the form of Monopoly money. While many of her peers are off “twerking” their way through a gauntlet of paparazzi, Tay-Tay (I can call her that, we’re besties) is busy building an empire using the kind of business savvy and candor that most people often lack. So how did a 25-year-old do it and what lessons can healthcare organizations possibly take away from her? Well, after countless hours of songs on repeat and sleuthing lyrics line by line, here, inspired by Taylor, are four life lessons in healthcare talent management:

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Did someone say, referral bonus?! #employeereferrals #referralbonus #BostonJobs

A photo posted by HealthcareSource (@healthcaresource) on

It’s no secret to anyone in Talent Management that employee referrals are the best. When I see that “Name of Employee Who Referred Me” field filled out I do a little happy dance and I bet you do too! It’s simple: good people know good people, and my company’s employees are the best!  The challenge comes in motivating current employees to turn over those names. Here at HealthcareSource we’re tackling that in two ways: by making this a great place to work and implementing some pretty cool incentives.

Culture First

The number one thing we looked at to boost our employee referral program was company culture. What makes HealthcareSource a great place to work and why would our employees want to refer their friends here? We focused on our core values and workplace environment, talking to employees about what they liked and giving them more of that! We saw our Glassdoor score soar, turnover decrease, and happy employees spread the word throughout their network.

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HealthcareSource Performance Manager & NetLearning IntegrationFor at least a decade, organizations have wanted to integrate performance and learning management processes. In a survey conducted by Bersin by Deloitte®, 69.3% of respondents said that integrating learning management and performance management systems was “very valuable” or “highly valuable.” Over time, technology has caught up with this vision and the benefits of integration can now be quantified. Research shows that organizations that effectively integrate performance and learning management are:

  • Three times more likely to have strong employee results
  • Five times more likely to have strong talent management results
  • 100% more likely to have strong business results

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2014 Talent Symposium — Conference Highlights

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Our annual user conference, 2014 Talent Symposium was a complete whirlwind of learning, networking, and FUN. I mean, how could it not be? HealthcareSource + Las Vegas = FUN (trust us, we did the math).  The event, held earlier this month at Encore at the Wynn Las Vegas brought together hundreds of Healthcare HR, Organizational Development, and Education professionals from across the country (literally, from Maine to Alaska) to talk all things healthcare talent management.

This year’s conference has been the best one yet and included fabulous keynote presentations from industry thought leaders and our executive team, as well as dozens of breakout sessions led by HealthcareSource staff and clients alike. After two days jam-packed with educational sessions and networking, attendees let loose at one heck of a party at Encore’s hottest nightclub, Surrender, complete with dinner, dancing, cocktails, AND a photo booth (complete with feather boas and glitter mustaches, obviously).

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OnStrike69Reuters has reported that as many as 18,000 nurses plan to walk off the job on November 12th in response to what they say are inadequate protections for staff when treating patients possibly infected with the Ebola virus. The strike is being organized by the National Nurses United (NNU) — one of the country’s largest nursing unions in conjunction with their affiliate, the California Nurses Association (CNA). The union says it is demanding full-body hazmat suits, powered air-purifying respirators, and more rigorous training for nurses across the country.

“Nurses, who have been willing to stand by the patients whether it’s the flu, whether it’s Ebola, whether it’s cancer, now they’re being asked to put themselves in harm’s way unprotected, unguarded,” says Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of NNU. In addition to the walkouts, nurses nationwide plan to engage in protests on Nov. 12, including picketing and coordinating bake sales to raise money for hazmat suits for nurses, DeMoro said.

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6Most HR professionals agree that it’s important for employees to have well-articulated goals to guide their work. However, goals alone are not enough. Healthcare organizations have discovered that providing employees with mentoring and coaching, in conjunction with goals, leads to greater employee accountability and better on-the-job performance.

Performance management is only effective if it’s a continuous process, rather than a once a year conversation at evaluation time. Healthcare leaders like Phelps County Regional Medical Center in Rolla, Missouri and Union Hospital in Terre Haute, Indiana have developed a variety of coaching and mentoring programs that increase the touch points between managers and employees. These initiatives help improve retention among high performing team members, increase employee satisfaction through more targeted professional development, and enhance employee accountability by combining goals with frequent feedback.

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CHARLES REX ARBOGAST — AP Photo

With the recent cases of Ebola in the U.S. on everyone’s minds, these are challenging days for healthcare organizations and their employees. There’s confusion about which infection-control protocols to follow and how to effectively train and motivate workers who provide care and are potentially putting themselves at risk. After Dallas Presbyterian Hospital reported two of its nurses had become infected with the virus, the CDC, NIH, and others began talking publicly about the need for additional training, particularly in the proper use of protective equipment.

With so much at stake and in flux, we wanted you to know that everyone at HealthcareSource is committed to staying abreast of the developing science of infection control. The following is a list of resources from the CDC, NIH, and others you can access for the latest protocols and recommendations for dealing with infectious diseases such as Ebola:

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Download Surviving a Site Visit from The Joint Commission

Accreditation by The Joint Commission communicates that a healthcare institution meets criteria related to the safety and quality of patient care. It has even been referred to as the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval—for healthcare. Talent management processes play a major role in ensuring that the accreditation is met. When The Joint Commission surveyors unexpectedly show up at your door for a site visit, what message are you sending? Can you demonstrate compliance and produce the required information in seconds? Could you be signaling to the surveyors that you’re not in control of your processes?

We have to face the music here, people. Paper-based systems are completely inefficient and could lead surveyors to believe that your organization is “behind the times.” Don’t you want to make a site visit go smoothly for you, your managers, and the surveyors themselves? It’s possible, we promise.

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downloadThe terms mandatory education, compliance training, and fun aren’t typically found in the same sentence, but the team at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital managed to change that with a music video set to the tune of Vanilla Ice’s 90s hit “Ice Ice Baby.” The video was produced to serve as a reminder of the organization’s training program, Destination Zero — emphasizing their commitment to high-quality care with an overall goal of zero patient safety errors. 

Children’s Hospital has managed to create a fun culture that still manages to reinforce the seriousness of patient safety and medical errors. “We take patient safety seriously, and we’ve spent most of the year reinforcing our already strong safety culture through a training program called Destination Zero,” said Jeanann Pardue, M.D., chief quality officer at Children’s Hospital. The Knoxville, Tennessee healthcare organization has been named one of the top pediatric hospitals for safety and quality standards in the United States. 

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healthcaresource behavioral assessmentWe recently had the opportunity to speak to Vicki Hess, RN, MS, CSP who is a leading expert on employee engagement in the healthcare sector. In this two-part blog series, we’ll learn more about ways that HR and learning and development can build a culture of engagement within their organizations.

The first step in creating a culture of engagement is finding employees who will fit with the job they have been hired to do and whose values are consistent with those of the organization. That sounds like a challenging task, but it’s by no means impossible! Vicki Hess recommends using behavioral based interview questions to obtain a deeper understanding of what motivates each candidate. She offered three tips for healthcare recruiters:

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