Now’s a good time to look forward to the healthcare challenges of 2020 and beyond. Filling constantly growing demand for new clinicians to serve the health needs of aging Baby Boomers. Finding new talent to fill the experience gaps created by retiring staff. Training to meet constant changes in technology. Growing professionals’ abilities to manage the movement to continuous care. And all in a tight labor market.

Yes, it’s a lot. But take it one resolution at a time and these challenges can be overcome and even become opportunities to thrive.

5 Resolutions for Strategic Talent Management

  1. Grow your own talent. Promoting the high-performing talent you already have increases retention and satisfaction. Creating robust career paths now pays off years later.
  2. Mentor current talent. Mentoring programs are proven to increase and retention rates and skill acquisition.
  3. Increase technology investment. When you have the technology and tools to automate routine tasks, you have more time to focus on mission-critical activities and make better hires faster.
  4. Recruit leaders from other industries. Executives in retail, technology and hospitality have dealt with labor shortages, increased competition and digital transformation, too. Expand your candidate pool to capture their expertise.
  5. Optimize contingent talent management. With a keener focus on competency, compliance and compensation you can lower time to fill and increase ROI.

5 Resolutions for Talent Acquisition

  1. Source more proactively. Don’t wait for the talent to find you. Invest in sourcing solutions that integrate third-party resume databases with your own talent networks to keep talent lists current.
  2. Deploy CRM for engagement. Customer relationship management tools (CRM) make it easy to maintain connections with prospects, via regular emails and texts about news and job openings.
  3. Recruit for cultural fit. Patient care and operational efficiency are enhanced when you employ behavioral assessments to identify candidates with the right personal qualities for the job and the institution.
  4. Reach farther down the education pathway. Community colleges and some high school nursing programs are good sources for your future workforce. Get there before the competition does.
  5. Revisit employer branding. A strong brand attracts top prospects. Use digital channels and social media to broadcast your brand and build your reputation among new pools of talent.

5 Resolutions for Performance Management

  1. Broaden retention efforts. Since turnover among RNs doesn’t start to fall off until after three years on the job, it’s vital to expand programming beyond year one.
  2. Improve employee engagement. Research shows that engaged staff produce better patient outcomes. Drive deeper engagement with team building, positive and timely feedback, coaching, and measurable professional goals.
  3. Revamp the evaluation process. Upgrading to a performance management solution that automates and standardizes administrative tasks frees managers up to evaluate staff face to face.
  4. Align work with mission. As part of your structured performance evaluation system, invite staff to relate their professional goals to the organization’s. This creates a stronger sense of purpose and satisfaction.
  5. Inform and support leadership. Become an advisor to the c-suite by helping leaders identify problem areas with valuable evaluation and assessment data from across the institution.

5 Resolutions for Learning and Development

  1. Adopt a learning-everywhere approach. Employees who learn on any device anywhere are more likely to complete assignments, acquire next-generation skills and advance their careers.
  2. Explore microlearning. The average human’s attention span can be as short as a few seconds, so create shorter and more frequent learning opportunities to promote knowledge retention, keep learners interested and build a culture of learning.
  3. Encourage prescriptive learning. Build educational programs based on what employees know how to do, not just what they know. Then you can easily validate staff proficiencies and quickly provide remedial education.
  4. Invest in upskilling. Identify opportunities to increase capabilities of existing staff through external degree or certificate programs and more robust in-house training.
  5. Maximize competency management. Keep your most talented people intellectually and professionally engaged and driven to excel, and you’ll keep them on the payroll. Competency management platforms assess individual needs and suggest coursework in areas needing improvement.

The workforce development decisions you make now will have an impact for the next 10 to 12 years. But if you plan years ahead, get creative about how you find and develop talented workers, do what it takes to retain your best and brightest, and deploy technology to leverage information and efficiency, the next 10 years could be a decade of real opportunity.

Margot Carmichael Lester

About Margot Carmichael Lester

Margot Carmichael Lester is a North Carolina-based freelance business journalist who has been covering healthcare and staffing for more than 20 years. She also writes about moviemaking for the International Cinematographers Guild, specializing in action cinema. Margot co-authored the award-winning teen writing book Be a Better Writer with her husband, Steve Peha. She earned her BA in journalism from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and is a rabid Tar Heel basketball fan.