healthcare leadership developmentLeadership development is top of mind for healthcare talent management professionals in 2018, and for good reason: Vacancies are far outpacing the number of qualified candidates ready to take on these roles.

In fact, while 89 percent of organizations cite retention as one of their key strategic imperatives, only 36 percent say they have a formal retention strategy in place, according to a study done by Strategic Programs.

Further to a Brandon Hall Group study, 84 percent of organizations expect to have a shortage of qualified leaders by 2023. Baby boomers are aging out of the workforce and many organizations are experiencing high turnover. Healthcare talent management professionals are beginning to realize the immediate need for leadership development if they wish to fill their most critical positions.

Healthcare Leadership Development Trends for 2018

As we head into the new year, consider the following healthcare leadership development trends:

1. Holistic Thinking

It’s important to think about leadership development in the context of your employee’s entire lifecycle with your organization. Effective leadership development begins by recruiting quality talent with the key hard and soft skills necessary for an eventual move into a management role. You should also work towards building an engaged workforce that will stay with your organization for the long-term, filled with employees who will go above and beyond in providing quality care.

2. Succession Planning

When leaders vacate their positions, identifying and making the transition to a replacement can be a daunting task. Organizations are beginning to prepare for this with succession planning. Start by evaluating your current workforce to determine which leadership positions may be vacated soon, who might be qualified to move into those positions, and where your leadership talent gaps might lie. By taking this important planning into account, you’ll be better prepared for transitions when they occur.

3. Leadership Assessment

Best-in-class organizations and values, regardless of which role they’ve applied for. Doing so helps them identify both candidates who are ready to move into leadership today, as well as high-potential candidates the organization can fast-track through development. you can properly develop Only when you know each candidate’s strengths and growth opportunities, can them.

4. Career Pathing

Once you’ve determined an employee’s leadership potential, you’ll be able to identify suitable career paths based on their interests and your organization’s needs. By working with your employees to plan their growth in the context of the organization’s needs, you’ll be able to create an internal pipeline of talent that can be leveraged to quickly backfill leadership positions.

5. Training and Development Planning

Following leadership assessments and career pathing, consider implementing a training and development plan for each of your employees. This will set them on the path toward success and help them reach their full potential, while ensuring the best quality of care. Measure each employee’s development progress with regular evaluations to determine additional opportunities for growth.

6. Mentoring and Coaching

More organizations are beginning to coach employees, aiming to improve their skillsets and mentor them along their career paths. This gives each leader–and potential leader–a personal champion to provide continuous feedback and internal support. It also fosters strong internal relationships, which, in turn, helps increase employee retention and success.

Staying Ahead of the Curve

The talent gap is perhaps the biggest obstacle healthcare talent management professionals face today — and it’s only likely to grow larger as more baby boomers retire. Leadership candidates, in particular, will be highly sought after and hard to come by.

To stay ahead and meet organizational needs, many healthcare talent management professionals recognize the need to identify and develop high-potential talent from within. As we head further into 2018, we will surely see more organizations begin to plan for leadership development and succession.

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About Jen Dewar

Jen Dewar is a marketing consultant in the HR technology space with a focus on developing educational content for recruiters, corporate HR professionals, and staffing agency owners. She has spent the past 10 years working with a wide variety of companies — from corporate marketing for healthcare organizations and recruitment firms, to startup marketing for both Identified and, prior to their respective acquisitions. When she’s not doing marketing, you can find Jen snowboarding in Tahoe, enjoying a glass of wine in Sonoma, or watching Netflix at home with her husband.