I often hear executive management teams reply that the most important priority for their organizations is the patient. If so, why wouldn’t they have the best people assist patients? If the patient is the most important concern of a health care organization, then the employees ought to be more important than the patients. Right? After all, employees are the ones influencing patient’s overall experience.
Yet, many employees at hospitals and physician practices are not very motivated. In fact, many of them are overworked, under-paid, poorly qualified for their positions, and lack customer service skills.
Talent development is an aspect of the corporate world that is often talked about but generally poorly implemented. And it seems this oversight happens frequently in health care.
I’m not talking about human resources, I’m talking about the process of developing and integrating new workers, developing and keeping current workers and attracting highly skilled workers to work for your health care organization.
Interesting that the top 100 companies to work for according to Fortune magazine are generally high revenue generating companies with great brands and great reputations. Coincidence? Unlikely.
Mayo’s Clinic foundational belief is that employee satisfaction drives customer satisfaction which drives organizational results. With over 48,000 workers, employee voluntary turnover is 5%. Mayo Clinic ranks 63/100 top companies to work for. Moreover, they have consistently performed well financially when one compares them to other similar health care organizations.
You get what you pay for
The cost to hire employees that are not “fit” for the job can cost an organization 1 or 1½ times the incumbent’s salary if you consider recruitment time, training investment lost and loss of time and productivity. Furthermore, hiring inadequate employees have a big impact on internal and external customer which is a barrier for excellence.
How do you hire for fit?
Companies like Mayo Clinic, Trader Joe’s, Southwest Airlines and Google start with the premise that you can train functional aspects of a job but it is a poor investment in and resources to train:
Attitude, Service & Teamwork.
Where is our focus?
We have yet learned what the next chapter in health care is going to look like. I guess that is in the hands of Congress and the President at this point.
Whether we end up with universal health care, single payer, or any other model they consider for us, the goal of our health care organizations ought to be to deliver the best possible service we are able to provide.
But we can’t deliver great service without great employees.