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Leadership Appreciation and Professional Development

For many organizations, it is a busy time of year – the Holiday Season with all its festivities and numerous visitors is upon us; employees are requesting time off so they can spend time with family; closing out the year and also planning for the New Year ahead!

As a leader, employees are the backbone of any organization and nurturing employees can make a huge difference in the impact they have on your organization. The cost to nurture employees is not high and well worth the investment. Studies have shown that while salary is important, it is not the only thing that matters. Most employees want to feel they make a difference and are appreciated for the talent and skills they bring to the organization. When we think about the fast changes hitting our industry as well as workforce shifts that are on the horizon, we need to consider how we invest in our employees and engage them in changes at all levels within our organizations. Planning for the new year, we need to not look solely at financial costs in showing our appreciation to our employees, but also look at time, talent and skills to build upon. One of the key drivers for success in the new health care environment is investing in our employees’ professional development.

 It Starts with You

Is this a familiar story? CFO to CEO – “What happens if we invest in developing our employees and then they leave us?” CEO to CFO – “What happens if we don’t and they stay?”

Appreciating or “investing” in our talent (employees) has a lot to do with how they are viewed by leadership. We hire employees for a reason – for a skill set and a need. Their role within your organization is integral to your successful clinical and quality outcomes.

Great people crave professional development. Professional growth and development enables personal growth for your employees. It builds confidence and self-esteem, making them more adaptable to change and willing to learn and do more. Professional growth makes your team more current, honing the skills they bring to the organization. A great way to keep employees engaged and nurture employee skills is to consistently and actively promote professional development activities. Encouraging professional growth inspires loyalty, and it shows your employees that you care about their progress, their future and their role within the organization.

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In this rapidly changing health care environment, including new patient care delivery models, it is necessary to ensure that your employees receive and participate in education opportunities to expand their professional competencies and leadership capabilities. How can you create a professional development plan for your employees on limited budget resources?

Leadership Tips:

  • Model and Support Behavior – You and your management team serve as role models to your employees. Participate in organization training, let staff know you value these trainings and opportunities and how it impacts your personal professional development.
  • Cross-Training – Create a wider depth of talent and skills within your organization. Cross training engages employees at all levels, and it shows that you are invested in their growth and development. Once an individual learns a new process or skill, offer opportunities to learn skills of complementary positions – thus increasing your organizations depth of expertise and capabilities.
  • Coaching and Mentoring – While we already use traditional coaching processes in health care, why not identify at least one skill or area that each employee would like to work on? Create a development plan and use coaching/mentoring techniques to achieve positive results.
  • Development Resources – Offer professional development opportunities to your staff with a variety of resources. There are numerous resources available to health care organizations – DVD or online training, on-site workshops or seminars, lunch-and-learns, forums, hang outs, peer-to-peer training and more.

So this Holiday Season, while you are thanking your team for all that they give to your organization for providing excellent care, give the gift of professional development. Create personal development plans for your team members. An ongoing commitment to make professional growth and inspiration a priority not only prepares your employees, but will also be one of the best investments that you will make for you and your team!