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It all Starts from the Top: Get Proactive with Talent

In this day and age of labor challenges, talent management is even more critical than it has ever been for senior care organizations. Many organizations are stressed with finding enough of the right staff and have doubts about anything getting better in the future. If one looks to the adage that, “It all starts at the top,” it would be interesting to see that many people are viewing talent development as the new CEO skill requirement. It doesn’t take more than a quick Google search to see that this connection and perspective is widely held across a variety of work settings.

People are the most valuable asset in senior care, and leaders need to take a proactive view of their capacity and needs.

For administrators, first and foremost, they need to have a strong management team. The ‘second lieutenants’ are one of the key pieces towards driving success. A high performing, stable management group helps move the bar on solving, or at least mitigating, the labor challenges faced today. An organization cannot afford missteps or lack of synergy with this team, especially when it comes to fostering a strong work climate.

Leadership Considerations

Developing your management team is a primary responsibility of leadership and a strategic choice. Proactive leaders are using a variety of time-tested approaches exemplified by the following:

  1. Have the right people on the team. Jim Collins expands upon this concept in his book, Good to Great.
  2. Ensure everybody is headed in the same direction with the same overall goals. Alignment is a key to success and one of the fundamental, necessary foundations advanced by the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.
  3. Explore how the team competencies and required development will support the future organizational goals (Bishop in Forbes, 2018).

As leaders, we have an opportunity to make a difference every day in the field of senior care and services. Ultimately, our leadership performance impacts the daily life of a multitude of individual residents and clients, and our staff.

So, if you believe that talent management does start at the top, then it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure that we stay hopeful about tomorrow. One of the ways to solidify that optimism is by taking the steps to ensure we have a cohesive, proactive, and strong management team to lead the way.

Douglas M. Olson, Ph.D., MBA, NHA, FACHCA
Senior Advisor

Director, Center for Health Administration and Aging Services Excellence 
Professor, Health Care Administration Program
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire