Who Is a Key Employee in a Hospital, and How Do You Plan for Their Departure?

Who Is a Key Employee in a Hospital, and How Do You Plan for Their Departure?

Published : April 18, 2017

As a hospital, your most important resource is your employee talent. Unfortunately, finding and retaining that talent may be difficult, as around 73% of workers suggest that they would look for new work while they’re still employed.

Studies suggest that 1 in 5 healthcare employees leave their jobs each year. This number far exceeds the 12 to 15% turnover rate experienced by many industries. In other words, hospitals, more than most organizations, will need to know how to identify their key employees, plan for contingency when they leave, and take steps to improve employee retention.

As the manager of a nonprofit organization, your aim should always be to find and retain the key people who will help you reach your fundamental goals. Many executives focus their energy on hiring people, but they struggle to decide which individuals they should work on retaining. If you can focus on the key individuals who can make or break your business, then you should be able to get more out of your employee retention strategies.

Identifying Key Employees

As new regulations and plans come into place, nonprofit healthcare providers are facing a complicated environment for growth and development. The average organization must not only keep up with the innovations that are sweeping across the industry, but they also have to limit costs to stay within their restricted budget. To ensure financial stability and promote growth, nonprofit hospitals must find and retain senior employees with the expertise that will help them reach their fundamental goals.

Also known as “critical personnel”, your key employees are the staff members within your organization that drive exceptional value compared to their peers. These employees are often the key to the successful accomplishment of the organization’s vision, and without them, you would struggle to meet your objectives. Thanks to their advanced skillsets, key employees are the hardest to recruit and retain. They often have real power in the company, significant value in terms of your core competencies, and are very difficult to replace.

Planning for the Departure of Key Employees

A careful evaluation of your organization should allow you to pinpoint your key employees. It may be helpful to bring those employees together with your HR manager on an annual basis to help generate a better understanding of your most valuable assets. During this yearly review, you will be able to discuss employee contingency planning, take steps to ensure that your critical staff members are happy and engaged, and assess performance.

Annual reviews will allow you to determine whether your key players are still committed to your hospital, and if they are continuing to deliver value to the organization. This can be crucial, as a lot of companies spend a great deal of time focusing on the poor-performing individuals in their company, and forget to put retention and contingency plans in place for those who matter most. Devoting time to your key employees shows them that you value their presence, therefore increasing the chances of good staff relationships.

Once you have identified your key employees, and are establishing plans for contingency or succession, remember to consider the possible outcomes that could occur from the loss of a valuable personnel. This will help you analyze the best paths you can take to mitigate damage within your organization. While you can ensure that you are constantly interviewing new and upcoming talent, and training emerging staff members, your best solution will be to focus on employee retention, thus reducing the chance that key staff will leave in the first place.

Enhancing Employee Retention

Although contingency plans can lower the damage caused by an employee leaving, turnover that involves your most valued staff members will always be detrimental to a nonprofit hospital setting. For this reason, it is essential to make sure that you have a plan in place for employee engagement and retention.

During yearly reviews with your key employees, ask whether they have any problems with their workload, or feel as though they aren’t accessing enough opportunities for development and advancement. These steps will help improve employee engagement. At the same time, make sure that adequate compensation is being offered to your most valuable staff. Though your nonprofit budgets regarding wages are limited, the right benefits can still retain key talent. Indeed, many hospitals provide their executives with SERP plans that help maximize the value of not-for-profit employment, while maintaining financial stability for the organization itself.

Frequently, it’s the benefits that nonprofits put in place that prevent key talent from considering other employment opportunities. As studies suggest that the loss of a single key employee can cost a business tens of thousands of dollars, retention is one of the best ways to protect your organization.

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