Alignment with Organizational Priorities Organizational


When frontline workforce development truly succeeds, it is because it is “part of the way we do business” rather than stand-alone or one-off programs. Investing in frontline workers must reflect organizational priorities. That means aligning frontline workforce development with broader goals, such as the organization’s core mission, or its commitment to population health and community prosperity. By doing this, leaders will think about frontline worker investments as a core operating principle and prioritize them accordingly.

For example, talent acquisition leaders may be more receptive to requests for workforce investments when framed as a strategy to meet an overarching goal to be known as the best place to work and receive care.


Integrating workforce investments with analysis of business impact is essential to making the business case – not only to generate good evidence, but also to ensure programs are sustainable. The first step to integration is to truly understand your organization’s priorities and how they impact frontline staff. Consider all the ways frontline workers contribute to your organization’s mission.

Pro-tip: don’t overlook the need to set up systems to measure – quantitatively and qualitatively – the business impact of workforce development initiatives.

As you move forward, engage senior leaders in conversations to ensure their primary concerns are addressed and to help them understand how an engaged frontline workforce will meet their needs as well. Workforce analysis data, evaluation of program outcomes, and frontline worker success stories can help connect the dots between frontline investment and organizational priorities.


Areas of Strategic Business Impact

Employers cite six major areas where developing the frontline workforce can have strategic business impact

Workforce Availability

Frontline staffing needs are addressed by filling vacancies, reducing turnover, decreasing overtime, and reducing temporary agency use.

Employee Competency & Advancement

Employees gain the needed knowledge, skills, and abilities to deliver high quality care and advance their careers.

Employee Engagement

Employees express greater satisfaction with their jobs and are more engaged in their work, resulting in improved performance outcomes and increased staff retention.

Patient Experience

Patients and their families express higher levels of satisfaction with the quality of care received and services provided. Patient satisfaction scores improve.

Community Impact

Organizations demonstrate greater positive impact in the communities they serve by hiring local residents, increasing workforce diversity, and improving health outcomes in the community.

Quality & Safety

Organizations improve performance by expanding the role of frontline workers and enhancing their skills to reduce such measures as medical errors and avoidable re-hospitalizations.



Closing the Skills Gap: Creating workforce development programs that work for everyone by Martha Laboissiere and Mona Mourshed, McKinsey and Company, February 2017.

This article outlines five principles the authors believe should be the foundation of all workforce development programs.

Anchor Mission Playbook, Rush University Medical Center and The Democracy Collaborative, 2017.

This publication is intended to help hospitals and health systems accelerate efforts to drive institutional alignment with community needs.

Principles for Building Healthy and Prosperous Communities, Build Healthy Places Network, 2019.

Five principles to frame and guide efforts across sectors working toward achieving an equitable future where fair opportunity is an outcome for all.

Inclusive, Local Hiring: Building the Pipeline to a Healthy Community, David Zuckerman and Katie Parker, The Democracy Collaborative Fall 2016.

A guide to leverage hiring practices to advance inclusive, local job creation and career development for communities experiencing the greatest health and wealth disparities.

Guide to Investing in Frontline Health Care Workers, National Fund for Workforce Solutions, 2017.

A guide that provides strategies and a framework for investing in the skills and careers of frontline workers to increase business impact and provide workers with opportunities for advancement and growth.

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