Senior leaders, including chief department officers, vice presidents, and facility administrators serve a critical role in garnering support for frontline workforce development. This is true within organizations, across the broader healthcare industry, and in the workforce development field. When these decision-makers clearly articulate the value and priority of frontline workforce investments — and how they align with organizational priorities — other leaders and c-suite executives are more likely to embrace the strategies.
Whether your organization already has a senior leader who understands the importance of investing in frontline workers or is cultivating one who doesn’t yet fully grasp the value, a senior-level champion is a key component of a winning workforce development strategy.
Below are some tips to cultivate or strengthen senior leader support.
Build a profile. Knowing what motivates senior leaders will help you craft messages that address their biggest concerns. Get to know what makes them tick and use it to build your case.
Connect the dots. Help senior leaders understand the business case for frontline worker investment by connecting your workforce development strategy to organizational goals and priorities.
Communicate business impact. Demonstrate how frontline investments benefit your organization, such as reducing costs or improving patient experience. A ‘return on investment’ – or translation of measurable improvement in quality and productivity into financial impact – is often the most discussed, but there are multiple, less intensive ways to capture business impact. See resources for alternatives.
Use data. Numbers don’t lie, which makes them rather persuasive. Program metrics, community demographic data, and workforce analysis can bolster the business case. If your organization doesn’t have compelling numbers yet, look to case studies or reports from other healthcare employers to show leaders what is possible.
Make it personal. Employee stories that show how programs or policies have had a real impact on their lives and well-being are powerful. Invite leaders to graduation ceremonies, share evaluation surveys, capture personal stories on a smartphone – these are a few ways leaders can truly understand the impact of these investments.
Communicate successes. Keep leaders engaged by regularly sharing program successes. Consider different channels of communication and determine the best way to reach your leaders. It might be internal newsletters, emails, a public presentation, or even a phone call.
Have a plan. Be able to demonstrate that plans are viable based on structures and systems currently in place. Indicate what changes may be needed to grow the workforce initiatives and make them more effective.
PROGRAMMATIC | Healthcare provides one of the greatest opportunities for jobs in today’s economy. However, many people do not know about the array of healthcare jobs that exist and struggle to see how an entry level job can grow into a career.