As I mentioned there is an increasing shortage of skilled healthcare professionals and managers, so it is vital that strategic leaders attract, retain, reward and motivate those they already have.

  • Attraction- it is clear that those who select healthcare and wellness as their careers are interested in helping others and enabling their patients to live a long, healthy and productive life. So this is the first message that must be conveyed to potential candidates. Obviously it must be supported by having a proven track record and a recognition by others that the organization is focused on this mission. Of course there is almost the continuing reality that most medical and healthcare professionals are incurring "huge" student loan debt so it is clear that salaries must not only be competitive but will enable the candidates to pay of this debt quickly. Some institutions are providing "grants" to those who are willing to commit a specified period of time.
  • Retention- Quite often organizations focus more on gaining new candidates, than assuring that the current staff are retained. It must be remembered that individuals with a good track record, who publish and do research are well known to the community and are the targets for "headhunters" and other organizations. So, it is vital that procedures be put in place that will help identify these key/ marketable individuals and determine their degrees of satisfaction and also how their compensation and position in the organization stakes up with others.
  • Rewards- we mentioned having a competitive salary and benefits, but healthcare professionals may need more. These include: ability to help select the projects, research and specialties they want and need. It may include sabbaticals or ability to travel, teach in other institutions. Participation is professional societies and publishing in highly reputed publications may also help to reward key people.
  • Motivation- These key people may be not be difficult to motivate since they take great pride in what they do, but if and when they need to be motivated, the organization must take the time and effort to determine what "turns them on" and then give them the opportunity to do what is needed. This doesn't mean they should be given unique help but it should be part of the way they are managed.