Develop, nurture leadership to improve the bottom line

It costs hospitals less to develop and retain leadership in-house than to hire and train new management, a new survey found.

Hospitals that don't groom internal leaders spend four times more to replace and train nurses than  hospitals emphasizing leadership development, concluded the 2012 Healthcare Management Survey, conducted by Talent Management Consulting.

Although senior human resources executives at most of the 142 hospitals surveyed named talent recruitment and develop as a major organizational priority, that wasn't the case for recruitment and development, according to an announcement from Pepperdine University.

Hospitals that focused on leadership development with formal programs, such as talent assessment and performance management, reported productivity equal to $164,154 per full-time equivalent, compared with $132,685 for those that didn't, the survey found.

Programs that socialize a new manager into the company culture and its priorities also pay off in higher patient satisfaction ratings.

The survey also recommended focusing more leadership-development resources on women and minorities, creating transparent processes for identifying potential leaders, and giving those potential leaders projects important to overall hospital strategy.

Doctors and nurses must be groomed for leadership positions along with nonclinical staff, hospital CEOs said last fall. The support of physician leaders for hospital strategy is important because of their added credibility as clinicians, according to John Brennan, M.D., president and CEO of Newark (N.J.) Beth Israel Medical Center.

With that in mind, physician leadership course days doubled in 2011 over the previous year, according to the American College of Physician Executives.

To learn more:
- read the announcement