I was speaking with a hospital CEO recently about their troubling turnover rates, when he hit on an age-old problem. He pointed out that they continue to promote good workers to management positions when they lack leadership skills and experience. “We want to give our best people opportunities,” he said, which makes good sense. But he went on to add, “We always have great intentions to give them the training that they need, but it rarely happens.”
What this CEO was admitting was exactly what I heard from the CNOs interviewed for my whitepaper. They want to be able to promote from within as a means of recognizing and keeping the best talent. It’s just that clinical skills are different from leadership skills. Promoting unprepared people into leadership roles too early can actually set them up for failure.
One solution is to find out who is interested in going into management while they are still at a staff level. Begin offering them leadership opportunities on a smaller scale such as a committee chair or charge nurse. Use this as an opportunity to mentor and support them as they hone skills.
Another viable solution is that, once you learn who wants to move into management, offer them the opportunity to take leadership courses.
Helping your team members to skill up is crucial to job satisfaction and also positions you for better succession planning.Tags: Leadership, nurse turnover, Retention, turnover