Fighting to keep our best and brightest
It’s no secret that Asante is on a hiring spree, hoping to fill more than 1,000 open positions. But with competition for skilled workers at an all-time high, the system is also working hard to keep the employees who are already here.
Nearly two dozen staff members from throughout the organization — from HR to clinical departments — serve on Asante’s new employee retention committee. Working hand in hand with recruiting teams, the group’s aim is to come up with new ways to ensure current and newly hired employees are inspired to stay with the organization.
Here are just a few of the projects the committee is working on.
Strengthening the onboarding process
Interviews with staff revealed a common thread: the two-day employee orientation was helpful in learning about Asante but did not tell them what they needed to know about their job in their department. And some employees said they didn’t see their manager for days after joining the team.
Now, leaders are required to complete an onboarding checklist, a tool that was unevenly applied when it was optional. The checklist covers everything from preparing for the employee’s arrival with tools and resources to giving a tour of the working space (with maps, if needed) and assigning a preceptor or buddy who will answer questions and help the new hire get acclimated.
A new “one-year success plan” provides ongoing dialogue and helps both manager and employee track their progress throughout the new hire’s first year.
“We want to start the relationship early, set clear expectations of what we’re looking for and what the employee can expect from us,” said Matt Southmayd, manager of medical oncology at ARRMC and co-leader of the retention committee.
Keeping good employees starts with a strong team led by a skilled leader. To help leaders learn and share best management practices, the retention committee has started holding lunch-and-learn sessions, where supervisors, managers and directors can talk about what has worked well in their departments and seek insights from others into how they can improve things.
Finding the right rewards
There are as many motivators to stay in a job as there are employees, so to gauge which kinds of rewards might work, the retention committee recently sent out a survey to over 450 employees.
Questions touched on the kinds of recognitions that matter most, whether employees feel they’re rewarded fairly and what kinds of achievements they feel deserve recognition. Organizers are reviewing the responses to identify some key themes and come up with recommendations.
Conducting “stay” interviews
Still in development, these informal conversations by volunteer peer facilitators are designed to take the pulse of staff members in a confidential setting.
The goal is to learn if employees are satisfied or dissatisfied with their jobs or if they’re at risk of leaving the organization. Stay interviews also give leaders insight into their teams’ morale and help spot areas for improvement.
Hiring for fit
A great job candidate may still be the wrong fit for an organization or even a department within Asante, and cultural mismatches can lead to dissatisfaction and higher turnover.
To make sure the candidate has the abilities, skills and temperament to succeed in the job, Asante’s Talent Acquisition team has added new tools to managers’ tool kits.
One is behavioral-based interviewing, a practice that has been applied inconsistently in the past if at all. Instead of solely evaluating a candidate based on their past roles and responsibilities, behavioral interviews rely on real-life examples of how the candidate handled conflict, demonstrated leadership skills or learned from past mistakes.
“Not only are we interviewing them for the right fit, but they’re doing the same for us,” said Alicia Lorenz, director of HR Administration and Employee and Labor Relations.
Asante is offering ALEC/HealthStream training on behavioral interviews for leaders, but employees who want to apply for a new position within Asante — or who are involved in panel interviews for their department — will want to be aware of this structured format.
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