In hospitals, on-the-job training opportunities are an important part of employee development. Professional development is essential in hospitals as the environment is constantly changing to accommodate new research, technologies and constant challenges. While continuing education classes are always important for helping train employees, there are several effective ways to offer opportunities for development while employees are immersed in their work. Not only are these ideas effective, but they will be more likely to be helpful when they are connected to an employee’s daily duties.
Forge Connections Between All Staff
In many hospitals, administrators and general staff members often experience a hierarchy that can make communication difficult. There often becomes an us against them mentality that can inhibit the important work that needs to be done. Ideally, administrators should be out on the hospital floors as much as possible so that they can communicate with doctors, nurses and technicians to learn more about their job duties and needs. By showing that they care, administrators can be more approachable. This can help staff members to ask more questions and rely information regarding needs for future training. It can also help to create a positive connection that can be helpful when constructive feedback is necessary. When hospital employees respect their administrators, the will be more receptive to on-the-job training methods.
Create an Improvement Plan
Often, hospitals tend to focus on their best employees to single them out for additional training opportunities that can lead to certifications and promotions. However, it is important to also remember to focus on even the lowest performers so that they can be raised to a higher level. This can be done during the typical evaluation process. Once the lower performers have been identified, an improvement plan should be created. This should be shared with each employee during their annual or monthly evaluation. During this time, employees can share things that they would like to work on. Then, a plan can be written up and implemented that details the steps a person will make to reach a new standard in their work. It is important to provide support to the employee through additional training classes, mentoring programs and further evaluations to help monitor their progress.
Foster Leader Partnerships
Some of the best employee development methods rely on mentorships. For this reason, hospitals will need to identify leaders within their staff that can help teach others how to effectively manage their workload. Hospital administrators can look for staff that goes above and beyond their duties by providing excellent patient care, refining a medical technique or being open to learning new procedures. Then, these staff members should be paired with employees who can learn from their knowledge and abilities. It is important to make sure that these mentors go through a leadership training program that will enable them to offer encouragement while also demonstrating their expertise. This can also motivate hospital staff members to strive for greatness as they begin to see the recognition that comes with participating in professional development. Try pairing up different leaders and employees in new and innovative ways to help improve everyone’s skills from the office to the hospital floor.
In every hospital, professional development should be a goal for every employee. Because a hospital is constantly evolving, it is important for employees to remain flexible and open to additional training opportunities. When training is offered on-the-job, it is more likely that the information will be retained so that everyone can benefit. Hospitals can foster employee development by breaking down the barriers between administrators and staff while utilizing the skills of the leaders in their staff to help bolster the development of every employee.
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Gary Pelfrey is a hospital administrator and guest author who has written several articles about Master of Health Administration Degrees.