The demands of staff recruitment and retention create an ongoing problem in healthcare. Whether it’s an urban tertiary-care center, suburban walk-in clinic, or rural freestanding ED, getting and keeping qualified staff is a battle.
One way to elevate recruitment and boost retention is through employee education and development. Unfortunately, all too often this is addressed through annual certifications and companywide training sessions for specific goals or mandates. However, that’s not what employees are looking for, and that’s why this area is so ripe for improvement. It’s also why individualized learning is such an exciting concept.
The idea behind performance guided learning is fairly basic—assess where employees excel, and then connect those skill sets with how he or she learns. If someone is stellar at a particular skill, don’t force them to take the same remedial-level training with everyone else—highlight their skill set, and use them as an example of quality care done right. The result? An engaged employee who adds value to the organization, is eager to serve as a mentor and has no desire to leave
Heightened visibility and customized learning pay dividends
Individualized learning ties into a more visible employee support network as well. By using employee engagement programs, providers and facilities can highlight the contributions of employees, further elevating their confidence as well as others’ awareness of their skill sets.
Through the customizable offerings from HealthStream’s Performance and Development solutions, employees can be guided to and through the next stages of their development. Or, if necessary, they can take corrective action in areas where they might be falling short and do so in a non-punitive way
Performance-guided learning also ties in nicely with overarching goals and objectives for the employer. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely, or SMART, goals are the gold standard when it comes to creating and achieving specific goals. The SMART approach works because of its clear, finite definitions. Performance-guided learning follows that track by evaluating and assessing exactly where an employee’s strengths are, then working to make those better while at the same time empowering that employee to help others achieve success. And as mentioned before, it also works to help those who need some “catch up” work to obtain it without feeling singled out or left behind.
One thing no employee wants is to be part of a “one size fits all” approach, especially when it comes to continuing education and development. As much as the concept of continuous and ongoing feedback has become a go-to alternative for cumbersome, often-unhelpful annual reviews, performance-guided learning also stands ready to be used as a more nimble, innovative tool for the healthcare workforce’s initial and continuing education.
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