December 10th, 2019 | Sterling

Sterling’s 4th Annual Healthcare and Life Sciences Summit (Day 2)

By Val Poltorak, General Manager, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Sterling

Well-known motivational speaker and author of The Submarine Way, John Gregory Vincent, opened Day Two of Sterling’s 4th Annual Healthcare and Life Sciences Summit. Read our Day One recap here.

As the event’s keynote, he proved to be a lively, engaging, and thought-provoking speaker. John shared how his experiences as a Navy submarine Command Master Chief, a Gallup consultant, and Chief Talent and Learning Officer of The Genesis Group LLC, led him to create “The Submarine Way.”

What Your Team Has in Common with the Crew of a Submarine
John illustrated how the modern workplace is very similar to life on a submarine. Both environments can be stressful and filled with conflict, but the key focus must be on completing the mission, and how are you contributing to it?

He also shared Gallup’s 12 levels of engagement survey, an extremely useful tool, with statements such as, “I know what is expected of me at work,” “At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day,” and most importantly, “There is someone at work who encourages my development.” He stressed that people are engaged at work when they are given the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop their skills.

Inclusion, engagement, and retention were at the crux of his conversation. He asked attendees to define “meaningful inclusion.” Answers included a culture where people are valued, where their opinions matter, where accountability and communication are tangible and not just words bandied about.

John discussed why it is critical for companies to consider making substantive changes to their cultures to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces. When organizations do that, they see not only higher productivity, sales and profitability, but also lower patient safety incidents, absenteeism, and a reduction in turnover. John challenged summit attendees to think of two or three specific things that they could do differently to drive leadership through the lens of inclusion.

Attendees responded with enthusiasm, shared several ways they plan to make a difference and put his ideas into practice when they returned to their companies later in the week.

Fireside Chat: Recruitment and Retention Best Practices
John then joined Jenn Tomassi, Sterling Healthcare’s Head of Client Success, and Alicia Palasay, HR Director of the RN Network for CHG Healthcare, for a fireside chat to further discuss recruitment and retention best practices and ideas.

Jenn posed the interesting question, “Are recruitment, onboarding, and retention separate silos, or are they interdependent?” The panel agreed that the three are definitely interdependent, and that if one is weak, it will impact the others. Summit participants agreed that strong recruitment fosters strong onboarding and retention.

Alicia shared her insights on the importance of referrals, and how a motivated employee who feels like they are heard, and are passionate about what they do, would refer other like-minded people. She highlighted how job retention rates and longevity at CHG prove to be impactful recruiting tools.

Jenn, Alicia, and John also discussed the challenges HR professionals face with specific roles such as remote workers and entry level positions. Tangible takeaways included frequent touchpoints including video and phone, so the employee feels integral to the organization. The goal is to make the person feel that they are valued, have what they need to do their job, and are empowered.

Decentralization or Management at the Corporate Level?
‘Establishing Governance Amidst Decentralization’ was the topic for the subsequent panel discussion, hosted by Amber Kerken, Client Success Partner at Sterling. Subject matter experts included Christina Baker, Employment Screening Manager from Life Care Centers of America, and Lisa Elder, Director of Human Resources at Acadia. The group examined challenges ranging from decentralized organizational structures, disparate HR functions and facility processes, to technology gaps, centralizing multiple locations, and complying with regulations in various states.

A key question addressed was if you can’t centralize all hiring processes for consistency, is it possible to unify certain ones to help mitigate risks and ensure compliance as well as efficiency?

Polling the audience showed there was a wide array of practices. Both panelists shared that a mix of centralization for some processes makes sense, whereas other requirements such as fingerprinting may need to be done at the local level.

Attendees and panelists agreed that collaboration and education are key, that corporate HR professionals should provide guidance and best practices to those operating at the local level, to help ensure safety and compliance across the organization.

More Insights and Best Practices
Summit attendees then adjourned for lunch and networking. In Day Two – Part Two, we’ll explore sessions that included the Joint Commission, HR’s Role in Mitigating Workplace Violence, the Nurse Licensure compact, workforce monitoring and best practices for managing a volunteer program.

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