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Healthcare organizations face challenges in hiring and retaining new employees, especially when it comes to executives. The process of filling positions can take an average of three months or longer, with the timeline increasing for niche executive roles that require more education and experience. Finding the right candidate is crucial, as a CEO’s influence can impact up to 45% of a company’s performance. Additionally, up to half of new executives may leave a new organization within 18 months, causing further setbacks and headaches for the company.

To retain healthcare executives post-hire, a comprehensive onboarding process is essential. Executives play a crucial role in guiding company vision and direction, making it important for them to become familiar with the organization’s values, culture, and operations during the onboarding experience. Without a proper introduction, executives with years of experience may unintentionally disrupt dynamics within the organization. By providing a thorough onboarding process, healthcare executives can gain a solid understanding of the company’s inner workings before fully engaging in their role.

When evaluating new executives, it is important to establish clear key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress and success. In a healthcare setting, metrics such as patient satisfaction, care quality, and employee engagement can provide insights into the impact and quality of care being provided. Loose, untrackable goals can leave new executives without a foundation for success, especially if they lack trust and relationships within the organization.

Communication is crucial when bringing a new executive on board, as the change can lead to uncertainty among fellow leaders and lower-level employees. Developing a consistent communication strategy around the new hire can help alleviate anxieties and establish relationships and build trust. Onboarding programs should include dedicated time for the executive to meet with colleagues, board members, and team members to facilitate a smooth transition and integration into the organization.

A quality onboarding process for executives can lead to improved team morale, clear understanding of roles and expectations, and a better grasp of the company’s culture, values, and politics. Despite the importance of onboarding, a recent survey found that U.S. executives were 35% less likely to receive formal onboarding compared to the global average, with those who did undergo onboarding rating their experience as “mediocre.” Healthcare organizations should prioritize their onboarding programs as a tactic to achieve operational goals and set their employees up for success.

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