Top of Mind Issues for Today’s Healthcare Leaders

What’s on the minds of today’s healthcare leaders? Benefits and labor costs, future generations of leaders and development plans for those leaders are a few of the issues they face, as Axiom Consulting Partners’ Susanna Mlot, Partner, explains.

I spent a year as an interim CHRO for a very large health system; 13,000 team members altogether. And so in board discussions, the questions were some that you would really expect, except they are taking on increasing importance.

How do we get our benefits costs under management? There’s study after study that talks about how some of the folks who work in healthcare are some of the unhealthiest people in our workforce because they work such long and varied hours, and that directly contributes to increases in healthcare costs for those organizations.

How are we going to get our labor costs under management? Labor optimization is a massively important topic right now, especially when you have high vacancy rates. Using agency labor, temporary labor, and contract labor becomes a drug, and yet, if you’re not keeping very, very close eye on that mix of captive labor versus temporary and contingent labor, your costs can spiral out of control pretty quickly.

Those are two of the topics that are on boards’ minds in wanting to know that HR leaders have that under management. A third would be: Where are we getting our next generation of leadership and are we preparing them well? And do we have succession plans in place to bring those people forward? Are we giving them the right kinds of development opportunities? How are we preparing them to lead?

And this is one of the unique things about healthcare that may be different than perhaps some other industries: How are we preparing them to lead, not just in our own organization, but contribute to the field more broadly, and what’s our role in making the entire field of medicine and healthcare better?

Transcript edited for clarity.

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