In addition to its other impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of succession planning within all healthcare organizations. This is even after healthcare leaders and board members acknowledged that succession planning was necessary before the pandemic. Yet, few medical practices begin the process or do it consistently enough to be effective.
Many healthcare leaders find the process daunting or uncomfortable, leading to a failure in appointing someone to lead the team after them. What these leaders do not understand, however, is that failure to begin a succession plan could cost their organization a large sum of money down the line.
With burnouts hitting all-time highs throughout the pandemic, succession planning in healthcare is becoming increasingly important. Whatever type of practice you run, succession planning should be at the top of your list of priorities.
Succession planning involves a healthcare organization identifying leaders, such as a chief executive officer, chief financial officer, chief medical officer, and other directors and managers. They then create talent pipelines to fill positions as leaders leave or retire. It is a proactive step in the healthcare industry that ideally prevents potential workplace disruptions, protocols, and workflows.
Those practices with an effective plan can immediately identify an internal employee with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to fill a position, whether short or long-term, after a member of the staff leaves or retires. Without this plan in place, your medical practice can be left without the leadership needed to keep up patient care.
As a clinic practice, you must have a succession plan in place, especially for management positions. This does not mean this plan cannot apply to other positions as well, though. Every part of your practice is integral and affects the quality of patient care. Employees should always be ready to take on some more executive tasks when needed or cover for someone suddenly unavailable for work.
To ensure that patients of your dental, optometry, physical therapy, or general medical practice receive the best care, you and your team must be ready for anything and everything. This includes the sudden loss of a team member.
A succession plan will help you maintain your successful practice and ensure that it continues to thrive even if there is an unexpected change, such as retirement or a leadership change. A fractional COO can be an excellent resource for completing year-end succession planning and preparing for the future.
Creating an effective plan pays off in multiple ways. Medical practices with a formal succession plan can empower human resources staff to establish an internal hiring process for key leadership roles. This also helps them find and recruit the most qualified candidates with the skill sets necessary to meet the practice’s goals and mission.
Another benefit is the ability to grow talent within the healthcare organization by focusing on leadership development and talent management. Your office will spend less time and fewer expenses to source talent because there will already be individuals ready to step up to the challenge.
Your office minimizes the risk of losing experienced healthcare professionals, many of whom are likely looking for career advancement opportunities. When a succession plan is in place, there is a clear path to promotion and professional growth. This boosts staff satisfaction and can improve your staff retention rate.
Perhaps the most important benefit is the ability of your office to deal with sudden, catastrophic losses of key staff members. This could happen for various reasons, both related to business and not.
To ensure your practice is ready whenever the time comes, you should start implementing a succession planning program as soon as possible. Relying on one or two key players to complete important tasks might seem like a good strategy, but your practice will be in trouble if they leave without suitable replacements. In order to create an effective plan, there are a few steps you should take.
Develop a business plan.
Specifying your practice’s mission and goals is one of the most important things to do, not just for succession planning, but for your healthcare organization. You need to be able to identify both the practice’s short- and long-term goals, including the vision, purpose, or larger objectives that need to be met by specific roles. From this, you can begin devising a strategic plan accordingly.
Determine the required skills and needs.
Before you begin finding the ideal candidates within your organization, you must also decide what positions need to be filled, currently or at any time in the future. You should also determine the level of skills and expertise needed to successfully fill the position. Administrators should evaluate the gaps between existing skills and core competencies of the posts to be filled and review the details for future competency requirements.
Identify the right candidates.
The first step is finding the right people capable of understanding and executing the full scope or responsibilities of the job. This can be done by regularly tracking training and who has had what training. Some of the best candidates will likely be discovered within positions that share similar responsibilities with the current leader. It will help to look at staff members from other places within your practice, widening the pool of potential successors.
Create an evaluation process.
The last important piece to your plan needs to be an evaluation process. It allows you or your staff to determine how effective the succession plan is and whether the organization’s goals and objectives have been met. It should include policies and methods used in the process, the criteria and basis for selecting this candidate, and the degree of patient satisfaction. This helps improve both your plan and strategy.
Good Stewart Consulting LLC offers the expertise and guidance needed to ensure your succession plan goes smoothly. Our fractional COO experts provide comprehensive services, including developing strategies, assessing team capabilities, identifying key personnel, and assessing financials. With their help, you can rest assured that your practice will continue to function optimally no matter what changes may arise in the future.
In addition to helping with succession planning, Good Stewart Consulting LLC provides other services such as operational reviews, financial forecasting, growth initiatives, process improvement projects, strategic planning initiatives and more. Our staff’s extensive knowledge of clinic operations and processes allows them to develop tailored plans for each unique situation. This means our professionals can consider factors like budget or time constraints when creating strategies or implementing new initiatives to meet your needs efficiently.
Good Stewart Consulting LLC also offers ongoing support so that any changes or challenges can be addressed quickly and efficiently without disrupting the workflow at your clinic. Having this type of support system in place is invaluable when it comes to maintaining optimal operations at all times. It also allows you to focus on providing quality care instead of worrying about how the business is running from behind-the-scenes. Year-end succession planning is essential to keeping your clinic practice running smoothly now and into the future. It can be challenging to navigate this process alone, so hiring a professional firm like Good Stewart Consulting LLC is ideal. Our experienced professionals have the skills and expertise to ensure that all aspects of your succession plan are properly handled. That way, you can rest assured knowing everything has been handled correctly and efficiently while leaving you free to focus on what matters most—providing high-quality patient care! So, if you are looking for help completing year-end succession planning at your clinic practice, look no further than Good Stewart Consulting LLC!