The big news on the employment front this week is MetLife's 9th annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends, which shows 36 percent of workers would like to find a different employer in the next year. USA Today nicely tied the survey together with other studies from the American Psychological Association and Glassdoor.com. Increased productivity came at a cost, the studies demonstrate, as workers feel less loyalty and more stress because of extra duties assumed during the last several years of downsizing.
So does this translate to the C-suite level in healthcare as well? That's a complex question, says Bob Clarke, Furst Group CEO.
On one hand, healthcare executives have been subject to the same economic issues as everyone else. Yet those conditions have been exacerbated by the continuing political stalemate over healthcare reform.
"Executives have been tolerating uncertainty but have grown very restless and are ready to make a change," Clarke said. "After a brutal economy made it difficult to relocate or contemplate a career transition, there is now a palpable shift in expectations."
But in healthcare, Clarke added, the impetus for change isn't solely financial.
"While compensation stability and benefits all play a significant role in employee satisfaction, things are a little different at the executive level. Executives are seeking opportunities to make a difference," he said. "They want to know if their efforts are working toward a better organization and are making an impact. This is particularly true in healthcare."
So how can healthcare leaders keep their own teams engaged and committed?
"More than compensation, leaders seek opportunities to lead," Clarke said. "They seek an ability to grow and to be personally challenged. Allow others to take risks, to take control of strategic initiatives. Include leaders in discussions about the future. Allow them an opportunity to challenge the status quo -- provide a platform to seek a higher level of influence."