The existing healthcare staffing crisis comes at a cost for both medical professionals and patients alike. Accordingly, hiring strategies must go beyond connecting qualified leads with the right position. Leadership must also put approaches and policies in place to retain new and existing staff and help insulate them from burnout. When implemented strategically, a mentorship program can be a dynamic part of that solution.

How a mentorship program can ease the burden

In today’s job market, a critical amount of newly-hired medical staff transfer to new positions or leave the organization within one year of the hiring date. This frequent turnover complicates culture, impacts the quality of patient care, decreases job satisfaction, and increases hiring and recruitment costs. Additionally, when experienced staff members vacate their positions, their years of insights and expertise go with them. Mentorship offers a countermeasure that reduces the impact and implications of these trends.  

Workplace mentorship programs have been shown to accelerate the development of knowledge and skills and foster an immersive understanding of the values healthcare organizations prioritize. Participants have an increased opportunity to see the bigger picture beyond their tasks and training by connecting with professionals who share new perspectives and impart insights from their years of experience. 

Mentoring provides an opportunity to build relationships that mutually benefit both parties. It builds confidence, empathy, and connection while positively impacting personal development and career guidance.

Elements of a successful mentorship program

Keeping your organization’s culture and values in mind when designing mentoring programs is essential as are appropriate training opportunities for all parties involved. When approached with intentionality, healthcare organizations can find the appropriate method and model of training that will work for their staff without affecting the bottom line or consuming excesses of valuable time. 

Mentorship programs can be flexible to fit your organization’s needs and values, but there are some specific traits all programs should include. The most successful programs include these considerations:

  • Mentorship is presented as a two-way relationship, not top-down.
  • Participants should be matched according to shared goals, skills, and characteristics.
  • Mentors are willing and able to be generous with their time.
  • There should be predetermined guidelines for your program including a concrete start and end, frequency of meetings, processes to navigate potential challenges and conflicts,
  • Opportunities are provided for multi-disciplinary collaboration.
  • Participants have a method and means to reflect on and measure individual progress and satisfaction.
  • Data and progress tracking is involved in measuring the success of the program.
  • There is room for flexibility and evolution to meet the changing needs of your organization.
  • There are celebrations and acknowledgment of progress in place.

As the healthcare field continues to evolve and requires new approaches to retaining top talent, we will be here to share insights, recommendations, and solutions to help hiring managers and healthcare leadership to navigate the path forward.

Are you looking for support with your hiring and retention strategies? Contact Polaris Placement today to discuss suitable recruitment solutions that fit the needs of your healthcare organization.