Leadership, Culture, Well Being and Retention

Posted on May 20, 2019 by Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

Healthcare leaders want to recruit the best physicians—and keep them. The costs, in time and money, of losing a physician or advanced practitioner, searching for a replacement and onboarding her or him, are prohibitive—and patient care and satisfaction can suffer in
the transitions.1VWL-19-001-blog-graphic-2BThis is why any organization serious about keeping their best people needs to pay attention to a three-way connection: a physician with a sense of well being will be engaged in his or her work and the organization; and an engaged physician is less likely to “pull the ripcord.”2

As we point out in our article “Organizational Retention: How to Build a Culture Optimal for Physicians,” our research with Cejka Search has shown for many physicians the key element in their well being is a healthy organizational culture.3 Our article goes on to spotlight one absolutely crucial element in a positive culture—one supporting many of the other elements: good, honest communication at all levels.

But there are other elements in organizational culture promoting physician well being—and, down the line, fostering engagement and retention too. Drilling down into the elements of a positive culture, the VITAL WorkLife/Cejka study found the elements most valued by physicians centered on:

  • skilled leadership (84.3%)
  • leadership demonstrating awareness or concern for their needs (87.8%)

As well as the values leadership has the key role in furthering:

  • a collaborative environment (88.8%),
  • employees being held accountable for their commitments and actions (86.5%).

“Even within the category of business processes that advance quality,” the study notes, “the themes of strong leadership and team collaboration were reiterated, along with effective staffing ratios.”

The call for effective leadership in the creation of an institutional culture able to retain the best and brightest is loud and clear. Contact us to learn how we can help in this crucial process.

For more on the importance of leadership and culture in relation to retention, see our article “Organizational Retention: How to Build a Culture Optimal for Physicians.”


*VITAL WorkLife and Cejka Search, Physician and Advanced Practitioner Well Being Survey, June 22, 2017

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