Article: Talent Management is Key to Building a Performance Culture


Talent Management is Key to Building a Performance Culture

Harshvendra Soin, Chief People Officer, Fortis Healthcare

Compliance and Risk Management is a crucial area for hospital as we are dealing with human lives here


In an industry growing at 15% per annum, challenges related to affordability and inequitable distribution of care accentuate over time


What are the key challenges in the healthcare sector for the year 2010? What is your outlook for the future?
The major challenges that the healthcare industry faces today are immense such as highly inequitable distribution of care especially due to the division of rural and urban areas, low accessibility and affordability to healthcare, lack of low cost delivery models that can cater to the specific needs of a country like India, access to skilled manpower both for medical and non-medical requirements, increasing cost of manpower over time due to entry of competition in the market and a mismatch between demand and supply of talent, et al.

In an industry that is growing at 15% per annum, such challenges accentuate over time. In the future, we see the industry getting more organized and looking at creating different delivery models; the government also looking at public-private partnerships to overcome some of the current challenges. Technology also plays a very important role in enabling this transformation. We also see India becoming the preferred International destination.

Specifically when it comes to the HR challenges, which are the key processes in HR that you have identified as business critical?
The key HR processes, when it comes to the criticality of business would be the Performance Management system that helps in building the performance culture, the Employee Engagement process that propels the organization forward, the Compensation philosophy and the Talent Management process. The HR Function is a critical enabler for transformation of the organization. If I have to choose one critical process within HR that contributes the most to this transformation, it would be the Talent Management process which includes performance management, talent infusion, development and talent retention.

In a young industry like healthcare, how do you create a solid management and leadership pipeline? How do you fulfill your current and future requirements for managerial and leadership roles?
There is a mix between talent infusion, in-house talent development and a combination of both. We have introduced several programs at different levels to cater to the needs of the organization. One such program is the Facility Management Training program, where we have hired people in the middle and senior level and taken them through a four months training program to make them ready to become unit function/hospital heads. Another program is the Leadership Development Initiative where high potential and high performing employees are taken through a 22-weeks program to prepare them for senior roles. We have also designed a program for Resident Doctors to cater to the needs of entry level doctors and engage them through training to increase retention in this group. We have extensive supervisory, skill development programs for our Nurses as well including giving them in-depth understanding of the various nuances of Leadership. All these programs are complemented by a large initiative of mentoring and coaching across levels. Today, we have more than 160 mentors and 450 mentees. Access to skilled manpower is a huge challenge for the industry and initiatives are being taken to help overcome this challenge and get ready for growth. This is just a start but will be a strong differentiator in the future.

What are the challenges in ensuring compliance and risk management in an industry where human intervention and judgment plays a very important role?
Compliance and Risk Management is a crucial area for hospital as we are dealing with human lives here. There are three levels of control - one is the awareness of rules, regulations and practices that each employee must follow, second is the mandate to comply with them and third is the governance process set to ensure that there are checks and balances across the processes to track compliance. This happens at all levels across the organization.

What are the solutions to overcome this talent shortage? How is your organization coping with this challenge?
The solution is to find an innovative way to build bench strength by talent infusion, training and development. We invest largely in talent development at all levels to maximize talent availability and employee retention.

When it comes to performance management, how do you ensure that doctors providing medical treatment balance between ensuring adequate level of treatment and revenue generation?
Doctors and the rest of employees in the hospital have several parameters that they are appraised upon. Revenue or financial parameter is only one of them; quality plays a very crucial role in assessing performance of employees so that balance is maintained by including the right parameters that will drive the right behaviour. We benchmark ourselves not just with the healthcare industry but also with the overall services sector and hence our target for ourselves is very high in ensuring customer delight. This percolates down to all employees within the organization.

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Topics: C-Suite, Strategic HR

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