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Talent management best practices: How exemplary health care organizations create value in a down economy

Groves, Kevin S.

doi: 10.1097/HMR.0b013e3182100ca8
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Background: Difficult economic conditions and powerful workforce trends pose significant challenges to managing talent in health care organizations. Although robust research evidence supports the many benefits of maintaining a strong commitment to talent management practices despite these challenges, many organizations compound the problem by resorting to workforce reductions and limiting or eliminating investments in talent management.

Purpose: This study examines how nationwide health care systems address these challenges through best practice talent management systems. Addressing important gaps in talent management theory and practice, this study develops a best practice model of talent management that is grounded in the contextual challenges facing health care practitioners.

Methodology: Utilizing a qualitative case study that examined 15 nationwide health care systems, data were collected through semistructured interviews with 30 executives and document analysis of talent management program materials submitted by each organization.

Findings: Exemplary health care organizations employ a multiphased talent management system composed of six sequential phases and associated success factors that drive effective implementation. Based on these findings, a model of talent management best practices in health care organizations is presented.

Practice Implications: Health care practitioners may utilize the best practice model to assess and enhance their respective talent management systems by establishing the business case for talent management, defining, identifying, and developing high-potential leaders, carefully communicating high-potential designations, and evaluating talent management outcomes.

Kevin S. Groves, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, California. E-mail: kevin.groves@pepperdine.edu.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.