Stepping back to move ahead
“Management Development. It’s hard to get started in our industry without having someone take a step back in their careers.” Jordan Smith, Administrative Director of Facilities, AdventHealth, Tampa, FL
It was an interesting quote, so we called Jordan and asked him to elaborate. He explained that he entered the healthcare world as a Construction Project Coordinator at a Florida hospital, which was a step back in both title and money for him. He had been in Senior Level Management for a plumbing and heating firm. But the year was 2009, and with the downtick in the economy, the company was closing.
Jordan was aware of the step back in salary when he entered healthcare. Still, a mentor sold him on the mission of healthcare, as well as the viability and stability of a healthcare facility’s career. While Jordan says he had to take steps back, 9 years later and now with oversight of two hospitals, he is happy he did so.
“This is a rewarding career. I never thought I could have a career where I help to make sick people better.”
Relative to the employee shortage that hospitals across the country face, Jordan feels that the best approach to counter the shortage is to play the long game. Most hospitals, especially smaller community-based hospitals, don’t have the budget to hire new employees before longer-term employees retire. Consequently, Jordan investigates non-traditional routes to hire employees.
“With my experience in plumbing and HVAC, I can teach new employees the technical part, the air handlers and the boilers. But if they understand people, if they get people, that is what I look for. I can teach them how a hospital works, but they need people skills.”
Jordan has made what some traditionalists might consider non-traditional hires using the criteria he describes above. He also says that “former business owners, people who have had to meet payroll and interact with others,” make good potential hires.
Jordan believes organizations would do well to create a “conscious path” for job advancement and succession planning. In other words, play the long game to staff development.
Hear more from Jordan. He joined us on our latest High Reliability podcast “Stepping back to move forward.” Listen to it here.
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