Building a Culture of Learning to Evolve the Healthcare Workforce

In Brief

2-Minute Read

The pace of change in healthcare, pressure to innovate and rise of the digital age are changing the skills needed in all aspects of healthcare operations. To position for the future and retain the best talent, organizations need to invest in healthcare’s most important asset — its people.

Key Takeaways

  • Building a culture of continuous learning can help differentiate employee and organizational performance, engagement and retention.

  • Evolving employees’ skills for the future will require learning programs that provide technical and people-focused training that is relevant, flexible and accessible.

  • To keep employees motivated, organizations must promote the value of investing time into development and align learning to tangible goals.

In recent Huron research, leaders name staffing recruitment and retention as a top three growth priority, signaling that investments in people are essential to their strategic plans.

Compensation will continue to be a deciding factor for employees about where they work, but they are placing increasing value on training and development opportunities. While learning is key for individuals to develop their own skills, the long-term results of building a culture of learning as an organization can help differentiate employee and organizational performance, engagement and retention.

By leaning on the tenets of adult learning, organizations can elevate and streamline their learning programs to support the goals of individuals and the organization.

Learning to Thrive in Healthcare

The healthcare industry is constantly evolving to meet consumer needs and improve care. New technology and clinical practices require ongoing training to ensure employees can safely and effectively do their jobs. In an industry centered around people, soft skills training is equally as important, yet few have been taught the skills needed to guide people, especially in uncertain times. When developing talent for the future, organizations need to build a learning program that addresses technical, clinical and people-focused skills. These combined competencies are what will enable individuals to maximize contributions to the organization and grow professionally in their roles.

Key Tenets of Adult Learning in Healthcare

As the industry evolves, the skill sets required in healthcare today may not be the ones needed tomorrow. To enable employees to develop and enhance skills that add value to their organization and help them meet personal goals, organizations must invest in a learning program that is:

Investing in people will continue to be an important strategy for healthcare organizations as they seek to thrive in an increasingly competitive and technology-driven landscape. Evolving employees’ skills will require learning programs that are grounded in key tenets of adult learning — delivering training that is relevant, flexible and accessible.


Healthcare organizations looking to evolve their workforce need to:
  • Think differently.
    Consider learning as a continuous endeavor that can help employees reach their potential and prepare organizations for the future.
  • Plan differently.
    Build a learning program that incorporates adult learning principles and empowers individuals to take charge of their own learning experience.
  • Act differently.
    Provide learning opportunities that address the technical, clinical and people-focused skills individuals need to make the biggest impact within their roles.

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