A major healthcare organization with 13,000 employees was experiencing high turn over in their nurses in 4 hospitals, costing the organization millions. They estimated that, system wide, for every percent they could reduce turnover the organization could save $1.5 million annually.


Coaching led to a 40% greater improvement in leadership development skills than training alone. Ultimately, retention was increased by 50%!The organizational goal was to reduce RN turnover by 20% annualized. A 6 – month pilot program for departments that had consistently high turnover was established. Based on focus groups and a custom 360 employee survey, it was identified that leadership skills and emotional intelligence were key to retaining employees.

The leadership development program consisted of three mandatory classes on Emotional Intelligence, Managerial Styles, and reading and interpreting their 360 feedback. Following feedback, management teams from each department developed a team plan on retention in addition to each leader’s personal leadership improvement plan. The classes were followed by individualized coaching which took place over a 6-month period. Both nursing managers and doctors participated in the program.


Quantitatively, at the end of the 6-month pilot, turnover was reduced by 50%, substantially greater than the original goal of a 20% reduction! Qualitatively, the nursing staff is happier and working more effectively as a team. Leadership skills and emotional intelligence have been enhanced.

Coaching was an essential element in the improvement of leadership skills during the 6-month pilot. Repetition of the custom 360 survey demonstrated that those who were coached were able to achieve a 40% greater improvement than those who were not coached following the training.

The client organization is rolling this program out throughout the hospital system and is thrilled that their corporate values of teamwork and personal excellence are being embraced by their nursing staff.

This is just one example of the custom approach to leadership development that Dawson Consulting Group’s Consultants and Dawson Consulting Group offers organizations seeking to improve retention and performance. For similar excellent results, Dawson Consulting Group provides a range of individual executive, organizational and cultural assessments to identify areas of improvement and then custom designs the solution that will enable your organization to achieve its goals.

By Sheryl Dawson
Dawson Consulting Group

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