Research Paper: What is the role of a manager in succession planning in a healthcare organization

vi ABSTRACT This research is a qualitative study that investigates succession planning management in four (4) Kentucky healthcare organizations as it relates to the changing workforce demographics. In planning for the 21 st Century workforce, organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the aging workforce a nd implementing strategies to develop career development programs to identify and devel op employees for middle and upper levels of leadership. America’s workforce is aging w ith large numbers of employees eligible for retirement. The supply of future workers a nd leaders within healthcare organizations is dangerously reduced if health care organizations do not plan for the large numbers of employees eligible for retirement. This st udy analyzed the trends expected to impact healthcare organizations as leadership tran sitions occur among an aging population and workforce. This research study examined how four (4) Kentucky healthcare organizations identify potential leaders; use mentoring to address succession plans; retain employees and prepare for workforce dive rsity; and develops leaders within the organization. A major finding of this study was the consistency among all four participant organizations. The findings reflec t the need for healthcare organizations to create formal succession plans to address work force and leadership shortages. The study reveals that none of the participant organi zations have formal succession plans, and leadership development training is in the infa ncy stage of development. The implications for healthcare organizations are signifi cant and demand action now. A crisis in healthcare and related or ganizations can be alleviated if leaders take action to address the aging and shrinking workforce and plan fo r leaders using mentoring and formal succession planning. vii TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS………………………………………………………………\ ……………………. iv ABSTRACT………………………………………………………………\ ……………………………………….. vi CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION ………………………………………………………………\ …………….1 Significance of the Problem/Research Questions ……………………………………………………7 Research Questions………………………………………………………………\ ……………………… 11 Purpose of the Study ………………………………………………………………\ …………………………12 Assumptions and Limitations ………………………………………………………………\ …………….14 Definitions of Terms………………………………………………………………\ …………………………15 CHAPTER II: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ………………………………………………….19 Effective Succession Planning ………………………………………………………………\ ……………21 Table 1: Characteristics of and Ba rriers to Effective Succession Planning …………. 25 Benefits and Challenges of Succession Planning …………………………………………….. 27 Leadership Development in Healthcare Organizations ………………………………………….28 Workforce Retention………………………………………………………………\ ……………………. 29 Table 2: Recommendations for Identify ing Leaders within an Organization………. 30 Table 3: Recommendations for Hiring Leaders in Organizations ……………………… 30 Leadership Shortage………………………………………………………………\ ……………………. 34 360 Degree Feedback ………………………………………………………………\ ………………….. 36 Mentoring to Develop Succession Plans in Healthcare ………………………………………….37 Succession Planning and Mentoring………………………………………………………………\ 40 Readiness for Leadership………………………………………………………………\ ……………… 41 Workforce Diversity and Mentoring ………………………………………………………………\ ……42 viii Challenges of Mentoring………………………………………………………………\ ………………. 47 Employee Retention in Healthcare ………………………………………………………………\ ……..48 Workforce Diversity in Healthcare Organization ………………………………………………….50 Generational Diversity………………………………………………………………\ …………………. 53 CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY ………………………………………………………………\ ………..56 Introduction………………………………………………………………\ ……………………………………..56 Purpose of the Study ………………………………………………………………\ …………………………56 Research Design………………………………………………………………\ ……………………………….57 Populations and Sett ings/Data Collection …………………………………………………………….59\ Limitations and Summary ………………………………………………………………\ ………………….60 CHAPTER IV: RESULTS ………………………………………………………………\ ……………………62 Data Analysis………………………………………………………………\ …………………………………..63 Edited Participant Organization Responses ………………………………………………………….63 Question #1………………………………………………………………\ ………………………………… 64 Figure 1: Formal Succession Planning ………………………………………………………….. 65 Participant Organization A………………………………………………………………\ ……. 65 Participant Organization B………………………………………………………………\ …….. 65 Participant Organization C………………………………………………………………\ …….. 66 Participant Organization D ………………………………………………………………\ ……. 67 Question #2………………………………………………………………\ ………………………………… 68 Figure 2: Define Key Positions ………………………………………………………………\ …….. 69 Participant Organization A………………………………………………………………\ ……. 69 Participant Organization B………………………………………………………………\ …….. 69 ix Participant Organization C………………………………………………………………\ …….. 71 Participant Organization D ………………………………………………………………\ ……. 72 Question #3………………………………………………………………\ ………………………………… 74 Figure 3: Performance Management ………………………………………………………………\ 75 Participant Organization A………………………………………………………………\ ……. 75 Participant Organization B………………………………………………………………\ …….. 76 Participant Organization C………………………………………………………………\ …….. 77 Participant Organization D ………………………………………………………………\ ……. 77 Question # 4………………………………………………………………\ ……………………………….. 78 Figure 4: Identifying Successors for Key Positions …………………………………………. 79 Participant Organization A………………………………………………………………\ ……. 79 Participant Organization B………………………………………………………………\ …….. 79 Participant Organization C………………………………………………………………\ …….. 81 Participant Organization D ………………………………………………………………\ ……. 81 Question #5………………………………………………………………\ ………………………………… 81 Figure 5: Identifying High Potential Employees …………………………………………….. 82 Participant Organization A………………………………………………………………\ ……. 82 Participant Organization B………………………………………………………………\ …….. 83 Participant Organization C………………………………………………………………\ …….. 85 Participant Organization D ………………………………………………………………\ ……. 85 Question #6………………………………………………………………\ …………………………….. 86 Figure 6: Individual Development Plans ………………………………………………………. 87 Participant Organization A………………………………………………………………\ ……. 87 x Participant Organization B………………………………………………………………\ …….. 87 Participant Organization C………………………………………………………………\ …….. 88 Participant Organization D ………………………………………………………………\ ……. 88 Question #7………………………………………………………………\ ………………………………… 89 Participant Organization A ………………………………………………………………\ ……. 90 Participant Organization B………………………………………………………………\ …….. 90 Participant Organization C………………………………………………………………\ …….. 90 Participant Organization D ………………………………………………………………\ ……. 90 Question #8………………………………………………………………\ ………………………………… 91 Figure 8: Healthcare Organization Special Programs ………………………………………. 91 Participant Organization A………………………………………………………………\ ……. 91 Participant Organization B………………………………………………………………\ …….. 92 Participant Organization C………………………………………………………………\ …….. 93 Participant Organization D ………………………………………………………………\ ……. 93 Question # 9………………………………………………………………\ ……………………………….. 93 Figure 9: Succession Planning Evaluation Activities ………………………………………. 94 Participant Organization A………………………………………………………………\ ……. 94 Participant Organization B………………………………………………………………\ …….. 94 Participant Organization C………………………………………………………………\ …….. 95 Participant Organization D ………………………………………………………………\ ……. 95 Question # 10………………………………………………………………\ ……………………………… 95 Figure 10: Special Challe nges with Succession Planning ………………………………… 97 Participant Organization A………………………………………………………………\ ……. 97 xi Participant Organization B………………………………………………………………\ …….. 98 Participant Organization C………………………………………………………………\ …….. 98 Participant Organization D ………………………………………………………………\ ……. 99 Patterns and Themes………………………………………………………………\ ……………………….100 Table 5: Patterns and Themes of Survey Responses ……………………………………… 100 Research Questions and Summary of Responses ………………………………………………..101 Summary………………………………………………………………\ ……………………………………….105 CHAPTER V: ………………………………………………………………\ ……………………………………106 DISCUSSIONS, IMPLICAT IONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS …………………………106 Introduction………………………………………………………………\ ……………………………………106 Discussion of Results ………………………………………………………………\ ………………………109 Implications………………………………………………………………\ ……………………………………110 Recommendations for Further Research …………………………………………………………….11\ 2 Conclusion………………………………………………………………\ …………………………………….113 APPENDICES ………………………………………………………………\ …………………………………..125 Appendix A. Research Ethics Approval Letter …………………………………………………..125 Appendix B. Spalding University Research Ethics Proposal ……………………………….126 Appendix C. Letter to Survey Participants………………………………………………………..129 Appendix D. Informed Consent………………………………………………………………\ ……….131 Appendix E. Interview Guide Questionnaire ………………………………………………………133 Appendix F. Doctoral Dissertation Proposal Acceptance Form ……………………………135 BIOGRAPHY………………………………………………………………\ ………………………………..136 xii LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Characteristics of and Barriers to Effective Succession Planning ………………… 25 Table 2: Recommendations for Identify ing Leaders within an Organization……………… 30 Table 3: Recommendations for Hiring Leaders in Organizations …………………………….. 30 Table 4: Benefits and Challenges of Workforce Diversity ………………………………………. 44 Table 5: Patterns and Themes of Survey Responses…………………………………………….. 100 xiii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: Formal Succession Planning………………………………………………………………\ …. 65 Figure 2: Define Key Positions………………………………………………………………\ ……………. 69 Figure 3: Performance Management ………………………………………………………………\ …….. 75 Figure 4: Identifying Successors for Key Positions ………………………………………………… 79 Figure 5: Identifying High Potential Employees……………………………………………………. 82 Figure 6: Individual Development Plans………………………………………………………………\ 87 Figure 7: Replacement Charts………………………………………………………………\ ……………… 89 Figure 8: Healthcare Organization Special Programs ……………………………………………… 91 Figure 9: Succession Planning Evaluation Activities……………………………………………… 94 Figure 10: Special Challenges with Succession Planning ……………………………………….. 97 1 CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION Because of the aging workforce, healthcare organizations are facing a leadership and workforce crisis. Today’s employees are working in an information age and knowledge-based economy. Baby boomers are often seasoned professional employees with a wealth of information, knowledge and experience regarding technical and program skills, and are considered the historians for the organizations of which they are employed (Schiller, 2005). Younger employers (generat ion Xers) often lack the experience, work ethic and life experiences of their predecessors. It is critical for healthcare organizations to position themselves for success and focus on the fundamentals that will help healthcare organizations sustain themselves in the 21 st Century. This is a qualitative study that investigates the characteristics of a formal succession plan and identifies ways healthcare organizations can make succession planning mo st effective to ensure organizational success over time. The past decade of downsizing and reorganization has robbed organizations of developing leadership talent waiting in the wings to step into leadership roles. Additionally, an increasing numb er of employees are retiring with fewer years of service and at younger ages, fewer are entering th e workforce and more employees desire flexible work schedules (GAO-01-241, 2001). These trends have reduced America’s 2 workforce and limited the job opportunities for workers with the potential, energy and innovative ideas needed for today’s knowledge-based workplace (Rothwell, 2001). The supply of future workers and leaders within healthcare organizations is dangerously reduced if healthcare organi zations do not plan for the large numbers of employees eligible for retirement and the large number of senior employees leaving organizations (Camden, 2005; Goddard, 1989; Schiller, 2005). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare is one of the fastest growing occupational areas. Fourteen of the 30 fastest growing occupations are related to healthcare. “Employment of medical and hea lth service managers is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2012, as the health services industry continues to expand and di versify” (Braddock, 1999, p. 55). Mentoring and succession planning are leadership development models that contain aspects for identifying and retaining talent for future leadership roles within an organization. Soonhee (2003) defines succes sion planning as an ongoing process of systematically identifying, a ssessing and developing organiza tional leadership to enhance performance. Similarly, Rothwell (2001) defi nes succession planning as a deliberate and systematic effort by an organization to ensu re leadership continuity in key positions, retain and develop intellectual knowledge cap ital for the future, as well as encourage individual advancement. Succession planning presents a paradigm shift for human resource management to help organizational l eadership identify, recruit, train and retain a pool of employees who demonstrate high poten tial for leadership development. To ensure leadership progression for the next ge neration of leaders, succession planning is a 3 model that involves strategic planning within organizations with the purpose of mentoring and grooming younger employees for pos itions of leadership (Rollins, 2003). As reflected in much of the literature, mentoring is a recurring trend supporting succession planning. Mentoring is not a new conc ept and dates back thousands of years. According to Greek Mythology, in 800 B. C. Od ysseus, the king of Ithaca was headed off to fight in the Trojan War and left his s on Telemachus at home in the care of a friend, Mentor. In many ways, the defi nition of mentor relates to this Greek Myth, as mentoring is a form of supporting and teaching others who have a desire to learn (Leahy, 1996). Mentoring is an exchange of learning. According to Dolan (1996), healthcare management has a great tradition of mentor ing. Studies confirm what many intuitively know – the single most important influence in a person’s life is the relationship with a caring adult, which is the cornerstone of mentoring (Coughlin, Wingard, & Hollihan, 2005). There are many definitions of mentoring; however, the literature reveals several common themes. A mentor is typically an experienced, high ranking organizational member who assists in the career development of the person being mentored (mentee) by serving as a coach, sponsor and advocate (Kram, 1985; Noe, 1988). The person being mentored is a new or less experienced orga nizational member. Mentors are defined as those who help to shape the professiona l identity (Javidan, Bemmels, Devine, & Dastmalchian, 1995), model appropriate profes sional behaviors (Ragins, 1989), render guidance and support (Burke, 1984), teach the in tricacies of the work environment (Kram & Isabella, 1985), provide political sponsorship (Kanter, 1997), and facilitate entry into organizational and professional networks (Ibarra, 1993). Leahy, (1996) defines 4 mentoring as a “mutually agreed-upon relationship between an experienced company veteran or industry veteran and a less experi enced worker who’s eager to learn” (p.1). Kibby (1997) defines a mentor as one who brin gs in a rich history of experience and wisdom learned in the school of life–an inva luable asset to any organization that can reveal hidden opportunities and help the company avoid pitfalls and mistakes. Succession planning and mentoring are hum an resource tools that compliment each other. Organizations ar e realizing the benefits of mentoring as a strategy for succession planning and are investing in formal programs to serve as career development and management training tools (Burke , McKeen, & McKenna, 1993). Succession planning is a tool that ensures that the right people with the right skills are in the right place at the right time to meet the orga nization need over time (Rothwell, 2005). Labor market trends and the demand for critical skills dictate that organizations can no longer neglect the critical task of pla nning their future workforce. According to Rothwell, Prescott, and Taylor (1998) some of the trends in the workplace and workforce include: 1. Changing technology 2. Increasing globalization 3. Continuing cost containment 4. Increased speed in the market place 5. The growing importance of knowledge capital 6. An increasing rate and magnitude of change Competitive organizations know that investing in their workforce through career development opportunities pays off in multiple ways. Benefits of career development 5 include attracting, retaining and developing employees with talent and potential. Career planning gives individuals an opportunity to identify their career goals and develop themselves to achieve those goals. “Wit hout career planning, succession planning is a wish list; without succession pl anning, career planning can be a roadmap leading to an uncertain destination” (Rothwell, Ja ckson, Knight, & Lindholm, 2005, p. xv). Planning for human resources needs is one of the greatest challenges facing managers and leaders today. In order to m eet this challenge, a uniform process that provides a disciplined approach for matching human resources with the anticipated needs of the organization is essential. Formal succession planning is necessary to organizational success and long-term viability. The United States workforce is growing older in the 21 st Century. Between 1998 and 2008, several job vacancies will occur due to retirement. “Sixty-four million baby boomers (over 40% of the US Labor Force) are looking at retirement in large numbers by the end of this decade.…By 2010, the number of US workers ages 45-54 will grow by 21%, while the number of 55-64 year olds will expand by 52%. Many in the latter age group are looking ahead to re tirement” (http://www.conference-board.org, retrieved 11/14/05, pp. 10-11). According to (Rothwell et al., 2005), workforce statistics alone should motivate healthcare organizational leader s to act in thoughtful ways to ensure the long-term organizational leadership stab ility. These statistics have far-reaching implications for the United Stat es and international economies: • One in five senior executives in Fortune 500 companies is eligible for retirement within the next five years. 6 • About 80 percent of all senior ex ecutives and about 70 percent of all middle managers in the U. S. Federal governments are eligible for retirement during the current administration’s term in office.

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