Shore Health System Prepares Future Leaders

In 2007, Shore Health System implemented the Success Plan, a succession planning process that identifies and develops tomorrow’s leaders. Once a year, department managers nominate employees who have demonstrated both proficiency in their current jobs and the potential for moving into leadership roles.

“The Success Plan has given us an effective process through which to match members of our current workforce with the skills, traits and abilities that Shore Health System will need to address the complex and growing healthcare needs of the Mid-Shore region,” explains Michael Zimmerman, vice president of human resources. “The Success Plan was designed to ensure that our organization will have continuity in key positions by identifying management talent and creating a ‘pipeline’ of employees capable of assuming key positions.”

Christine Clarke, director of organization and workforce development, adds, “With two classes having completed the Success Plan curriculum, we now have 14 people who are positioned to take advantage of ongoing personalized coaching and professional networking to support their individual career planning. These individuals also have the potential to meet the succession planning needs of Shore Health System. Our goal is to have this program evolve into a continuous organizational practice.”

Following their nomination for the program, employees attend a series of training sessions. Each participant also undertakes a nine-month project, which focuses on something that will benefit the department in which the employee is currently working or the system at large. The project uses the Success Plan members’ existing skills and develops untapped potential. When their projects are complete, the Success Plan participants present their findings to Shore Health System’s senior leadership team. Clarke explains, “These presentations give the Success Plan members an opportunity to be seen as leaders and to gain support for their professional development.”

The Success Plan participants meet as a group quarterly with Zimmerman and Clarke. Clarke says, “These meetings are opportunities for ongoing learning and coaching that supplements their clinical or technical skills.” Clarke also meets regularly with each Success Plan participant to evaluate his or her career goals and to identify opportunities for other projects and assignment that will further enhance leadership skills and organizational knowledge.