Situation: Like many other healthcare organizations, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) faced a skills gap among its administrative staff. This large group of almost 850 employees includes admin assistants, customer service representatives, program coordinators, schedulers and access service representatives. The requirements and skills necessary to be a successful in an administrative role had changed over the last several years, while the talent and career development for these staff lagged behind.
At the same time, the hospital faced a shortage of external candidates resulting in constant vacancies. Adding to the challenge, on a more global scale in the healthcare industry, was that the title administrative assistant no longer reflected the skills and abilities of the professional, nor did it necessarily match the requirements of individual units within a healthcare system.
CCHMC, recognized not only as one of the “Best Places to Work” in Cincinnati for many years, but as the third in the nation for Pediatric Hospitals by US News and World Report, was facing a talent shortage— one that if not addressed, could have a significant impact on operations, employee engagement and patient satisfaction. CCHMC made a strategic decision to implement a career ladder program to improve employee versatility, and ultimately patient care.
Solution: In order to assess the career development needs among its administrative staff, CCHMC conducted a Morehead Employee Survey in 2012. The survey found that a significant number of administrative assistants wanted more support with career development and advancement opportunities.
This feedback further supported CCHMC’s overall staffing needs, prompting management to offer a tool and career coaching resource to assist administrative staff with career development and advancement. CCHMC was already successfully partnering with Catalyst Learning on School at Work® and so they decided to integrate CareerCare® to meet the Admin staff’s career management needs.
“Career development within a healthcare setting requires a variety of tools available to fit the unique needs of the various employees including their work schedules, family situations and educational goals,” said Beth Smith, BSN, employment support specialist for CCHMC. “School at Work and CareerCare provide the flexibility and scope to be able to identify the specific needs of the employee and select the appropriate tool which best meet the needs.”
CareerCare quickly became one of CCHMC’s primary tools for career development of its administrative staff, using the program in conjunction with personal career coaching and academic advising.To publicize the new service, management met with the leadership of the Administrative Assistant professional organization (C-CAP) within CCHMC to explain the new career development focus. In turn, that organization invited senior leadership and the career coach to present at their monthly membership meeting to recruit candidates to participate in the self-directed CareerCare project with career coaching.
Management continues to value CareerCare’s web-based approach because it provides flexibility for employees with different schedules, goals and educational backgrounds. Moreover, CareerCare allows employees to have a structured tool to use at their own pace to assess current skills, explore educational options, realize obstacles to achieving goals, and develop a realistic plan.
Results: Based on the reviews from the program’s participants, providing career development tools like CareerCare is essential to driving employment engagement. Elizabeth, an Administrative Assistant at CCHMC said, “I was able to complete the tool, and I found it very useful to help me identify my goals and then set my SMART goals. I have been successful in achieving a new position (one of my top goals) in Sponsored Programs-Accounting and will begin my new job as a grant accountant.”
Melinda, also an administrative assistant, voiced her support for the program as well. “I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of CareerCare,” she said. “From my experience, it helps a lot when you are looking for direction in your career and you’re not exactly sure which way you should go.”
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is the third best children’s hospital in the U.S., according to Parents magazine. CCHMC was also inducted into the Cincinnati Business Courier’s “Best Places to Work Hall of Fame” after making the annual list for several consecutive years.
For more information on CareerCare, please email Brittany Gearhart at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the CareerCare product page.
Smart employers look closely at workforce demands when writing their strategic workforce plans. Healthcare human resources professionals need to stay in-the-know on market trends such as an increase or decrease in patient volumes, which healthcare jobs are currently in demand, and which roles are on the rise. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations rely on industry research to help them see recent trends and anticipate needs in the years to come. Healthcare is a competitive market undergoing dramatic changes so if organizations are to survive and perform well, they must be prepared to attract and retain high quality workers.
Below is an excerpt from a white paper recently released by 'Workforce Solutions' on the demands of healthcare workforce in the Gulf Coast Region, today. Download the Full Paper Here.
EXCERPT: A Change in the Delivery of Services
Times are changing and no longer are the days where the majority of surgeries and many medical and diagnostic procedures require a visit to the hospital. Chart 2 shows the percentage of health care jobs by subsector in 1990 and 2014. The share of health care employment in Hospitals has fallen from 51.0% in 1990 to 38.4% in 2014 while the share of Ambulatory Health Care Services increased from 36.7% to 49.8%.
While all three subsectors of the health care industry continue to grow, Ambulatory Health Care Services has replaced Hospitals as the number one job producer in the region, see Chart 3.
This data comes from Workforce Solutions, an affiliate of the Gulf Coast Workforce Board, which manages a regional workforce system that helps employers solve their workforce problems and residents build careers so both can compete in the global economy. The workforce system serves the City of Houston and the surrounding 13 Texas Gulf Coast counties including: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton. Visit their website here.
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