The quality of healthcare around the world has been improving for many years but further transformations are necessary at present. Nursing leaders, doctors, and other health workers, regardless of their position, should attempt to undertake the leading role. Healthcare workers do not only make the main decisions concerning the treatment of patients and define the quality and efficiency of the medical care but also have the professional knowledge necessary for the adoption of strategic measures for the development of the medical care models in a long term. The increasing numbers of researches confirm the thesis that the correctly organized participation of doctors in the management of the healthcare institutions promotes the improvement of the results of the work of these organizations. Partners HealthCare Boston is one of the healthcare facilities which effectively organizes its work and manages the mentoring and succession process. The center was founded on the basis of the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1994 (Partners HealthCare, 2017). The given coursework will identify the role of an organizational leader in a healthcare setting of this type, represent the mentoring and succession plan in Partners Healthcare, and describe its impact on the sustainability of the organization, its operational quality, and safety.
Leadership plays an important role in the modern economic relations and is a guarantor of the companys success and prosperity. Leadership is the process of the improvement of the organizational culture which allows developing its key elements and increasing the efficiency of the organizational activity for the realization of the strategic objectives. The leaders set a certain tone and form the accents of the organizational culture which will influence the companys performance. The success of it depends on the leader who foresees the prospects of the organizational development, employs his or her strategical thinking, and shapes the companys culture to achieve the set goals.
1. The Role and Setting for the Creation of the Plan
Mentoring and succession planning are tasked with identifying and developing the companys employees. Robinson (2015) states that mentoring represents the special relationship between two individuals:
Mentoring is a special partnership between two people based on commitment to the mentoring process, common goals and expectations, focus, mutual trust and respect. Mentoring can also encompass activities that allow for transfer of knowledge and skills from one employee to others. Both the mentor and the mentee give and grow in the mentoring process (p.7).
The creation of the mentoring plan manifests a necessary condition for the realization of the organizational strategy which at the same time provides the vital support of the companys productivity. If the measures for filling all key positions with the qualified employees are properly taken, they compose the reliable basis for the efficiency of the whole organization. According to Reeves (2010), the successful mentoring and succession plan is the possibility of the stable growth for the company. In its turn, the steady and solid structure of the leading and other key positions allow the institution to use the financial and human resources more effectively. Stability is salutary for the involvement of employees, as well as for the set of the other functions. The current plan reflects the succession and mentoring process of the retired employee to the perspective one.
The hospital Partners HealthCare applies such types of mentoring as supervision, formal, situational and informal mentoring. The supervision presupposes the sharing of the data on the organization and forming the prospects of the development of the main skills. The relationships are founded on the control principle. The formal mentoring consists in the explanation of the purposes of work and learning in the specially organized training setting. The situational mentoring includes the provision of the necessary assistance to the mentee in difficult situations. The informal mentoring presumes the assumption of the whole responsibility for the mentee by the mentor without any financial remuneration (United States Office of Personnel Management, 2008, p. 4). The voluntarily retired or resigned mentors mostly apply supervision and informal types of mentoring, while those forced to resign adhere to the formal mentorship due to the lack of motivation or stimuli (Robinson, 2015, p.8). In most cases, the forced to resign employees are not interested in the mentorship and succession at all, and, as a result, the mentees are left without any support or assistance.
2. The Succession Plan for Leader Retirements or Resignations
Partners HealthCare widely implements the mentoring and succession planning. Moreover, they announce the forthcoming competition and the opportunity to be promoted, expecting that the employees with healthy ambitions will make all efforts to prove out. The company balances the mentees with the other employees in order not to demoralize those workers who were not included in the list. On the other hand, though the mentees can reduce the rate of work, it will motivate the other worthy candidates to work with even bigger diligence to accelerate the companys growth (Partners HealthCare, 2017). At the same time, waiting for someones retirement or transition to the other company can lead to the formation of the climate of uncertainty in a team and even to the ruthless competition among employees.
Partners HealthCare is focused on the training and enhancement of the personnel both for the promotion of business and income growth and for the successful development of the succession programs. The company applies the approach of game planning to the succession process. The annual meetings of the company contain the discussion of the identification of the candidates ready to occupy the leading positions by the top managers.
At present, there is no general formula for the assessment of the future possible leaders but there are the techniques which can help to define the existence or a lack of knowledge and skills as well as qualities necessary for the work on the leader positions. The psychometric test called The Cognitive Process Profile or the profile of the informative processes is one of the most important tools for the identification of the personal qualities and abilities of mentees. The company applies this psychometric test during the mentoring and succession process.
The facility implements the programs having the productive practical value for the succession process. The company uses the combination of different methods while planning the mentorship in its operations, with the most objective method being estimation. Under the conditions of the quickly changing market, the company also applies the non-standard approaches and methods. The future leaders should be flexible in the face of the instability of business but still remember the long-term strategic objectives of the organization.
The effective mentoring and succession plan consists of the following points. The selection of skills in the future leaders is the first step of the successful mentoring planning. The prediction of the demand and the consideration of the possible changes are the important components of the effective organizational leadership. The identification of the young and perspective leaders is the next step of the mentoring plan. The employees showing the initiative, strong professional ethics, understanding the vision of the company, and sharing its mission will be the right choice. Moreover, the search for the next generation of the companys leaders requires a close attention to the indicators of the productivity of all employees.
The conversation with the promising employees for the clarification of the goals which they pursue in their careers, their strengths, and weaknesses is the third stage of the succession planning. The HR department involved into this process at the same time uses the structured assessment techniques and informal talks. The sincere interest to the employees ambitions also plays the key role in this issue. The fourth stage assumes the training aimed at the development of the skills of potential leaders. It includes the on-the-job education, the rotation of employees, the introduction of the additional duties, and the implementation of the special projects.
While planning the mentorship, the company pays special attention to the adaptation of mentees. The role of the mentor in the adaptation process presupposes the assistance in the understanding and acceptance of the new status in the company, improvement of the old and adoption of the new norms of behavior, sharing of the corporate values, maintenance of the friendly relationships with colleagues, and formation of the professional skills necessary for the fulfilment of their functional duties among others. The management of Partners HealthCare considers that the timely adaptation of the mentees affects the quality of the working process and the overall success of the company positively.
3. The Mentoring Required for the Effectiveness of the Succession Plan
In order to compile the effective mentoring and succession plan, it is necessary to consider the strategies promoting the successful planning of mentorship and succession. First of all, it is preferable to achieve the participation of the representatives of the top management in the realization of these objectives. Secondly, it is necessary to expand the mentoring plan in such a way as to fill all key positions. Thirdly, the corresponding indicators for the assessment of the efficiency of programs should be defined and used carefully and consistently.
The efficiency of the mentoring plan in the facility under research is determined by the individuality of a mentor. The mentor should not only have the appropriate skills, knowledge, or experience but also be able to inform the mentee in due time. Except for the professional skills, the mentors should have a number of the personal qualities including the sense of responsibility, commitment, responsiveness, patience, effective communication, and high self-organization.
Moreover, the ability to involve the mentee into the mentorship process is an essential mentors ability which considerably increases the motivation of the employee and efficiency of the succession process. Even after the mentorship process is over and the mentee starts their independent work, the mentor has to watch them and be ready to come to the rescue in difficult situations. However, the success in the mentorship and succession process is largely based on the independence of mentees. First of all, the earlier the mentee will start the solution of the tasks independently, the quicker he or she will be involved into the effective working process. Secondly, the client can mistrust the mentee if he is excessively supervised by the mentor. Therefore, the main task of the mentor is to set a specific goal, check its fulfillment, and either praise for the success or discuss the mistakes. The important aspect of mentoring as the method of the personnel development presupposes the on-the-job training allowing the employee to combine the work with the professional growth. Moreover, the mentorship process is built on the solution of the typical working tasks owning to which the problem of the discrepancy of the theoretical preparation and practical activities is automatically solved.
Motivation plays an important role for the effective succession and mentorship planning. The organization challenges both the underperformers and over-performers. The former receive the additional motivation and stimulation, including the financial remuneration for the mentorship, while the latter are awarded both with the psychological and financial motivations as well as taught to overcome the possible burnout and emotional tiredness.
4. The Succession Plan and Companys Sustainability
The healthcare environment is one of the few spheres where mentorship harmoniously fits into the professional culture. The medical knowledge and abilities have always been orally transferred and this tradition is still alive. However, it is necessary to understand that mentorship requires time, forces, and desire to share the knowledge acquired by own work.
The succession and mentoring planning is one of the most demanded methods of training and development of personnel all over the world. With the due support of the management such type of mentoring also gives a high educational effect at the minimum expenses. The efficiency of the systematic mentorship in medicine is characterized by the following points. The imparted knowledge should be systematic with the main approaches to the diagnostics and treatment of patients being evidence-based and accepted in the whole medical institution. These regulations will provide the continuity of the work of all experts, positively affect the quality of the provided medical care, and decrease the number of failures in the treatment process. In its turn, it will form the positive image of the hospital, improve its sustainability, and ensure the safety of the medical services. The unity of views on the medical and diagnostic process positively influences the moral atmosphere in a team, reduces the number of the conflicts between doctors, and decreases the staff turnover. It will allow avoiding the contradictions in the interpretation of this or that data and, as a result, will bring down the number of the mistakes and misunderstandings.
Therefore, Partners HealthCare cultivates and encourages its mentors for the effective succession and mentoring process and implements the well-thought and detailed planning for the achievement of this particular objective. This way the companys goals and values are spread among the ordinary employees. Owning to the productive mentoring, the atmosphere of the mutual support and encouragement is maintained and supported by the top management. Mentoring is a keeper and the transferring link of the hospitals practices which have a paramount significance in the maintenance of the competitiveness and strengthening of the companys sustainability.