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blog post 02232016

Use Data to Help You Achieve Your Succession Management Goals in Healthcare

By Nicholas Ferreira, MBA Senior Product Manager, Talent Management, HealthStream

Remember, in thinking differently about succession planning, high performance now does not equal guaranteed future potential. Some managers may be better staying on the frontlines, some may need to develop more leadership, and some low performers may have high future potential. Data can help you recognize who is who.

Data reveals future potential, training goals

Not just any data will do. Use healthcare-specific, predictive data to recognize and target the right people. Best practice leadership data is forward-looking and predictive for your needs. Best practice includes casting a wider net than usual and assessing 25 percent of your labor force for succession suitability, including all frontline managers. By identifying potential in this way, you can also develop a larger group for a more robust pool.

Data can also drive potential leader development. Avoid blanket development training and instead base training on data. Blended learning is a great way to customize development and includes eLearning, plus mentoring, plus classroom training. But remember, everyone is busy so take care not to overwhelm your employees--25 classes plus mentorship plus conference in addition to classroom learning is too much. HealthStream finds that one highly targeted, high-quality class every six weeks just for eLearning is a good pace.

Discuss data for sound decisions

Often leadership recommendations come down to opinion at the cost of more subjective measures. Data can help balance management art with business science when you combine it with discussion. Data and discussion will also help in the creation and communication of defensible standards for leadership development. 


Although only nine percent of healthcare companies are using standard predictive data for succession planning conversations, those who do find that common standards help in discussions of what defines a high potential employee.


Otherwise, everyone brings their own idea about what comprises future potential.

By utilizing a new perspective and best practices on succession planning to align future goals with future needs, and by leveraging data, your leadership development will improve.

Learn more about HealthStream’s talent management solutions for healthcare.

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