Magazine article Talent Development

Investing in New Leaders' Success: CareSource Supplemented Its Existing Leadership Training with a Coaching Program

Magazine article Talent Development

Investing in New Leaders' Success: CareSource Supplemented Its Existing Leadership Training with a Coaching Program

Article excerpt

As one of the largest public-sector managed care companies in the United States, CareSource's vision is to transform lives through innovative health and life services. Our mission is to make a lasting difference in our 1.5 million-plus members' lives by improving their health and well-being.

CareSource is a provider of healthcare benefits and services, and operates in a dynamic environment with changes taking place within the industry and within our business every day. As a result, we are growing rapidly: In the past 7.5 years, our employee population has grown by more than 240 percent. Along the way, we have expanded our cadre of mobile employees at all levels of the organization and, like most businesses, our proportion of Millennial employees has grown. We've supported this growth by adding new leaders, both by hiring externally and promoting from within.

We've long delivered a robust training curriculum through CareSource University, which emphasizes leadership development, succession planning, and performance management. However, as our organization grew, so did the demand for training. Increasingly, we found that new managers and leaders would sometimes have to wait two or three months before they had the opportunity to participate in formal training opportunities.

For our organization, professional coaching provided the missing piece of the training and leadership development puzzle. By developing a coaching program for new leaders aligned with the International Coach Federation's (ICF) high professional standards, we supplemented existing training for new leaders and laid the foundation for a strong coaching culture at CareSource.

For leaders in transition

The idea for CareSource's Leadership Transition Coaching (LTC) program originated with J. Matthew Becker, then a manager within CareSource University. To enhance his own professional and personal development, Becker completed coach training from an ICF-accredited provider and become an ICF member. As new leaders throughout our organization learned about his training in the ICF core competencies for coach practitioners, they began seeking him out and engaging in informal coaching conversations.

In January 2009, we took our proposal for LTC to CareSource's executive team members, who accepted it enthusiastically. Our president and CEO, Pamela Morris, set the tone for the program by commenting publicly on the value of coaching and investing in having her own direct reports work with a coach.

Although LTC enjoys support from the uppermost echelons of our organization, the initiative itself is built on a bottom-up structure designed to reach new managers and leaders and address their most common challenges, such as time management, having difficult performance conversations, and pursuing work-life balance.

Due to our organization's unique culture, the assimilation of new leaders is a critical challenge and goal. Coaching addresses this challenge head-on, empowering leaders with the tools they need for success and providing a safe space to explore issues and concerns.

Among LTC's success stories is a high-level director from outside the organization who, after completing the coaching engagement, confided that she wouldn't have stayed with our organization if not for coaching.

Return on investment

LTC has been credited with the retention of more than 30 high-potential employees and leaders for a savings of more than $1. …

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