Coaching World Issue 13: March 2015 - Page 12

States’ health care environment is dynamic. Organizations like CareSource need the ability to adapt rapidly. “We see changes within the industry and within our business every day,” Smith says. Smooth Transitions 12 Coaching World Based in Dayton, Ohio, USA, CareSource is a nonprofit organization that fills a unique niche in the health care sector. As one of the largest public-sector managed care companies in the United States, CareSource serves more than 1.3 million consumers in Ohio and Kentucky. “Our vision is to transform lives through innovative health and life services,” explains Jackie Smith, vice president of the organization’s training arm, CareSource University. “Our mission is to make a lasting difference in our members’ lives by improving their health and wellbeing, and we do that by providing health care benefits and services.” Due to legislation, such as the Affordable Care Act, the United At CareSource, these changes have prompted rapid growth. In the last half-decade, the organization has grown by more than 57 percent of its total employee population, while also encountering the new challenges posed by a growing cadre of mobile employees (another outcome of new legislation). As the organization supports this growth by adding new leaders—both by hiring externally and promoting from within—coaching has become a cornerstone of CareSource’s talentdevelopment strategy, ensuring that new leaders have the tools they need to rapidly adapt to their new roles and assimilate into a unique organizational culture. CareSource has long boasted a robust training program via a university structure emphasizing performance management, leadership development and succession planning. However, as the organization grew, so did the demand for training. “We had formal training in place for our first-time leaders, but they could go three months before they actually attended their formal training,” says Matt Becker, M.Ed., PCC, coaching and mentoring manager for CareSource. With informal coaching conversations already taking place between Becker and new leaders in the organization, there was ample opportunity to institutionalize a coaching initiative that would supplement existing training for new leaders. In January 2009, Smith and Becker took a proposal for Leadership Transition Coaching (LTC) to CareSource’s executive team members, who embraced it enthusiastically. CareSource’s CEO, Pamela Morris, was an especially vocal supporter of LTC from day one, Smith says. Although support for LTC emanated from the top, down, the initiative itself has a bottom-up structure designed to reach new managers and leaders. The structure of LTC engagements (which typically span six months) enables new leaders to address their challenges in a tailored way. The first three sessions are designed to help clients clarify their goals and desires for the engagement, with Becker asking questions about the vision they have for their legacy, their objectives for their team and/or department, and th eir own expectations for the coaching relationship. Coaching addresses the challenge of assimilating new leaders into CareSource’s culture head-on by empowering leaders with the tools they need for success and providing a safe space to explore issues and concerns. Becker cites one success story of a high-level director hired from outside the organization who, after completing LTC, confided that she “would not have stayed with the organization were it not for coaching.” LTC has been credited with retaining several high-potential employees for a savings of $396,602 USD. CareSource reports additional savings in leader and employee efficiency, overtime reduction and avoidance of contracting/ consulting fees. Overall, the organization conservatively