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Central Baptist Hospital Career Coaching

Health care & social assistance
Small (1-4,999 employees)
  Leadership development, Mentoring, Retiring and retirement, Workplace flexibility
Career Coaching:  A leadership succession and competency program to identify and retain organizational talent.

Central Baptist Hospital Career Coaching


Industry: Health care & social assistance
Profit Status:
United States
Workforce Size:
2,600 employees (approximate)

  Leadership development, Mentoring, Retiring and retirement, Workplace flexibility

The business drivers for Central Baptist Hospital (CBH) included:

  1. The need to develop strategies to retain experienced workers and circumvent massive retirements and transitions.
  2. An aging workforce, which necessitated preparation for the eventual retirement of older, experienced nurses by developing formalized opportunities for generational and organizational knowledge transfer.

Goals  & Objectives:

  • To develop leadership succession and retain organizational talent.
  • To improve the pathways for knowledge transfer and succession planning by: (1) implementing formal coaching and mentoring to encourage knowledge transfer and professional development; and (2) expanding the focus of succession planning to include re-careering of mid-career and late-career staff.
  • To increase the retention of older experienced nurses by: (1) enhancing employee satisfaction and engagement among older, experienced staff; and (2) implementing  flexible scheduling options to encourage nurses to delay retirement.

Project Highlights

Key features of the Career Coaching program include:

  1. The Career Coaching program provides nurses with support for re-careering; that is, transitioning to different nursing roles or schedules or continuing their education and moving into other health care practice areas.  CBH hired a retired nurse as a career-coach.  Participation in the coaching program was optional, informal, and confidential.  The coach’s services included:
    • A competency assessment to identify talents, skills, interests, and educational needs.
    • Discussion of possible career directions and opportunities.
    • Development of an action plan to enable the nurses to achieve their goals.
  2. Flexible scheduling options to meet the needs of older nurses who might otherwise retire prematurely, such as:
    • Part-time, seasonal positions with healthcare benefits to match those of full-time employees.
    • Ability to move from full-time to part-time while remaining in the same position/level.
    • Ability to transfer to a job with reduced patient care responsibilities.
    • Availability of specific positions with shorter shifts, such as a float nurse working four-hour shifts to cover lunch breaks.
    • Job sharing by sharing a shift or a position/role.
    • Online self-scheduling system that accepts requests for specific schedules and days off and posts monthly department schedules to facilitate shift changes.

The outcomes of Central Baptist Hospital’s Career Coaching program include:

  • Retention has improved for CBH.  Turnover is well below the national average for health care.
  • The vacancy rate (the average number of vacant full-time equivalent positions divided by the average number of budgeted full-time equivalent positions) is 1.8% hospital-wide as of 2011 and has been below 3% since 2008.
  • Improved employee engagement of RNs age 45 and older.  Employee satisfaction ratings have increased from 65% to 88%.  A 2010 survey showed an increase from 53% to 90% in the extent to which employees felt that they were part of a team.
  • Succession planning and re-careering have increased the proportion of CBH nurses returning to school.  Several nurses have received awards and one has published an article in a medical journal.  Several nurses applied for advanced positions and/or sought out leadership opportunities in their communities.

Editor’s Note: The Sloan Center on Aging & Work recognizes that age is a multi-faceted concept. For a discussion of the aging experience, see our issue brief, Through a Different Looking Glass: The Prism of Age.  The innovative practices adopted by employers might address one or more than one of the different aspects of age.

The lessons learned include:

  • It is important to move beyond human resource policies that are designed with equality and consistency in mind, but that may have hindered flexible solutions to older workers’ scheduling needs.
  • Central Baptist Hospital managers and HR staff require more skills to meet the needs of older workers.
  • Employees do not always feel confident enough to ask questions and advocate for different career options.
  • Workers need to be encouraged to think strategically about their own careers, rather than focusing on their short-term situations.

Central Baptist Hospital anticipates that the next steps of the Career Coaching program will include:

  • Expanding the career program to involve additional participants from the nursing staff.
  • Offering a variety of positions to retired nurses.
  • Considering creating additional, temporary positions for those workers who are delaying retirement.
  • Offering additional resources to support older, experienced nurses, based on feedback from the coach and the Senior Nurse Advisory Council.
  • Working with managers to help develop their coaching skills.

For additional information, contact The Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College:

We would like to thank Central Baptist Hospital for its sponsorship of this entry. In addition, we would also like to thank the following organizations for their sponsorship this case study project: Abbott, AstraZeneca, CVS Caremark, Marriott International, MITRE Corporation, and Wells Fargo.

Copyright ©2012 Boston College The Sloan Center on Aging & Work

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