East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Launches Effective Leadership Coaching Program with HealthcareSource Leadership Assessment


While many healthcare organizations are committed to hiring and developing the best leaders, it can be unclear how to best support those with leadership potential at every stage of their journey. That was the case for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, a 152-bed hospital certified by the state of Tennessee as one of four Comprehensive Regional Pediatric Center in Tennessee and accredited by the Joint Commission. Since its founding in 1937, the organization has continually evolved. Though it had launched an On-board Leadership Coaching Program centered on key competencies, it noticed a gap between the time it welcomed leadership candidates into the program and it ushered them into the hospital to perform their duties.

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital needed a way to:

  • Provide personalized support as leaders integrated themselves into new positions
  • Identify opportunities for each leader and guide ongoing development
  • Objectively engage in objective conversations and coaching with leaders


Based on their positive experience using Position Manager® and other HealthcareSource solutions, the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital team selected HealthcareSource Leadership Assessment to make its leadership development process more effective.

In line with their needs to augment their existing leadership development program, the team focused on the development capabilities within Leadership Assessment. HealthcareSource Leadership Development offers leadership-specific behavioral assessments that previously earned the exclusive endorsement of the American Hospital Association (AHA). Leveraging this behavioral science helps:

  • More easily identify leadership candidates
  • Improve the overall quality of an organization’s workforce
  • Identify gaps in behavioral competencies
  • Provide training to create more effective leaders

The East Tennessee Children’s Hospital leadership program team especially appreciates the ability to objectively assess a new leader’s skills and competencies, which includes formulating a scientifically validated baseline for each new leader. The solution then makes it possible to support each assessment with an individualized development plan that includes prescriptive suggestions for developing critical competencies. Furthermore, it guides the program’s team in developing the most relevant and useful curriculum and content to support its leaders.


By implementing a Leadership On-boarding Coaching Program backed by the Healthcare Leadership Assessment solution, new leaders in the organization are receiving differentiated support and development opportunities. Leaders appreciate the support designed around their area, their circumstances, and the results of their Healthcare Leadership Assessment.

In the 18 months since the program was initiated, 19 new leaders participated – 12 were externally hired and seven were internally promoted. Of those 19 new leaders, 18 remain in the organization fulfilling the leadership position they were hired or promoted into.

The positive impact of this program is evident by the lower turnover rate for departments with leaders that have participated in the program. The average turnover rate for participating leaders is 11% compared to an average 18% organizational turnover rate. Moreover, participating leaders are engaged in the process, attending 96% of scheduled coaching sessions.

The value of the Leadership Assessment solution has shown itself in additional ways. In one case, an employee was turned down for a leadership position. Rather than risk her departure from the organization, Organizational Development and Learning and Workforce Development engaged the leadership development program team to work with the employee. Administering the leadership assessment to this employee allowed the team to help her identify leadership opportunities that were more in line with her strengths.

JeannieTennant, Staff Development Specialist, at East Tennessee Children's Hospital concludes, “Healthcare Leadership Assessment provides our program and organization’s leaders with a holistic and realistic view of their strengths and opportunities, paving the way for us to achieve our leadership goals together.”

Eastern Tennessee Children's Hospital

Our Leadership On-boarding Coaching Program and the support of the Healthcare Leadership Assessment have proven to be the opportunity for East Tennessee Children's Hospital to hire, grow and keep effective leaders.

Will Ploskonka
Manager, Organizational Development and Learning
East Tennessee Children's Hospital


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