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Succession planning through leadership and management training

Paul Sullivan, Leadership and Organisational Development Manager, Exemplar Health Care

Succession planning ensures that we have talented people ready to move into key positions when needed.

At Exemplar Health Care, our culture encourages internal progression, and with a number of new homes opening, there’s an increasing demand for more leaders and managers across the company.

Promoting from within enables us to retain colleagues who match our values and behaviours, and have the relevant knowledge and experience.

Leadership training is crucial for any leadership and management role. It helps you to be the best possible leader and manager for your team.

We have extensive in-house leadership development opportunities, including one-to-one coaching, apprenticeships and training programmes, which help identify and develop future leaders at all levels of the company. We can also connect our new and aspiring leaders to the NHS Leadership Academy’s Edward Jenner programme.

Last year, we developed a career development journey to showcase how colleagues can progress within the company.

The journey is used in performance development reviews (PDRs), which colleagues have every six months, to facilitate discussions around career development and progression.

For colleagues who have the potential to move into leadership positions, we run a range of CPD certificated, in-house training programmes to support their journey.

As well as formal training, the programmes include aspects such as self-reflection, shadowing, coaching and mentoring to provide a supportive and meaningful learning experience.

Over the past year, we’ve seen some great examples of effective succession planning in action.

Dhanya Vincent started with us as a Health Care Assistant and has recently taken on the role of Home Manager at our Longley Park View care home in Sheffield.

After qualifying as a Nurse in India, Dhanya moved to England to do a Masters in nursing. Whilst studying, she started working at Longley Park View as a Health Care Assistant. When she got her PIN number, she moved into a Registered Nurse role, and has since progressed as Unit Manager, Clinical Nurse Manager, Deputy Home Manager and now Home Manager.

Last year, Dhanya graduated from our in-house Leadership and Management programme to support her progression into the Home Manager role. The programme teaches learners the skills and knowledge needed to run a successful care home, and is aimed at those at Unit Manager level and above who want to move into a care home management role.

Another of our programmes is our Senior Leaders Talent Management Programme, which is for middle to senior managers who aspire to move into a more senior role.

Last year, Claire Cannings completed the programme to support her promotion to the role of Operations Director.

She shares: “In March 2021, I was promoted to the role of Operations Director. I feel that starting this programme before that promotion has equipped me to make the required transition and ensured I’m successful in this new leadership role.

“The opportunity to underpin my experience with theory and knowledge via this training programme was a key reason for me applying to do the Talent Management Programme. I’ve used so many of the principles and theories in my day to day role.”

For us, succession planning keeps us moving forward. It’s an excellent tool for retaining our best colleagues, who are often the type of people who are committed to lifelong learning and are motivated by knowing where their career is going.

Read more about career development on our website: www.exemplarhc.com




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