In the years ahead, Ontario hospitals will continue to face significant changes as they adapt to demographic and fiscal challenges and implement the Ontario government’s health reform agenda. Naturally, this evolution will require hospitals to continually fine tune the structure of their workforce and be responsive to current trends in the labour force.
One important way that TSH is addressing our human resource needs – both now and in the future – is through our innovative new “Code: Career” program. A first-of-its-kind program among Ontario hospitals, Code: Career provides an integrated approach to supporting a passionate and engaged workforce – from student to staff member – and encouraging professional growth at all stages in between.
Code: Career has multiple benefits in terms of employee attraction and engagement. We are assisting students in making informed choices about their future and creating an ongoing pipeline of new talent. But most importantly, the program is about you – our current staff – and delivers on the hospital’s commitment to life-long learning and career development among employees at all levels.
Last month, we launched “#careercruze”, the first component of the Code: Career program. #careercruze guides high school students through the many facets of health care – from clinical to administrative to support services – and provides them with an opportunity to match their current interests with a potential career or perhaps discover a new passion.
Over 50 grade nine students visited TSH on March 7 as part of our first annual #careercruze. It was exciting to have the students actively engaging with our staff as they participated in one of four scenarios, which led them through various departments, such as the Emergency Department, the Operating Rooms, a Dialysis Unit, Finance, Information Systems, the Laboratory and other areas. At each stop, staff members showcased how they support patient care, as well as the educational path they took to attain their current role. #careercruze was an overwhelming success, with many of the young people looking forward to coming back again next year.
A complementary aspect of the #careercruze initiative is another equally creative venture – #volunteercruze, which allows students to directly observe the roles of professionals working in the hospital, while igniting a passion for volunteering.
As well, we have developed a ground-breaking “Career Directions” guidebook, which provides roadmaps that outline specific health care roles and identifies the uniqueness and importance of each role in our hospital and how they contribute to our Mission to provide outstanding patient care. The guidebook details what to expect, how to qualify, useful information for short- and long-term planning, possible sources for financial support and links to resources for internationally educated professionals. This unique resource has not only been lauded by current and future employees, but has also been pursued by other hospitals in the province and acknowledged as a leading practice.
Finally, Code: Career also includes a robust Succession Management structure, which establishes formal leadership development programs for our employees who have been identified as having high potential and readiness for an expanded role, including opportunities to augment leadership experience internally, as well as externally. These include mentorship programs, job rotations, stretch assignments and secondment prospects.
As staff, physicians and volunteers, we are all keenly aware of the multitude of careers available in health care. Each role is not only unique, but essential in building a solid organization. TSH’s Code: Career program helps students and our staff explore these many options. Our aim is to help you find your unique path that aligns with your personal and professional goals so that together, we can continue providing outstanding care to our global community.
Please join me in extending appreciation to the Human Resources team, under the leadership of Rhonda Lewis, for developing and introducing this novel and leading-edge program. Our hospital, patients and community will benefit greatly from our highly engaged, high performing workforce.