Human Resources – Development

This risk relates to inadequate staff development and training. The risk includes a lack of providing ongoing professional and leadership development, and/or a continuous learning environment for staff to support clinical and non-clinical education. This risk can lead to negative patient and organizational outcomes, such as potential patient and staff harm, inconsistencies in practice, lack of role clarity and expectations, failure to follow procedures and maintain standards, lack of understanding of operational structures and how they influence point-of-care decision making. Development and performance variations may also impact teams’ professional growth, innovation, and succession planning.
This document contains information entered by HIROC subscriber healthcare organizations (acute and non-acute) in the Risk Register application to help you in your assessment of this risk.

Ranking / Ratings 

  • Likelihood – 2.98
  • Impact – 3.11

The Risk Register allows for risks to be assessed on a five-point likelihood and impact scale, with five being the highest.

Key Controls / Mitigation Strategies

Education / training

  • Programs: 
    • Mandatory education program (e.g. hand hygiene, confidentiality and privacy, ethics, dementia, incident and near-miss reporting and review, computer training)
    • New employee orientation within the initial week of employment or immediately upon employment
    • New employee onboarding plan
    • Retention and recruitment program that supports ongoing educational needs
    • Regular annual performance management program, including staff development/learning plans
    • Clinical:
      • Process for professional practice orientation and ongoing educational updates
      • Nursing education calendar to build competency in nursing staff
      • Annual education day and skills lab
      • Clinical training sessions (available in person and online) specific to nursing positions related competencies  
      • Accommodate preceptorships
      • Bridge Program for Internationally Educated Nurses (BIEN)
    • Leadership:
      • Mentorship program 
      • Performance reviews/360’s with leadership team
      • Leadership development program 
      • Emerging leaders program
      • Executive coaching services
      • Human Resources leadership program and framework
  • Staff cross training to ensure specialized skills are covered:
    • Cross training of critical roles to ensure stability and provide flexibility across teams 
    • Document these processes in operations manuals
    • Create list of external resources where internal backfills are not available
  • Resources:
    • Employee handbook/policy manual
    • Access to journals, best practices, university resources
    • Online library resources 
    • Online resources available on mobile devices
  • Health Care Assistant (HCA) education
  • Professional Development Collaborative (PDC)
  • Increase collaboration with Continuing Professional Development offices at academic institutions
  • Increase inter-professional education opportunities; promote culture of safety and communication; networking and team building between programs and sites
  • Institute simulation opportunities for active learning opportunities

Organizational Strategy

  • Succession plan:
    • Knowledge management framework to support succession planning for key positions
    • Conduct talent reviews to identify high performance candidates within organization and develop talent roadmap
    • Talent management system (e.g. Halogen)
  • Learning Management System (LMS) training for managers to support ongoing and new education requirements tracking
  • Human Resources information system to monitor renewal deadlines
  • Loaner laptops for education blitzes
  • Recruitment of VP Education to represent needs
  • Educational assistance fund
  • Critical care nurse training fund 

Policies / protocols / processes

  • Policies and procedures available online (e.g. SharePoint)
  • Certification course policy
  • Required education policy, including recertification for mandatory courses
  • Job descriptions required before posting new or vacant positions

Monitoring / Indicators

  • % budget allocated to training
  • Staff turnover, vacancy rates
  • Staff retention stats
  • Staff feedback
  • Patient complaints 
  • Education stats (e.g. education sign-in sheets, course evaluations, pre and post testing to identify transfer of knowledge, staff satisfaction with educational support, new employee and new manager orientation attendance reports) 
  • Track participation in internal/external educational activities
  • Training and re-certification compliance audits
  • Human Resources Information System reports of certification status
  • Chart/clinical and point of care audits
  • Policy review and sign off process