November 30, 2007

elevate Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question: Based on elevate philosophy, which is most important: helping an employee advance his or her career or meeting the staffing needs of the Medical Center?

Answer: Given this regrettable choice, it would be more important to help the employee advance his career.

Holding back talent is a losing scheme. I'd rather face the day's work with a skeleton crew than slight someone's aspirations for career advancement.

This question goes to the heart of our philosophy and reputation as an employer. We want to attract people with ambition, people who like challenging work. When an employee wants and deserves advancement, we need to lend our support, helping in the search for new or expanded opportunities here at VUMC, while also aiding any effort the employee may make to find opportunities elsewhere.

The more competent employees are, the more we may worry about filling their positions when they move on. It's understandable. The search for qualified, capable people to join our ranks is never ending.

We have excellent recruitment capabilities, and we've also developed some reliable stopgaps to aid any work groups that may be temporarily short of staff. If we stay on top of our recruitment needs and remain willing to explore creative staffing solutions, we shouldn't often have to choose between supporting the individual and burdening the work group.

In any case, we should always resist letting these concerns cause us to withhold support for career advancement.

— Harry Jacobson, M.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs