For many companies, employee “training” once focused on the basic task of informing staff first, how to do their jobs and then, ensuring that employees could continue performing their jobs based on any industry and technology advancements. Today, this basic mindset has given way to in-depth talent development, employee engagement efforts, and leadership training. Most of the companies investing in their team members upfront are seeing a big ROI in employee satisfaction and retention, as well as stronger leadership.
Regina Leingang is a leadership development consultant at Baton Rouge General Medical Center (BRG) and is responsible for creating the company’s Leadership Development Institute (LDI). The Institute ensures that the medical center’s leadership is equipped with the tools and resources needed to be successful in building, inspiring, and empowering a team that is committed to the hospital’s mission. The LDI achieves its purpose by providing a clear sense of direction to leaders through leadership programs, workshops and development conferences.
“Our goal is to recognize top talent and give them an opportunity to move up—we’d rather grow them than buy them,” said Leingang. “Our Development Institute starts with a leadership orientation that sets out clear expectations and then, as they move forward, provides these team members the resources they need to achieve their goals.”
The leaders of different areas advance through a series of classes taught by internal BRG subject matter experts. The hospital also sponsors team member attendance to such programs as Baton Rouge Area Chamber Leadership Training, Business Report Leadership Academy, and more. Those who attend training outside the organization are required to come back and present upon it internally, essentially cascading core aspects of the message to BRG team members.
In addition to leadership, the hospital also focuses on the overall development of staff often responding to requests. “We use our E-News to share development tips and a SharePoint system where we post educational content,” said Leingang. “We’ve had requests for customer service workshops, or professionalism training to enhance the BRG experience. Last year, the front line staff was asking about advanced Excel training. We worked to craft a course and they loved it so much they wanted more, so we developed another.”
Vice President, Talent Development, Leah Jenkins oversees training and development for Neighbors Federal Credit Union (NFCU). The organization offers a variety of training programs you would expect such as onboarding, compliance, customer service workshops, and seminars focused on training relative to products and services. However, NFCU also provides many unique opportunities for employee growth and leadership development. Its Integrity Service Program is a voluntary, six-month course that focuses on delivering customer service based on integrity and the ability to tailor the experience to the individual client. “So much of what we offer is mandatory,” said Jenkins. “These team members sign up because they want the opportunity to be better at their jobs and they understand that growing and developing as a person leads to more opportunities within our organization.”
NFCU offers other development opportunities such as a mentorship program that pairs new and seasoned employees. For Employee Learning Week in December, the company created an in-house book club that read and discussed a professional development book. Team Impact is a cross-functional group that plans morale-building events like ice cream truck visits and a Mardi Gras ball. NFCU also has a leadership development program to prepare managers for the next level. “Positive relationships between managers and other team members is vital,” said Jenkins. “Making sure we develop our leaders so they are equipped with the tools they need to manage their team in a positive way is very important.”
Jenkins stressed that Neighbors takes retention and engagement very seriously and uses Profiles International to measure employee engagement. Numbers have increased by 10 percent from 73% in 2015 to 83% in 2018. Neighbors was also named one of the top 50 credit unions to work for in America by CU Journal coming in at 29th overall and 8th in the company’s asset size category. Baton Rouge General also uses surveys and research to keep a close eye on engagement and retention. Since initiating the Leadership Development Institute three years ago, Baton Rouge General’s engagement has risen by 16 percentile points and the company is retaining 91% of its top performers. Both of these companies showcase very impressive numbers that highlight the importance of implementing a program to ensure a happier and more engaged workforce.
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