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Taking Care of Culture at Signature HealthCARE

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Signature HealthCARE's organizational culture is founded on three pillars: learning, spirituality, and innovation. With learning so critically integrated in the organization, it's no surprise that every one of Signature's strategic initiatives involves the company's talent development team. 

Given the current healthcare landscape, Signature (a 2015 ATD BEST Award Winner) is especially focused on developing executives who can anticipate and prepare for changes in the industry, a sales force that takes a consultative approach to selling, and clinical staff who are equipped to respond to an upsurge of patients with more complex medical needs. 

With so much of the company's success riding on a strong, well-executed talent management strategy, the talent development team takes a data-driven approach, especially when it comes to developing its clinical staff. Using data gathered through various reporting tools, the team identifies talent shortages, strengths, and areas of opportunity. For example, if a facility is identified as being in a location where there is a high need for cardiac care, the talent development team will deliver a more intense level of training on cardiac care and related skills to employees at that facility. 

Signature's current and prospective leaders form another critical target audience for the talent development team. The team regularly hosts the Key Executive School, or the "senior leaders' boot camp," at which the CEO shares important information around healthcare trends and the company's response to them. Recently these week-long meetings have become more focused on building autonomy and ownership of financial decision making at the facility level, and inspiring dedication to the patient experience and employee engagement. 


In addition to the Key Executive School, Signature's leaders and supervisors attend an executive retreat every six months, where industry thought leaders share their knowledge of and expectations for the future of healthcare. These two events are combined with another recent initiative, called Leadership Pathways, to build employees' strategic and tactical leadership skills. 


Pathways, a series of training modules, is designed to target specific audiences within the company's management team. For example, there is a Leadership for Results module that is intended for department heads, clinical leaders, and administrators who are ready to assume more responsibility and further their careers; as well as an Administrator-in-Training module for new graduates and employees who are committed to becoming an administrator at one of Signature's facilities. 

Another talent development program that has achieved strong results is the consultative selling curriculum. This curriculum is designed to give Signature a competitive edge in the marketplace through a sales force that conducts exceptional presale conversations with prospective patients or their representatives. The program includes an action learning component in which employees "shop" their facilities and competitors' facilities, rating them using Net Promoter Scoring, and evaluate a sampling of mystery calls. The training is followed up with weekly accountability meetings that help employees continue to apply what they learned. 

By targeting its training to address both specific employee groups and patient needs, Signature's talent development team has helped realize strategic business results, ensuring that it continues to be a pillar of the company's success. 

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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