Bon Secours Virginia: Best Practices in Leadership and Team Development

With over 22,000 employees, Bon Secours Virginia is one of the largest employers in the Richmond, VA region.  The organization has achieved the “Triple Crown” from Thomson Reuters, and has been recognized three times this year alone – for excellence in overall organization performance in the 2012 Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals. Additionally, Bon Secours has previously been named a “Best Place for Hourly Workers” by Working Mother Magazine.  Catalyst Learning has been proud to call this award-winning organization a customer since 2004 when it launched its first School at Work session; the organization has since graduated seven classes.

One initiative that has helped the organization gain its accolades is its emerging leader program, STRIDE.  In 2009, Bon Secours launched STRIDE to support succession planning.  The STRIDE pilot revealed that stronger focus on career development was a top priority.  To augment these elements of the program, Bon Secours turned to Catalyst Learning to deploy another solution: CareerCare.  CareerCare is an online system that helps mid-level employees plan and manage their careers.  Like School at Work, it was designed exclusively for the healthcare industry.

Stephanie Davidson, Ph.D. is Director of Organizational Development & Learning for Bon Secours.

“We’ve refined STRIDE around CareerCare,” she said.  “In the beginning of the year-long program, the curriculum focuses on awareness building and personal branding.  Then we move on to career development; CareerCare’s modules are very self-reflective so they fit nicely with our curriculum and approach.”

With the help of CareerCare, participants learn how to establish relationships with mentors and contacts that can help create opportunities.  They develop an individual career plan to plot their next steps and meet with Bon Secours recruiters to get advice.

STRIDE participants have seen results: one cohort participant was promoted from recruiting specialist to practice manager for a physician practice; other participants have assumed leadership roles within their departments.  Overall, Bon Secours has noticed increased employee engagement, which has captured the attention of supervisors who now use STRIDE as a way to reward high potential employees.  This has won the support of executive leadership who has readily given approval to expand from one local market into two.

Bon Secours is in the initial stages using another Catalyst Learning product to boost its training arsenal: Catalyst Accelerated Performance Series (CAPS).  CAPS classes are two hour seminars delivered by a hospital-appointed facilitator.  Like SAW, CAPS uses a blended learning model.  CAPS will be offered to approximately 200 employees to help improve their critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Bon Secours Virginia’s inaugural CAPS seminars will take place over four sessions this year, after which it will be evaluated for long-term implementation in 2013.

Dr. Davidson says that “our partnership with Catalyst Learning continues to be an added strength to our organization.  After our success with School at Work, we are delighted to use the Accelerated Performance Series and CareerCare to provide development opportunities that allow more of our employees to grow within the organization.”

For more information about ways that Catalyst Learning can support employees beyond the traditional School at Work employee profile, or to learn more about STRIDE, please contact Catalyst Learning.