Blog Post

The Secret to Value-Based Learning in Healthcare

Lori Young

Founder, Ready Now

For the past five years, the siren call of value-based care has put pressure on healthcare organizations to prepare to deliver the same, if not better, quality care with lower costs. Learning professionals in healthcare organizations are feeling the pressure, too, as they’re expected to deliver high-quality learning coupled with savings. Add the demand to build talent that’s ready to lead healthcare into the future, and learning and development leaders are increasingly called upon to re-think employee education in creative ways.

As a learning leader, this means the time to shine in "showing off" your stuff is now. While your organization may have valued you for your ability to bring in excellent training programs or even design and deliver them yourself, time and money is now in short supply. It's difficult to pull employees from front-line clinical care or the important administrative work they do, and many are working on teams that are simply too lean to release them for training. You’ve probably also been asked to reduce your budget — after all, the learning organization is an overhead expense, which often gets hit earlier than clinical areas.

But while the challenges are myriad, the fact of the matter is, you know how to develop people. Training is one piece of the development process, but we all know that actual development occurs when people put education to use through application. That’s when the learning really sticks. So, in this time of lean budgets for training and limited time for people to get away for four- or eight-hour courses, use this opportunity to make it easy for your employees to learn through their work.

The key for learning professionals is to re-think your job description. Your new task? Help leaders design impactful and intentional on-the-job learning experiences. Not only will you be saving your organization both money and time, you'll also gain these benefits:

  • Leaders deepen their capability to develop their own people

  • Organizations maintain productivity levels while development takes place

  • Strategic work that has been on the back burner can be put in motion by assigning the work as a developmental assignment

  • Learning professionals rejuvenate their passion for developing others with new challenges to design action learning

Here are some action steps to give your leaders as they engage their employees in action learning:

  1. Define the assignment: What work experience will stretch the employee to develop?

  1. Determine what the employee should learn from the experience: What are the expected learning outcomes?

  1. Arrange for support: Who can be a resource to the employee while working on the assignment?

  1. Debrief the experience: How do you want to summarize what was learned from the experience?

Just as healthcare leaders are redefining delivery of care, learning leaders must also redefine the delivery of learning. Look to action learning to achieve results, and make it your mission to help leaders design and facilitate learning on-the-job.

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Wanted: Healthcare Leaders Comfortable with Ambiguity

Blog Post

Wanted: Healthcare Leaders Comfortable with Ambiguity

Jack be nimble! I find myself thinking about the nursery rhyme phrase lately when I'm explaining the demands facing today's healthcare leaders. The current challenges facing the industry — increased pressure on margin, the need to rebuild infrastructure and the need to adapt to a changing marketplace — make for a formidable set of candlesticks. Simply put, leaders can no longer force-fit the realities of today’s healthcare environment into yesterday’s mold. Like most nursery rhymes, "Jack be Nimble" has ancient origins, originating in a pagan tradition wherein a person's ability to jump over a burning candle without extinguishing the flame was a harbinger of good luck. So how can today’s healthcare leaders clear the flames of today’s unfamiliar obstacles? The answer is agility. Agile leaders adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Today’s successful healthcare leaders are able to maintain margins and not compromise quality patient care. They collaborate to form relationships and partnerships as they create care paths. They get results with and through every caregiver and stakeholder in a way that values each idea and contribution. Based on the work of Lombardo and Eichinger [i], the secret is "knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do." The management performance experts call it "learning agility." For most people, developing this skill requires focused and intentional practice of the ability to lead in ambiguous situations. For learning leaders, then, the challenge is even bigger: How do you intentionally design a learning experience that builds agility, which by necessity can't rely on standardized flow and predictability? These four tips can help healthcare organizations create a more methodical and repeatable, yet agility-focused, learning process: 1. Place leaders in experiences that are unfamiliar and outside their normal areas of expertise. For example, assign clinical caregivers to lead non-clinical strategic projects. A senior nursing director could take the lead on a process improvement project to decrease wait times in the Emergency Department. 2. Provide resources for leaders to keep a lookout for what they are noticing about the situation. Help them understand context, who the stakeholders are and what deliverables are expected. These are basic project management concepts that many leaders have not formally used. Offer these resources to help them avoid making assumptions or overlooking critical information. 3. Build in time for leaders to pause to think and reflect about what they are learning. This could take the form of a mid-project status review to surface what is and isn’t working, or regular journaling. A good coach or mentor is also particularly helpful here to help employees process what is happening. 4. Make sure they master the learning. Repetition is key to fostering the ability to be more agile in unfamiliar situations. Identify ways for leaders to keep practicing their new insights to use in other situations. Stop for a minute and think about what your company's specific new candlesticks might be. What can you do to help your leaders hurdle them smoothly and gracefully? With repeated practice, good luck is sure to ensue! [i] Eichinger, R. W., Lombardo, M. M., & Capretta, C. C. (2010). FYITM for learning agility. Minneapolis, MN: Lominger International: A Korn/Ferry Company. Photo: Shutterstock

Creating a culture of continuous development at Sunrise Senior Living

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Creating a culture of continuous development at Sunrise Senior Living

Learning and performance coaching enable career paths and growth for 26,000 employees. Sunrise Senior Living employs more than 26,000 workers and supports approximately 30,000 residents with short- to long-term stays with independent living accommodations and a full breadth of senior care services. Learning and development are core to the foundation of employment at Sunrise Senior Living. When the organization selected Saba Cloud to support talent development, they wanted a solution that supported not only learning but enhancing manager-employee relationships and building a pathway to ongoing leadership development. In short, Sunrise needed to offer learning while demonstrating people development and business success from that learning. Now Sunrise Senior Living continuously develops all its team members, helping them grow - for example, from a care manager to a lead care manager. They can identify key succession candidates and build a development roadmap to get them to where they need to be in a set timeframe. Saba Cloud enables these processes and delivers Sunrise an organic growth experience from blended learning to ongoing performance coaching.

BJC Healthcare creates an onboarding experience that guides people to success

Customer Story

BJC Healthcare creates an onboarding experience that guides people to success

When BJC Healthcare searched for a solution to onboard new employees, they chose Saba Cloud to address their unique set of challenges. The non-profit healthcare system was spread across 15 hospitals in the St. Louis, MO area. With 33,000 employees, each hospital was made up of a wide spectrum of jobs, from delivering food to neuroscience researchers. It all added up to a constant, 24-7 environment of online learning as well as around-the-clock onboarding. A new BJC Healthcare program dubbed “GPS”, or Guiding People to Success, starts with onboarding. A manager area makes sure that managers have tools that guide them through an employee's first few days, weeks and months. This connection template walks the manager through a system that promotes new employee retention and engagement. On the employee side, BJC uses Saba Cloud to engage all new employees in an online community. From the beginning, new employees are plugged into tools and resources they can use to connect and further their career development. As employees become more engaged, they are invited to online courses customized for their career path. Beyond onboarding, BJC's learning team keeps their focus on all employees by using Saba to cover compliance training, personal development, professional development, leadership development and academic partnerships. Ultimately, high-quality learning and onboarding help BJC Healthcare pursue their mission of bettering the health of the people in the communities that they serve.

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