As Victoria, Australia’s largest not-for-profit private health care group, Epworth HealthCare is renowned for excellence in diagnosis, treatment, care, and rehabilitation. Epworth operates eight hospitals in the Melbourne metropolitan area, and is pursuing an academic teaching hospital model throughout the organization. As an innovator in Australia’s health system, Epworth embraces the latest in evidence-based medicine to pioneer treatments and services for its patients, investing all its surplus funds back into training its staff, developing its facilities, and purchasing the latest technology to remain at the forefront of medical treatment. Epworth recognized a high-performance culture was essential to achieving the organization’s strategic objectives and remaining on the cutting-edge of the medical field. The key to driving employee engagement in this culture would be Epworth’s leaders.
The organization collaborated with Development Dimensions International (DDI) to design and execute the Leadership Development Learning Journey to develop its leaders’ abilities to build a high-performance culture. This program would provide participants with the needed skills, tools, and confidence to become inspirational leaders across the business. The Learning Journey aimed to build leaders’ interpersonal skills, develop their skills around setting and communicating performance expectations to drive excellent customer service, develop leaders to be effective coaches, and improve their ability to both delegate and make effective decisions.
A retrospective survey was administered to program participants and observers (managers, peers, and direct reports) to evaluate how participants were applying what they learned back on the job. Results revealed:
According to trainees, the percent of leaders frequently engaging in effective behaviors targeted in the Learning Journey nearly doubled (a 96.7 percent overall increase) as a result of the program.
The percent of leaders with effective interpersonal skills rose from 53 percent before training to an astounding 94 percent after training.
The areas in which trainees identified beforehand as needing the most development were, in fact, where they saw the greatest improvements in behavior change: resolving conflict, coaching for improvement, and setting performance expectations. After the training they reported an impressive 158, 140, and 120 percent increase in effective behaviors related to those areas, respectively.
A resounding 100 percent of trainees reported that their confidence in applying what they learnt in the training increased. Almost all said that they are now personally motivated to apply their skills at their jobs.