Banner's mission states, "We exist to make a difference in people's lives through excellent patient care," and Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Talent Officer Ed Oxford explains that "Journey of a Lifetime" is the natural extension of that mission.
"We promise to help make a difference in our employees' lives and careers so that they can make a difference in the lives of others," he says.
The learning and development team works in tandem with the executive talent office to deliver leadership development experiences to sustain the journey. Two of these experiences are programs that set the foundation for hundreds of leaders every year:
New leader experience. A three-day curriculum repeated every month at the corporate headquarters in Phoenix - introduces new managers to the strategic vision, along with theory, practice, and resources for working and guiding other Banner employees.
Leadership symposiums. Week-long conference-like development experiences with courses ranging from two to eight hours - are offered in both Arizona and Colorado on a quarterly basis. They provide leaders with the opportunity to refresh their knowledge, complete core courses in their curricula levels, develop new skills, and network with other leaders.
By the Fall of 2008, the declining economy began to affect Banner's bottom line. The economy worsened, and in mid-January, the hospital system had to implement some painful cost reductions.
Banner's HR team responded immediately by restructuring the spring leadership symposium. Instead of a week-long conference in both Arizona and Colorado, courses began within a week, and classes were available using blended learning webinars through LiveMeeting and teleconferences. They were offered locally and delivered using the "leaders as teachers" model. The "leading with courage" curriculum includes four courses that supply leaders with the tools to manage in lean times, apply stewardship principles, and coach their employees.
"The timeliness of these courses reiterated Banner's promise to support both leaders and employees," says Janice Ganann, senior director of the executive talent office. "They gave managers the tools they needed in real time, and the electronic venues enabled us to reach more people with less money."
Although Banner put a restriction on travel in 2009, the hospital system is allowing employees to travel to the new leader experience. "Bringing new leaders together to meet senior leadership and develop a cohort is an investment in Banner's mission," says Mary VanderMeer, learning relationship manager for the learning and development team.
"We call this an experience because it makes a difference in people's lives at a crucial point in their journey. That's especially important if they are to lead in challenging times."