People (and Their Talents) Are Key to Your Success

by Talent Plus

March 01, 2022SelectionBlogLeadership

Becoming a Talent-Based Organization ® starts with people keeping people at the center of an organization’s goals and strategy for success. This much is clear for our partners, whether they have been with us for decades or joined us recently. 

For 14-year partners Idaho Central Credit Union and Chief Executive Officer Kent Oram, as well as 3-year partners Children’s National Hospital and Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer Catherine Codispoti, aligning the right talent with the right job has become crucial lately amid the instability in a Great Resignation talent market.   

Thanks to their unique standing within their industry and their partnership with Talent Plus, they have seen first-hand how important Recognizing, Engaging, Accelerating and Leading talent is to maintaining their course and meeting their organizational goals. Leveraging the natural talent in their current employees and selecting for the right talent externally drives positivity and diversity, maximizing engagement and productivity. 

Let’s take a look at their experience and how taking the REAL Approach to their people strategy has helped them stay focused and grow at every stage of the talent journey. In the process, we’ll discover what they have learned about leadership and excellence, and how investing in current and potential people and leaders sets the tone for their organization. 

Children’s National Hospital 

Children’s National Hospital, recently ranked number 11 by Newsweek for top children’s hospitals worldwide, employ about 8,500 people and serve over 230,000 unique patients each year. Behind their award-winning team is Codispoti, herself a Washington Business Journal 40 under 40 honoree. 

In 2019, they launched their partnership with Talent Plus in four areas: nursing, pharmacy, or outpatient area and patient services, which is comprised of environmental services, social work and security. This area was chosen for the sheer potential of change, as historically high-volume hiring and turnover departments, and the promise of four leaders eager to embrace talent-based selection. 

Through the pilot, Codispoti and Children’s National saw how talents and their behavior traits positively affected performance trends and decreased turnover. This initial success led Children’s National to roll out Talent Plus assessments across the board, from front-line employees to managers. Codispoti wants to take this further. At Children’s National, their core values of compassion, committment and connection truly shine when employees can apply them into their daily work, beyond the high-level language of organization-wide mission and values.

Over the last year, Children’s National has been conducting a leadership assessment and development initiative for the entirety of their leadership — the executive council group — about 50 people in total. “They’ve gone through behavioral interview processes, [the Talent Plus Positive 360] review processes,” she says. “What we’re doing is we’re putting all this information together to create a dashboard to better understand how we as leaders complement each other and where we may have opportunities to promote and grow other new senior leaders into this dynamic leadership team.”

Especially through the pandemic, it’s been extremely stressful for frontline providers. Recognizing, engaging and accelerating that relationship, empathy component that top performers have means they can leverage these behaviors for a more fulfilling experience. At Children’s National, this can also translate into finding a clearer career path forward, many times at opportunities that before would not have been available to internal employees as positions open up – a huge plus for an organization as they promote from within and retain the right culture.

With the robust science behind Talent Plus solutions, selecting the right people and developing that talent into employees who can carry the mission forward using proven, valid research works wonders for maintaining an engaged, productive team. Says Codispoti, “That’s another way in which we’ve recognized and engaged our top talent in a different way, showing that we’re committed to them, we want to continue to grow them.” 

Idaho Central Credit Union 

Across the country, Idaho Central Credit Union and Chief Executive Officer Kent Oram have been applying The Science of Talent ® for almost two decades now. During this time, they grew from 25 employees to over 1,200, boosting their portfolio size from $600 million to $5 billion today. For Oram and ICCU, the secret to this exponential growth can only be ascribed to the award-winning culture they built through the power of natural talent.

“When talent is appropriately aligned, magic can happen.” says Oram, “and I’m a witness to that in our company where when someone is in the right seat, in the right place, doing what they love or what they’re really, really good at, it is magical. All of the sudden, it doesn’t feel like work anymore. You just have a really good time doing something you love.”

In 2007, ICCU began their partnership with Talent Plus for selection. Oram knew that ICCU needed to provide world-class experiences with all who do business with them. As they selected people, they looked for the talent themes that translate into excellent service, and the unprecedented success of this culture change has allowed ICCU to partner with Talent Plus in other ways, including performing studies to further test and validate the science behind a Talent-Based Organization ®. 

“With Talent Plus assessments, you receive a score based on the different characteristics that we’re looking for and we won’t hire anybody with low positivity or low values, no matter what the rest of the profile looks like,” Oram explains. “We are very dedicated to the fact that over the past 10 years, we’ve become a best place to work in our state, and the profitability of our credit union is the best it’s ever been, we’re a national leader. Those two go hand in hand. And I would never take the risk of compromising on any of that.” 

“We share what everyone’s top three talents are freely and openly, and even have some systems in place where a person could try to look for people who are like them, as far as those talent profiles, go and then maybe have a chat offline with that person.”  

This connection fosters inclusion and diversity of thought within work groups. Says Oram, “If you’re looking for ideas, you might want to go to an idea person. If you’re looking for performance and production, you might want to go to work intensity. You know, so what are you looking for? What are you trying to solve here?” 

Connecting talent doesn’t just build a better community, it allows ICCU to extend the recognition of talent to every person’s professional relationships, helping everyone assimilate a talent-based culture as they realize their potential. 

“Our core values of accountability and improvement suggest there’s some expectation that you’ll study and self-improve,” says Oram. “Become a better speaker, a better writer, use better grammar and all the kinds of traditional things that folks look for in a workforce. We try to help people understand that this can all happen during a work hour or workday; that there is some personal commitment involved to becoming a professional in today’s world.” 

From selection to the last day of a person’s employment, Talent Plus science applied to each individual takes natural talent and turns it into tangible outcomes. From productivity to leadership and even succession planning, it is plain to see how a REAL approach — recognizing, engaging, accelerating and leading talent — can revolutionize the workplace as we know it. 

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