APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Best Practice Honoree

The Awards

Coaching for Commitment

Minnesota – When Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare grew 30 percent over a five-year period, this independent, not-for-profit hospital knew it would have to take a strategic approach to employee development. To build employees’ capabilities, Gillette rolled out a coaching program to teach managers, supervisors and HR professionals how to help employees discover creative solutions to complex and difficult situations.

To implement the program, Gillette piloted a two-day training with a group of managers and then made revisions based on their suggestions. The course was then repeated several times for other leaders in the organization. Following the initial training sessions, the trainers and advisors met to identify the necessary steps for rolling out the coaching program to the rest of the organization: establishing a common language; developing resources for coaches; collecting data to measure results; and creating opportunities for coaches to apply the new skills.

As a result of the program, managers now use coaching methods to address issues before they become performance problems, and Gillette’s involuntary turnover rate decreased from 1.51 percent in 2007 to 0.7 percent in 2008.

Gillette’s inpatient units scored higher in overall customer satisfaction than 88.6 percent of pediatric rehabilitation hospitals in a Press Ganey survey. The hospital’s reputation as a great place to work has also bolstered its recruiting efforts. Of positions filled with external candidates, 23 percent came from employee referrals, 40 percent of which were for hard-to-fill professional positions, such as nurses, physical therapists and pharmacists, helping to keep the vacancy rate a low 4 percent in 2008.

"We have worked to create a culture that supports the nature and goals of our business. As importantly, we communicate our culture to associates, clients and prospects through many channels every day. This helps us align people with the goals of our business, and has contributed to our success with employee satisfaction and with company growth and profits."

Will Ruch
CEO and Managing Partner