Professional development has become a buzz word in workplace environments the past few years – and for good reason.
According to a Gallup poll, 65% of workers believe employer-provided professional development and upskill training is very important when deciding whether to take a new job. And as generations age in and out of the workplace, that number is rising. Now, 91% of Generation Z employees cite professional development as an important factor when choosing an employer.
When it comes to health care companies, it’s important to ensure employees feel satisfied and prioritized so they can provide the best possible care to patients.
“On our team, we have researchers that do qualitative and quantitative research into employees and employee engagement, which is a driver of everything we do,” Heather Hodges, vice president of organizational development at Enhabit Home Health & Hospice, said. “When you have engaged employees, you have happy employees which means that we have better outcomes in the field.”
While some employers contract professional development centers as an employee benefit, other employers like Enhabit have their professional development center in-house.
What is the Enhabit Enrichment Community?
The Enhabit Enrichment Community is a part of the organizational development department at Enhabit.
As an in-house professional development hub, the Enhabit Enrichment Community (EEC) is a place where employees can come to learn and engage with critical skills and resources to help further their professional development – and they can do it all from the corporate office.
“Many organizations will outsource education and hire an external resource to teach a leadership development program, particular skillsets, or provide education regarding how to perform your job responsibilities effectively,” Enhabit’s Director of Talent Enrichment Stephanie Hardy said. “But they don’t have the organizational knowledge we do to understand how our team members want to be educated. Having an internal organizational development department adds a unique dynamic and provides a tailored approach.”
Employees at Enhabit have access to the EEC as a tool and resource to further their personal career goals and professional development.
“Up until I came to Enhabit, I had never had a team work with me to identify how I can be a better leader and that has made me a better human,” Senior Vice President of Home Health Operations and Business Development Sarah Feldman said. “I think because of the resources and one-on-one coaching at our Enhabit Enrichment Community, I have been able to invest in myself and my team.”
How does the Enhabit Enrichment Community help employees on their professional development journey?
As part of the in-house educational center, the EEC offers classes that cover a range of topics. Some examples of popular topics at Enhabit include a class about enneagram types and a leadership development series.
The Enneagram seminar
A big focus in the organizational development department is learning about your personality and your different traits. This provides insight to help enhance your leadership style. One of the ways Enhabit teaches this is through the popular “Enneagram: Know Your Number” seminar.
Through this seminar, employees discover their Enneagram style. Additionally, they learn how they can communicate more effectively, perform well on teams, manage conflict and lead with empathy.
The course helps employees understand more about themselves. Then, they can take action to improve their interpersonal communication, teamwork skills and leadership qualities.
“I believe it’s important to have a leader and opportunities to help you identify strengths within yourself,” Hardy said. “There are things about my personality I used to view as weaknesses, however, I now see as strengths. I like harmony; I have a lot of empathy; I don’t like conflict. In the past, I thought I couldn’t be a leader because it is difficult for me to hold people accountable. But I’ve learned I actually can be an effective leader while leading with understanding and empathy.”
Leadership Development Program
Another popular course at Enhabit is the Leadership Development Program. Any employee who is or wants to become a leader can join this three-day seminar to explore foundational concepts of strong leadership.
While the objective of this course is to give leaders the knowledge, skills and abilities to be successful in their current role, employees take away much more than that.
“One of the most valuable lessons I learned was the importance of gaining different perspectives,” Director of Business Analytics Axele said. “We often get caught up in our day-to-day work and forget that others have a completely different experience. By learning from other managers and colleagues in different departments, we gained a more holistic view of how the business comes together. This allowed us to collaborate more effectively, make better decisions and ultimately achieve greater success as a team. This program was truly a transformative experience and it has inspired me to continue to strive for excellence in all areas of my life.”
Other resources and offerings
The EEC’s offerings extend far beyond the above-mentioned courses. In addition to professional development courses, the EEC offers other classes and resources to employees including:
- 15-minute leadership development trainings
- Full broadcast studio for live and on-demand virtual trainings
- Discipline-specific trainings for operations, business development and clinical teams
- Workshops on topic-specific items such as having crucial conversations, building culture and more
- Classes about workplace skills such as delivering a powerful presentation and meeting facilitation
The wide range of classes have offered employees like Axele benefits beyond job-related skill growth.
“The EEC helps me enhance my skills and knowledge, which boosts my performance and productivity,” she said. “But knowing the company invests in my development makes me more satisfied and gives me a sense of belonging, giving me a platform to be identified and prepared for leadership roles within the company.”
The importance of leadership and professional development
At Enhabit, the goal is to offer opportunities for professional development and career growth so employees can discover leadership qualities in themselves.
“Leadership is not born, it’s made,” Hodges said. “Anybody can accentuate their individual personality characteristics and their strengths to become a leader. And then we lead through those strengths. And that becomes the beauty of leadership – we’re all different. But we can all learn to be amazing leaders.”
And while being a leader means something different to each person, the EEC helps employees discover that definition and apply it to their own career trajectory.
“A leader is someone who, through their unique qualities and vision, leads and motivates a group toward shared objectives,” Axele said. “They not only make important decisions but also inspire, guide and bring out the best in those they lead. Effective leaders have the ability to connect with their team, adapt their approach and create a sense of purpose that drives success.”
At Enhabit our patients are our number one priority. From providing the latest medical practices to building deep personal connections, we’re focused on upholding every patient’s dignity, humanity and sense of control on their health care journey.
Our home health services give patients access to the care they deserve in the comfort of their own homes. From disease and injury management to recovery from surgery, our clinicians help patients confidently achieve their healthcare goals.
Our hospice care services place importance on the comfort of every patient living with a terminal illness. Our caring professionals are dedicated to providing not just physical care, but spiritual and emotional support to every patient and their loved ones.