How Children’s National Hospital and Idaho Central Credit Union Use Our REAL Approach

Talent Plus Talent Plus

March 01, 2022 Selection Blog Leadership

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

Idaho Central Credit Union and Chief Executive Officer Kent Oram have been our partners for 14 years. Children’s National Hospital and Executive Vice President & Chief People Officer Catherine Codispoti, have been with us for three years. For both, aligning the right talent with the right job has become crucial amid the Great Resignation’s unstable talent market.   

About the Talent Plus REAL Approach

Idaho Central Credit Union and Children’s National Hospital have both seen first hand how important Recognizing, Engaging, Accelerating and Leading talent is to meeting their organizational goals. We call this the REAL Approach.

Thanks to their industry leadership and partnership with Talent Plus, both organizations have been able to leverage the natural talent in their current employees. They’ve also discovered that selecting for the right external talent drives job satisfaction, internal mobility, diversity, engagement and productivity. 

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

Children’s National Hospital: Select and develop talent for empathy

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

Children’s National launched their partnership with Talent Plus in 2019. We tackled four areas: nursing, pharmacy, outpatient and patient services, which is comprised of environmental services, social work and security. All four departments had historically experienced high-volume hiring and turnover, and the four department leaders were eager to embrace talent-based selection. 

Through the pilot, Codispoti and Children’s National saw how talents and 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. The core values of Children’s National are compassion, commitment and connection. These values truly shine when employees can apply them in their daily work, beyond the high-level language of the organization’s mission and values.

Over the last year, Children’s National has been conducting a leadership assessment and development initiative for their entire executive leadership team — about 50 people in total. “They’ve gone through behavioral interview processes, [the Talent Plus Positive 360] review processes,” Codispoti says. “We’re putting all this information together into 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.”

Codispoti’s team wants to take what they learned about natural talent through Talent Plus assessments and apply it to their core values, then connect values with behaviors (actions and tangible results). 

“Individuals who score high in relationship, patient centricity, and work intensity do really well at our organization,” continues Codispoti. “We’ve really focused on the whole empathy component, building relationships, and meeting people where they are.”

We’ve really focused on the whole empathy component, building relationships and meeting people where they are.”

— Catherine Codispoti

Frontline workers and providers have experienced extreme stress, especially through the pandemic. Recognizing, engaging and accelerating relationships and the empathy of top performers means they can leverage these behaviors for a more fulfilling work experience.

At Children’s National, this experience can also translate into finding a clearer career path forward. As positions open up, many times these talented individuals move into new roles that would not have been available before to internal employees. This internal mobility is a huge plus for the organization as they promote from within, retain top talent and keep the right culture.

The robust science behind Talent Plus solutions, enables organizations to select the right people and develop that talent into mission-driven employees. Using proven, valid research works wonders for maintaining an engaged, productive team. Says Codispoti, “That’s another way we’ve recognized and engaged our top talent in a different way — showing we’re committed to them, and we want to continue to grow them.” 

Idaho Central Credit Union: Culture is for everyone

Across the country, Idaho Central Credit Union (ICCU) 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 and boosted 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, “In our company, 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. Suddenly, 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 talent selection. Oram knew that ICCU needed to provide world-class experiences with all who do business with them. As they selected people for open roles, they looked for the talent themes that translate into excellent service, which completely shifted their culture and work environment. 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, individuals receive a score based on the different characteristics we’re looking for. We won’t hire anybody with low positivity or low values, no matter what the rest of the profile looks like,” Oram explains. “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. Those two go hand in hand. I would never risk compromising on any of that.” 

Oram says they share everyone’s top three talents freely and openly. “We even have some systems in place where a person could find others whose talent profiles are similar to theirs, then go and maybe have a chat offline with that person.” 

Beyond selection, ICCU also uses our Engage Solutions. This is where the science can be applied to create results. “We dive into our culture to see how we measure and then we do some really meaningful things with our supervisors to make sure we’re trying to drive that as best we can,” says Oram. “Right now, I’m on a roadshow with all of our team, virtually, to try to make sure everyone understands that culture really belongs to everyone, not just managers and supervisors.”

“Culture really belongs to everyone, not just managers and supervisors.”

— Kent Oram

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 to employee selection and career development doesn’t just build a better community — it allows ICCU to extend the recognition of talent to everyone’s professional relationships in the long term. This helps them 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.” 

Turn natural talent into tangible outcomes

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 executive teams 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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