At Signature Performance, we believe staying stagnant in your career is limiting. Continuously striving to grow and develop your professional skill sets has immense value to individual leaders and the organization. When it comes to strategizing and implementing an effective leadership readiness program, the task may seem complex, daunting or even unachievable. It can be hard to know where to start and what route would benefit all Associates involved, as well as the organization. If you are thinking about implementing a strong leadership succession program, you are already taking a step in the right direction. Providing career development opportunities to Associates can offer a number of benefits not just for the company, but both professionally and personally for participating Associates. Giving Associates opportunities to enhance their personal and professional lives is something we take seriously at Signature Performance.
Understanding Leadership Readiness and Succession Planning
Succession planning is an ongoing effort that helps organizations prepare their current staff for increasing influence and leadership roles. These advancement efforts are rarely a one size fits all type of protocol, so it is essential that every organization takes the time to map out how they can help their Associates hone in on their natural strengths and then feel empowered to use them toward improved performance for clients and eventually, career advancement.
Things to Consider During the Planning Process:
- What type of leadership roles are you looking to fill now or in the future?
- Will you have many roles to fill either from company growth or life events like staff retirement?
- What do you want your Associates to take away from the opportunity?
- What skills do Associates need to master?
- What is the vision of the organization and what does success look like?
Benefits of a Leadership Readiness and Succession Program
Healthcare organizations of every size and scope of work can benefit from instilling and putting into practice principles that help Associates identify critical job skills, gain industry knowledge and organizational practices. Proper succession planning instills an undeniable sense of confidence in Associates across the organization and makes professional growth something to be sought after. When Associates connect with the larger organizational vision and feel engaged to the work they are doing everyday, the clients they interact with benefit from their expertise and active engagement.
Benefits of an Effective Succession Plan:
- Associates feel encouraged to grow both personally and professionally.
- Associates feel more engaged and connected to the work they are doing.
- Associates learn how to use their natural strengths to benefit their career goals.
- Associates gain operational momentum and perform at higher levels.
- Associates can share timely company knowledge and core values with current and incoming team members.
- Organizations have the ability to promote from within because Associates have developed specialized skills that can be transitioned into advanced roles within the company or additional responsibilities.
Signature Performance Produces Emerging Leaders
When it comes to working toward a goal, personal or professional, having someone to keep you accountable is key. Our Emerging Leaders program at Signature Performance does just that. This eight month program was launched in 2017 and has had more than 50 Associates complete the program and go on to career advancement opportunities within the company.
“When Emerging Leaders was created, it was designed to be specific to Signature Performance and not an ‘off the shelf’ teaching. We wanted a living laboratory where the participants were learning concepts and applying them to their every day challenges at Signature,” Melanie Mills, Coordinator of the Emerging Leaders program, said. “The executives and senior leaders who instruct the program do two things that are really important. First, they share their own leadership journey. This not only humanizes them, but to the participants it helps them see their journey has not been unlike their own with challenges, setbacks victories and breakthroughs.”
Mills also said the transfer of knowledge and wisdom is invaluable and that it not only benefits the participants, but it is a great way for instructors to meet and experience the emerging leaders in the company.
“Every instructor receives feedback from the participants on ‘what impacted them the most’ and ‘how they intend to apply what they learned’. The experience elevates all leaders engaged in the experience,” Mills said. “In the midst of their work demands, every leader looks forward to the opportunity to share their wisdom and knowledge. They do it with generosity, professionalism and excellence. Who better to share ‘how to succeed at Signature’ than the people who are doing just that?”
Last year, 32 of our Associates participated and graduated from our Emerging Leaders program. During their final presentations, each individual spoke about the growth and leadership lessons they learned during the intensive classes, required reading and reflection.
“It is difficult to talk about a program that altered your life without sounding cliché, but for me, Emerging Leaders was just that…life changing. The program changed the way I looked at healthcare, the many ladders I have climbed and the people I have met along the way,” Christina Arellano, Inclusion and Diversity Experience Ambassador at Signature Performance, said. “The leaders at Signature Performance, who were facilitators in our sessions, spoke from their hearts. Through their stories, they taught us how to not only be a good leader and smart business people, but to be good humans. I reflect on many of the moments I spent with fellow Emerging Leaders, the facilitators and Melanie and know that I am better than I was before.”
Signature conducted an in-house study that reviewed the impact that front-line, claims processing Associates had after participating in our leadership readiness program. During the study, it was discovered that there was an immense improvement in overall Associate performance speed. The study uncovered an eight percent improvement in number of days to minimum target and a forty-four percent improvement in number of days to target pace.
“Emerging Leaders taught me that leadership comes in all different forms. What makes a good leader is being true to who you are, which allows for others to have trust in you,” Jaron Sutton, a Claims Processor for Signature Performance, said. “I’m glad I participated in Emerging Leaders because it allowed for me to have a new perspective on how to lead. It also helped me grow on a personal and professional level.
At Signature Performance, our team is full of lifelong learners who love to be surrounded by others that share a zest for learning. We make it a priority to help our Associates uncover their natural talents so that they can feel like they are working in their sweet spot and reaching their full potential.
Mark Mathia is the Chief Experience Officer at Signature Performance Inc., in Omaha, NE. Mathia is also a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. Signature Performance is an industry leader in reducing healthcare administration costs for private and public healthcare sectors. Our unmatched experience in serving both the payer and provider side of healthcare financial management allows us to implement innovative solutions for every administrative demand.