By John Bethune
Alissa Bartenbach is senior talent development consultant for Medxcel, Indianapolis. In that role, she is responsible for training programs for all of the company’s business units, but in 2014, she is focusing much of her time on TriMedx, the company’s healthcare technology management business. 24×7 caught up with her recently to learn more about her innovative approach to HTM personnel development.
24×7: What is your role at Medxcel, and more specifically, with TriMedx?
Bartenbach: My role as development consultant allows me to work in partnership with business unit leaders to analyze the needs of our associates and organization in order to provide training and support. Our development team collaborates to design and develop training resources specific to our business and focuses on implementing and evaluating them to provide sustainable programs.
24×7: How did you get into this line of work?
Bartenbach: My passion for business and personal coaching is what truly led me to Medxcel. The organization puts a high priority on associate development and support. Our quickly growing organization, need for innovation, culture, and core values are the perfect platform for the contribution I look to bring as a development consultant.
24×7: One of your initiatives at TriMedx is the Individual Development Plan for career growth. How will that program benefit technicians and managers in TriMedx?
Bartenbach: This is my third year managing our Individual Development Plan (IDP) process. The IDP provides an opportunity for our associates to map out their career path. Our organization values and wants to support our associates in their professional achievements. Through the IDP process, associates can express their career interests, ask for and receive supervisor support, and plan for the career that fits them best. The IDP is a uniquely tailored personal plan of action.
This year, our technicians will have the opportunity to tell us about additional technical and equipment training they would like to receive. We monitor which modalities our technicians are looking to grow in and what specific equipment types are of highest importance. We then ask the technicians to show the value this training would bring to their hospital.
For our TriMedx executives, directors, and site managers, we have identified business drivers and competencies that will be included in their IDP. These competencies will give us a common language to use in hiring, setting expectations, giving performance feedback, and developing our careers.
24×7: Another program you’ve developed for TriMedx is a 12-week onboarding plan for new technicians. What are the key elements of that plan?
Bartenbach: Our development team has spent the past year understanding and prioritizing the needs of our newly hired technicians in their first 90 days. Our main goal was to create an attainable, streamlined process and to improve the level of communication and resources we delivered to our new associates. With more than 600 technicians in well over 200 hospitals and 1,200 total healthcare client locations in the country, we focused on providing consistency and virtual training resources that would be available to every technician.
Each technician is assigned courses to complete in their first 90 days, such as “Gateway,” our company orientation course; “Excelling in Customer Service,” which was specifically designed in-house for our technicians; and an introductory course to our computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).
Our technicians also have the opportunity to participate in live training webinars to learn more about how to track and support equipment management and finical data, such as equipment inventory, work order management, regulatory compliance, parts procurement, and our robust service dispatching process to the field. To build upon this, they also have the opportunity to attend a webinar focused on our Client Experience Center (CEC). Through this session, they will speak with a CEC representative to learn more about how CEC provides support for our technicians and our customers.
24×7: In addition to technician training, TriMedx has developed programs for onboarding and mentoring new managers. How do those programs work?
Bartenbach: In the second half of FY14, our team will be focusing on the development of a new manager training program. This weekly training program will establish support and resources for our managers during their first 90 days. One aspect of this onboarding and training program will be a newly created mentor program. In partnership with TriMedx Area Vice President Rob Moorey and several TriMedx directors and managers, our development team will be choosing mentors, taking them through a mentor training course, and establishing mentor-mentee partnerships beginning this spring.
Our mentor training program specifically highlights the role of a mentor as a coach. Through utilizing the GROW coaching model, we are establishing a process for problem-solving and goal-setting that will positively impact our mentees beyond their initial 6-month mentor partnership. Our mentors will receive 4 total hours of training that also focuses on setting the stage for the mentor partnership, providing effective feedback in a safe environment, overcoming common obstacles in a mentor-mentee partnership, and learning about best practices and TriMedx-specific tools for monitoring progress throughout the partnership.
24×7: What do you hope will be the ultimate outcome of these ambitious training programs? How will they benefit both the company and the individual employees?
Bartenbach: These programs are essential for our fast-growing organization. We are consistently striving to attract the best talent, retain our committed associates, and grow each individual’s career path internally. Each of these programs will allow us to build confidence with new technicians and managers that they will be given support and resources to get them acclimated to their role and our organization quickly. Additionally, each program shows the level of commitment we are providing our associates. Through the IDP process, we want to recognize our staff’s career interests and support their desired achievements. Through our mentor program, we want to go beyond technical and professional training and have a support system in place that positively impacts their personal experiences. Putting myself in each associate’s shoes, asking, “What would I like to receive if I were new to our business?” will continue to drive me to create, provide, and establish these development initiatives.
John Bethune is editorial director for 24×7 magazine. For more information, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.