Leader makes career growth a priority for her staff

Norton Hospital supervisor uses Norton Healthcare programs to help employees find new career path

Colleen French, supervisor, Guest Services, Norton Hospital, is so passionate about helping her staff grow that she begins discussing opportunities while interviewing candidates.

“What is your dream job?” she asks, and then talks about the process for helping them achieve it.

Nearly all of her nine staff members have taken advantage of at least one growth opportunity through Norton University, Norton Healthcare’s employee professional development department, or Norton Healthcare’s workforce development office.

Several have worked with career coaches, and three have been promoted to patient care associates and are on their way to earning their bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Another of her staff has graduated from Norton Healthcare’s Elevating First-Line Employees program designed to help entry-level staff advance their careers. Others are taking development courses through Norton University and shadowing in areas such as marketing and communications and information services.

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“Employees are so happy because they are truly doing what they want to do,” Colleen said. “If our employees are happy, it’s going to show in everything we do. The patients are going to feel it, and other employees are going to feel it. It’s contagious.”

Colleen also finds joy in seeing employees she has mentored succeed.

“They’re so proud of themselves,” she said. “It’s really an amazing feeling. They’re going to benefit Norton Healthcare way more when they are passionate about what they do. They’re going to benefit patients much more.”

Colleen understands the value of programs offered to employees through Norton Healthcare, as she also is growing her career with the organization’s support. She is working toward her bachelor’s degree in business through the Norton Scholar program.

Christy Ralston, R.N., director, workforce development, said support from leaders like Colleen is vital because career advancement leads to long-term retention and a more engaged workforce.

“It’s a huge honor to be a part of someone’s success. And that is intrinsic to who we are,” Christy said. “When you invest in someone and you create a career path, individuals are more engaged and are more loyal to the organization. But because of their knowledge and experience, they are able to more holistically address the needs of our patients and families.”

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