St Joesph’s Rehabilitation Center is again One of the Best Companies to Work for in New YorkState.. In fact for the third year in a row, St Joseph’s has been at the top of the report which is sponsored by the New York State Society for Human Resource Management.. The program ranks the best places of employment based on employee satisfaction and engagement, as well as workplace practices and policies in both for profit and not for profit organizations..
Katie Kirkpatrick started at St Joes 14 years ago as the Human Resources Director and has since become the Chief Talent Officer for St Josephs.. She says when they began participating in the best companies program they didn’t go into it thinking they needed to win the award.. and continued by saying after 6 months of completing an inpatient program, 93% of the population they serve who have come to St Josephs for treatment maintain sobriety..
While some private employers have cut back on staff training and development during these lean economic times, St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Centers has taken a different track.
“We went in the opposite direction the last two years and have spent more money on training than ever before,” said St. Joseph’s CEO Bob Ross. “We thought it was exactly the time when you want to walk the walk with your staff and show them that you are committed to them.”
St. Joseph’s, which is based in Saranac Lake and provides alcoholism and substance abuse treatment services, has taken that commitment further recently by creating a Talent Management Institute. The nine-month program of career development training is designed to give the center’s 140 employees a leg up on promotional opportunities within the company. Orientation for the Institute’s first class of 12 students begins today.
“The Talent Management Institute is something we’re both excited and proud about,” Ross said. “I think it’s a direct reflection of the fact that we’ve tried to take a very different approach to human resources, and look at what we do with our staff as the critical thing that makes us able to serve our clients in the best way possible.”
Each year, a dozen St. Joseph’s employees will be selected for the school through a competitive application process that includes a personal essay and a series of interviews. The program offers three staff development tracks for the selected employees to pursue: professional, supervisor/management and executive. Some of the classes to be taught include ethics, professionalism, business and grant writing, public speaking and leadership. Participants will meet twice a month and employees will be responsible for various assignments between classes.
Ross says the Institute will give employees the chance to grow their skills and pursue promotional opportunities. It also gives St. Joseph’s administration a pool of candidates for future vacancies.
“Basically we’ll have a pool of candidates ready to fill vacant positions when they come open,” said Katie Kirkpatrick, St. Joseph’s chief talent officer. “They’re already there, they know the St. Joseph’s philosophy, and they’ve done their coursework.”
Kirkpatrick also said the Institute is a cost-effective way for St. Joseph’s to improve the skills of its staff. Instead of sending people to far-away training organizations and programs that would cost thousands of dollars, they’ll be trained in house by a combination of St. Joseph’s staff and some outside instructors.
“Talent is hard to come by, especially in the North Country and especially in a specialized field like addiction treatment,” Kirkpatrick said. “This is a wonderful opportunity St. Joseph’s is going to be providing our employees. It’s a true investment in the development of our people, but we’re also going to benefit as well. It’s going to improve our retention.”
St. Joseph’s was recently named one of the state’s best places to work by the New York State Society for Human Resources Management. The center also received the award in 2009.
Kirkpatrick said the recognition has helped to attract new employees. She said St. Joseph’s recently posted an administrative assistant vacancy and received 25 resumes.
“That’s really high for the area,” Kirkpatrick said. “I think the word is getting out there and I think people want to work for a company such as ours.”
Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, the state Commissioner of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, said the Talent Management Institute shows St. Joseph’s commitment to professional development.
“As on one of the best companies to work for in New York state for the second year, St. Joseph’s is clearly dedicated to providing a work environment that focuses on the needs and skills of the staff,” she said in a prepared statement.