Case Study

Today's ICs, tomorrow's leaders

Despite being one of Inc’s “fastest-growing companies in the country”, ConnectRN did not have the in-house L&D resources needed to design and implement a robust leadership training program for its quickly growing population of high-potential individual contributors.

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Overview

Hone has had the pleasure of running an ongoing program for ConnectRN since November 2021 – Manager Bootcamp 101 – for a total thus far of 58 participants.

Manager Bootcamp 101 Sessions:
Coaching I
Build High Trust Relationships
Give Feedback That Lands
Lead Highly-Effective

The company

Hone provides leadership training for managers and high-potential employees of ConnectRN, a tech-enabled network built to improve clinicians' lives through access to community, opportunity, and support. For this Case Study, we met with the project admin Allison Sproul, Director of People, to review the company’s experience with Hone.

"We wanted to have a scalable way of tracking who has gone through what training, which is really what had us land on Hone; by marrying tech-enabled service for easy tracking of participation while also still having that live-facilitated learning."

Allison Sproul, Director of People

The challenge

ConnectRN flourished during the pandemic and rapidly went from a bare-bone staff to hundreds of employees in multiple states by hiring and promoting strong existing performers to manager roles. Since many of the newly promoted management population had never led a team before, the company recognized the need for quickly implementing management training. They wanted to reinforce the core principles of providing feedback and creating trust within teams as well as how to conduct one-on-ones and coach employees.

Although one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing companies in the country, ConnectRN did not have the in-house learning and development resources to design and implement leadership training. Allison and the ConnectRN team required an outside solution that fit their needs.

To address the company’s need to upskill new managers quickly, Allison knew ConnectRN needed a training solution that:

  1. Had a strong curriculum and content that met their quality standards to support a primarily inexperienced management group.
  2. Provided a scalable hybrid of asynchronous learning and stimulating group interactions.
  3. Offered an immediate start date before they doubled their census in the following quarter.

The solution

After meticulous research, Allison picked Hone’s leadership training program for three main reasons:

  1. It fits the above criteria,
  2. Hone has a growing catalog of courses that their managers and high-potential employees could take outside the private workshops, and
  3. Industry experts facilitate the program.

As the project admin, Allison was pleased by the professionalism and support of the Hone team, stating, “One thing that impressed me was the learning strategist was formerly part of the global L&D team for HSBC. She was just really impressive and continues to be impressive. The customer success team at Hone was super responsive in helping to set up a collaborative worksheet to determine who were the learners, who were their managers, and to make sure that we could set managers with direct reports or into different groupings.”

Strengthening Leadership

One commonality Hone and ConnectRN share is the understanding that management training can strengthen new leaders by giving them tools and tips to help them and their teams succeed. “Our learners were able to ask questions of these subject-matter experts facilitating the workshops as they came to mind, but then also had the opportunity to hear their peers’ questions.” Especially in new leadership roles, training combined with team building cultivates an atmosphere of community, support, and trust. Allison noted, “I think it reinforces that we're all going through the same kind of stuff together. It created a greater closeness within our team and gave us the opportunity to connect in smaller group settings.”

Small-Group Training

Building camaraderie and a management foundation were just a few reasons small-group training worked best for the ConnectRN team. Allison knew the value of cooperative interactions with the company’s continual and speedy growth. “I have some of my best learning through active live facilitated trainings and workshops. We wanted to give that experience to our managers and greater high-potential employees to prime for management as well.”

And Allison is not the only one to feel that way. One participant stated, “[I’m] Really enjoying this time spent with others. Today was a super helpful breakout session where we got to hash out real-world situations affecting us within a safe space.”

Another important aspect for Allison was to provide trainees with a “psychologically safe space” where they did not feel embarrassed or intimidated to share. The ConnectRN team agreed that small-group training creates a feeling of inclusiveness and productive synergy.

Continual Growth

And the new management group at ConnectRN does not want to stop developing their skills and other professional interests. “It challenged their way of thinking things through in a new and different way. They liked the variety of topics, that [Hone] wasn't just management but also topics relating to diversity, equity and inclusion, which is central to everything that we do here at our company. I would definitely recommend working with Hone for management training needs. They have been really just a phenomenal partner in helping us to initiate and get off the ground.”

Conclusion

Hone is the winning choice for ConnectRN, according to the admin and trainees. “The biggest, consistent piece of feedback that we had coming out of each of the Hone workshops is how much people loved the small-group sessions.”

Career Development

According to Allison, the team at ConnectRN is looking forward to continuing their education with their Hone Membership. “Those who have logged in have said phenomenal things, much of a continuation of the feedback from the facilitated private group sessions that they had specific to our company, but highlighting that the facilitators really seem to know a lot what they're talking [about]. The membership piece has been a part of the puzzle to what holistically Hone can bring to the table for the L&D journey of our employees.”

ConnectRN Continues to Grow & Learn

Allison shared her excitement to continue the partnership with Hone, work with their elected learning strategists, and synthesize training that best fits their leadership team. “The [Hone] facilitators have been really dynamic, and the service both the account management and customer success teams have been able to provide is top notch.”