Front Porch University

Empowering employees to be their best.

FPWeb_180x180_FPUniversity.4d87e358d0847At Front Porch, we strive to make a difference in the quality of lives of those we serve, and be the best we can be in meeting their needs. We seek excellence not just in what we do, but in who we are as people, and as organizations, too.

It’s this pursuit of service excellence that inspired Front Porch University. Lacking walls, brick and mortar, our open-style university makes it easier to share in the learning, and to share in the responsibility, and the accountability, for bringing out the best in all of us.

We know lots of companies have similar training programs, but we see training more as an opportunity for personal growth and empowerment. As we’re empowered, we expand and grow. We break through self-limiting barriers and nurture our individual spirit.

And a culture of continuous learning comes back to benefit our residents with employees that are more confident, more responsible, and more sensitive to their needs today and in the future. And nowhere is this transformation more powerful than with our 5-STAR College.

5-STAR College

What starts as a two-day training program regularly ends in changing the lives of each of its participants. Every year, we teach service excellence concepts to more than 60 of our line staff employees who then turn around and teach them to the rest of the organization.

We select these service “STARS” not because they need work improving their skills, but because they have demonstrated the potential to excel, to become a leader. They are taken off-site to spend two days of intensive training on much more than customer service.

They learn how to stand up and speak in front of a crowd of people. They learn how to deliver a professional workshop. And at the end of the two days, they graduate in a well-deserved formal ceremony before returning home to work on and practice their material.

Then they give these workshops to everyone in their community, including their managers and their executive director. For many of these people, this is the first time speaking in front of a group, making their accomplishment all the more noteworthy.

These STARS tell us that not only has the experience improved their work life, and their confidence in what they do, but it has been transformational in their personal lives as well, in how they conduct themselves and model for their children.

Their accounts are incredibly moving. And it’s no surprise that our customer satisfaction goals are consistently being met, and staff retention is also way above industry average. Plus, nearly 1 in 4 of our 5-STAR College Service STARS have gone on to be promoted to a lead, manager or director position.

So our 5-STAR College is not only improving our customer service, we’re empowering employees to realize their potential, and to realize their dreams. It’s a great Front Porch story.

And when our employees need specific skill sets to continue to excel, they turn to Front Porch University once again, this time to our Centers for Learning.

Centers for Learning

Centers for Learning are curriculum-based training programs that concentrate on specific skill sets required for operating a community.

For example, we have a Center for Nursing Education that, among other things, works to bridge the communication between a community’s Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) – two key caregiver roles.

Another example is our Executive Director Development Program under our Center for Leadership. It provides the exciting opportunity for an employee to be mentored as a Front Porch leader by an experienced executive director.

At Front Porch, we promote heavily from within because the kinds of skills required can usually only be found by working in one of our communities. Our commitment to continuous learning ensures we attract and retain highly qualified and dedicated staff.

Evolving to Better Meet Needs

Our residents’ expectations are not only changing, they’re increasing. We understand that to quickly react to these changes, we need a culture that sees learning as something that isn’t once a year, but ongoing each and every day.

So Front Porch University is constantly evolving to meet the needs of our employees at all levels of our organization, to empower them to be their best, to realize their own dreams so that they can in turn provide our residents the very best service possible.