KenCrest Uses Relias To Drive Organizational Compliance and Growth

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Headquartered in the greater Philadelphia area, KenCrest offers a variety of services across three states. Best known for the work it does for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), KenCrest provides services to IDD clients of all ages across Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Connecticut.

Closer to home in Philadelphia, the organization also branched out into providing educational services to children and families. With over 240 locations, including 220 community living facilities, KenCrest offers an array of programs for the populations it serves.

These programs include:

  • Personal supports
  • Early learning centers
  • Independent living
  • Community living
  • Life sharing programs
  • Nursing and clinical assistance
  • Early intervention programs
  • Employment options

To learn more about how KenCrest has used Relias to bolster its organizational efforts around training to better support these populations and services, we spoke with Erik Gore, Assistant Director of Training and Organizational Development. A 28-year veteran of KenCrest, Gore has led the organization’s training efforts for several decades and has overseen its partnership with Relias since the beginning.

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Creating a culture of compliance

Prior to partnering with Relias, KenCrest relied on paper documents and spreadsheets to administer and track training. But as the organization continued to grow, it became too difficult to keep track of staff members’ compliance, deliver training on time, and other administrative tasks that come with training compliance. To help bring more efficiency to this process, KenCrest partnered with Relias.

With the Relias Platform, KenCrest began issuing all compliance-based training through one centralized system. “Having the necessary training right at a staff person’s fingertips” provided a huge boon to KenCrest’s learning and development efforts, Gore said.

Using Relias, KenCrest also began offering hybrid training options, meaning staff members could complete portions of their training online. This allowed Gore and his colleagues to design training options that are more convenient for their staff members.

For KenCrest, convenience doesn’t stop at hybrid course options, however. “The library is totally open to all our learners,” Gore explained. By allowing all staff members to access its entire Relias library, KenCrest ensures anyone in its organization can access the required training courses, as well as elective courses, at any time. This has allowed KenCrest to meet the needs of staff working in different states, with differing compliance requirements.

To achieve a true culture of compliance, KenCrest also uses the Relias Platform to help make training administrators’ jobs a little easier. In the Relias Platform, training administrators can set alerts to let learners know that they have a course due. Using this functionality, Gore’s team automated an otherwise time-consuming and tedious process — finding staff members who had yet to complete their compliance training and emailing them individually.

With this approach to training, KenCrest has seen compliance-based course completions increase by 22% in the last year alone.

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Taking the platform beyond compliance training

The Relias Platform has meant far more than convenient compliance training for KenCrest. Gore and his team have also used Relias Assessments available in the platform to perform pre-hire job knowledge screening.

This allows KenCrest to know both the strengths and knowledge gaps of the new staff members.

“We know the strengths of this individual, and we know what they need a little help in. So it’s easy to develop a plan for them when they start their careers here,”

– Erik Gore, Assistant Director of Training and Organizational Development

Once staff members enter the organization, they are assigned 12 competency modules, again within the Relias Platform. This has allowed KenCrest to create training plans that guarantee all staff members have the same knowledge base.

KenCrest rolled out this training program using the content authoring tool to create its own content, while also taking advantage of Relias’ library of IDD-focused e-learning content. “We leveraged Relias to add those training competencies into the platform or add them to an existing module that Relias already had,” Gore recounted.

Aware that some staff members may find the platform daunting, Gore spearheaded an organizational initiative called “Try It Thursday.” As Gore explains, this is a monthly workshop where he explains the ins-and-outs of the Relias Platform. All members of the KenCrest staff can join these workshops, from direct support professionals (DSPs) to administrators. To make these sessions as useful and accessible as possible, Gore also records them and stores the recordings on the Relias Platform. This way, employees can go back at any time and review them.

Through initiatives like Try It Thursday, KenCrest has created a thirst for learning within its organization.

Using Relias to accelerate organizational growth

KenCrest knows that without a stable, well-trained staff base, the organization cannot grow. To that end, KenCrest uses Relias to not only train staff members in the skills they need for their current roles, but on skills they’ll need to take the next step in their careers.

“We are giving them the skills to be emerging leaders inside and outside of KenCrest,” Gore said. While some organizations may prove reticent to introduce training that could help staff find other employment options, KenCrest knows that the benefits outweigh the costs. The data KenCrest collects around its retention efforts has proven the effectiveness of its training program in creating a happier, more engaged staff.

Before partnering with Relias, KenCrest had a 40% retention rate. Since instituting better training programs focused on employee growth and retention, it has increased the retention rate to 60%.

Moving forward, Gore and his team plan to continue to strengthen these retention efforts using Relias. Through the Skillsoft® courses available in the Relias library, Gore plans to offer more training on leadership, emotional intelligence, and communication. With these modules, he wants to train the next generation of KenCrest leaders. Ultimately, this will help KenCrest to retain top talent and continue to grow as an organization.

“It’s so important for any industry, any agency, to invest in their current employees, that’s the only way that you are going to get better as an organization.”

– Erik Gore, Assistant Director of Training and Organizational Development

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