Training Top 125 Best Practice: Florida Blue’s Leadership Academy

The Leadership Academy focuses on four aspects of leadership that the organization identified as critical for its next generation of leaders.

Strategic talent development combined with building leadership bench strength are important components of Florida Blue’s talent strategy and help sustain the company on its journey of enabling healthy communities by being a leading innovator in health solutions. The introduction of a revised Talent Management Review (TMR) process in January 2015 allowed Florida Blue’s Enterprise Learning & Development (EL&D) function to position itself as a strategic business partner as it demonstrated the value of investing in high-potential (HIPO) leaders and securing leadership succession. This was achieved through the launch in 2016 of a high-potential (HIPO) leadership development program called Leadership Academy.

Program Details

The newly revised TMR process identified a talent pool of HIPO directors from across the organization to participate in the program. Based on a review of their TMR data, the following was revealed:

  • 100 percent of these individuals were identified as successors for executive positions, with 96 percent of them in a readiness classification of one to two years.
  • In addition, 67 percent of those targeted for the new program had achieved team engagement scores at or above best practice.

Twenty-six HIPO directors from this pool began the six-month program.

The Leadership Academy focuses on four aspects of leadership that the organization identified as critical for its next generation of leaders:

  1. The leader’s role in shaping organizational culture
  2. Building and sustaining diverse high-performing teams
  3. Defining a business strategy
  4. Strategic planning

A comprehensive measurement and evaluation strategy was designed to determine effectiveness and impact of program content, pre- and post-program leadership competency proficiency, and perceived business value. Human capital measurements for program participants also were monitored and included: successor promotion rate, retention rate, and employee engagement scores compared to industry best practice.


A comparison of pre- and post-program evaluation results revealed an 85 percent satisfaction rate with the instructional program content and the real-world learning application activities. Some 88 percent of graduates indicated a 48 percent improvement in their leadership effectiveness as a result of the program, while 93 percent of graduates indicated the program helped prepare them for their next leadership position.

A review of human capital metrics revealed that an additional 7 percent of the graduated leaders obtained a team engagement score at or above best practice, which contributed to a 4-point increase in the overall annual employee engagement score. In addition, the retention rate of program graduates is 96 percent. In 2016, 13 percent of the program graduates were promoted into an identified successor position, saving the company millions of dollars in executive recruiting and onboarding costs.


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