Training Top 125 Best Practice: Vi’s Management Development Program (MDP)

The Management Development Program (MDP) aims to provide a springboard for emerging talent who aspire to grow regardless of their role within the company.

Vi invests heavily in employee training and development at all levels. Vi’s Management Development Program (MDP) aims to provide a springboard for emerging talent who aspire to grow regardless of their role within the company, which develops, owns, and operates luxury continuing care retirement communities across the U.S.

Program Details

Each year, MDP participants from across the company nominate themselves, and with supervisor approval and commitment for support, participate in a rigorous selection process. Each individual selected for MDP creates a development plan with his or her manager and local HR leader and receives a learner starter kit with relevant articles, tools, and resources. Whether a housekeeper aspires to be a lead housekeeper, or a server aspires to be a dining room manager, or a certified nursing assistant aspires to be a nurse, as part of this one-year program to develop Vi’s leadership competencies, individuals participate in:

  • Virtual learning sessions with Vi executives and functional leaders across the company
  • Cross-functional community learning teams on community projects geared toward building business acumen, collaboration and planning skills, and communication skills (including development of presentation skills)
  • Leadership face-to-face, one-on-one sessions with Vi executives
  • A Gallup Strengthfinder session with the goal of learning about one’s individual strengths and how to best leverage strengths individually and as part of a team
  • A custom online learning plan with pre- and post-class assessments
  • An MDP community blog to share best practices and learning
  • Franklin Covey leadership development virtual classes


As a result of the MDP program, more than 31 percent of promotions are from internal candidates. In addition, Vi has seen high levels of employee retention: Attrition is at the 22 percentile compared with other senior living companies, where attrition ranges from percentiles in the low 30s to as high as 75 percent. In 2010, Vi’s attrition rate was at 29 percent. The average cost for employee attrition based on data specific to Vi from the Work Institute is $11,500. For each percentage point in a reduction in attrition, the company realizes a savings of $2.1 million.

Training Top 125

2017 Training Top 125 winners demonstrated a strong focus on effective training and employee development tied to corporate strategic goals and business impact.

From the Editor

While editing one of the articles, “Lessons for New L&D Leaders,” for this issue, I read something that struck a chord: “When meeting with peers and up-line colleagues, ask: ‘How can I help you

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