The People Development Initiative

With the rapid growth in the aging services field anticipated as the Boomer Generation ages, Kendal will face sharply increased competition for staff in all areas. Building on its history and its values, Kendal will create comprehensive, System-wide staff development programs—for frontline staff, management and leadership positions—to ensure that Kendal takes the lead in aging services education and galvanizes its position as an employer of choice.

Kendal’s values call for “contributing to improved services for all older people.” Keeping that commitment will require a substantial investment in staff development—including a strong, systemized curriculum and internship, mentorship and fellowship programs—so that Kendal can broaden its impact both internally and across the aging services field.

We believe the people development initiative will enhance the quality of staff and resident experiences throughout the Kendal System.

The objective of the Kendal People Development Initiative will be to provide quality, consistency and relevancy in a values-based series of educational programs that engage Kendal as a larger “learning organization.”


Kendal has made a commitment “to promote an environment of continuing learning, encouraging lifelong growth for staff, community members, boards, and volunteers.”

During his more than 24 years of service as Kendal’s President and CEO, John Diffey truly embraced and championed the belief that every staff member is worthy of respect and should be encouraged to grow personally, professionally and spiritually with Kendal’s support.

Give in John’s Honor  



Staff Development

Kendal is committed to the philosophy that it “must be a good place to work if it is to be a good place to live.” In addition, Kendal’s Values and Practices booklet states that: “We believe that diverse opportunities for growth help sustain high levels of enthusiasm and engagement in the workplace, create a more knowledgeable work force and contribute to greater commitment and higher motivation.”

Support for staff development comes in many forms and from countless sources across Kendal. In addition to the educational services provided on-site by Kendal affiliates, it includes covering the costs for new staff members to complete a 10-week training course to become Certified Nursing Assistants, paying for classes required throughout a four-year electrician apprenticeship program, and reimbursing staff for college and graduate school tuition. It is not unusual for a health care staff member to progress—with support from tuition reimbursement—from earning a nursing assistant certificate to becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, then a Registered Nurse and on to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

Ashley Parker, Kendal at HanoverAshley began working part time as a Dining Services wait staff member at 15. Soon she was promoted to dining room host, and as a high school senior won a four-year college scholarship from Kendal at Hanover. During college breaks, Ashley returned to Kendal at Hanover, and she worked full time in a temporary Human Resources position the summer before she went to college. She graduated in 2010 with a degree in management and marketing. That fall Ashley began working full-time in Human Resources, and in 2012 moved to her current position as an Admissions and Marketing Associate. Thanks to 100 percent tuition reimbursement from Kendal at Hanover, she will soon get her master’s degree in health care management.

Kendal Leadership Program

Igniting the Light Within

Kendal has created programs to nurture emerging leaders. Scores of new and seasoned supervisors have benefitted from Foundations of Supervision, a curriculum based on Kendal values. And in 2012 Kendal’s Director for Human Resources collaborated with three Affiliate human resources leaders to launch the Kendal Leadership Program. “Igniting the Light Within” consists of three, three-day fellowship retreats over the course of eight months. The program focuses on three aspects of leadership—“Learning More Deeply About the Self,” “A Culture of Feedback and Innovation,” and “Sustaining a Learning Organization.”

Learn more about the Kendal Leadership Program