Friday, September 28, 2012
What do our people think about our system as a place to work?
In order to get to our vision, we must have our people fully engaged. We added “more employee joy in their work” to the triple aim of better health, better care and lower cost because we knew that the other three are not possible unless our physicians, nurses, other clinicians and support staff feel valued by our organization.
So how can we tell if our people feel that our system is a good place to work? Every year we do an Employee Opinion Survey. The results of this year’s survey are in and they show that in some areas we are improving and in others we are not.
Every year we hope for 100% participation so that we can hear from everyone. This year 75 percent of employees participated in the survey, which is down from 80 percent last year.
Our Employee Relations Index, which is a roll-up score of how satisfied employees are, was 69, down one point from where we stood between 2009 & 2011 and two points below our goal of 71. While this is higher than the national average (65) for healthcare organizations surveyed by the same company, the fact that we are not improving is a problem for us. The actions that we must take to improve next year, however, lie in the responses to the individual questions.
Where did we improve? The questions with the greatest score improvement included: Is senior management responsive to employee concerns?, which increased by seven percent; trust in senior management, which increased by five percent; Does senior management treat you with dignity and respect, which saw a three percent favorable increase; and pay increase satisfaction, which also rose three percent. I am grateful for the work of my colleagues on the Senior Team and our work in narrowing the distance between what the “front line” knows and what the “front office” knows. Things like senior leader rounding where we are partnered with a manager and his/her unit/department and luncheons with our staff and managers have clearly helped us build trust.
But while our scores improved in questions around trust in senior management (they were the highest since we started with the survey in 2007), these improvements were unfortunately offset with people’s unhappiness about compensation and benefits. Scores decreased on questions about satisfaction with benefits (10 percent drop), competitive benefits (nine percent), job security (eight percent), and future advancement opportunities (three percent).
We made some significant changes in benefits this year in an effort to save both the organization and employees money and keep as much of our “healthcare spend” within the GBMC family. We will be asking our people for their insight into what specifically they may not like about the new plan. I realize that we have had some billing issues with the new system and I ask for patience as we correct these defects. We understand there is some confusion both among employees and physician practices and we’re working on improving that, but the fact that employees can now save significant family dollars is a benefit. Now, if you use a GBMC doctor in a GBMC facility, you have no out of pocket expense.
We’ve already begun taking steps to increase satisfaction with the new medical benefits program. Letters have been sent to physician offices clarifying the co-pay process, additional communication is being sent to plan participants within the next two weeks and employee information sessions are being planned for early October.
We certainly faced some challenges in Fiscal Year 2012, and unfortunately had to make some personnel changes. It’s understandable that some people get nervous about their longevity and security with the organization.
In the areas of job security and pay practices, some changes are already underway that will hopefully improve employee satisfaction. Human Resources will be redoubling its efforts in ensuring managers understand how compensation decisions are made. We will work to provide clear expectations and processes for promotions, and we will continue educating managers on promoting our philosophy of a “Just Culture.”
Even though the formal survey process is over, I encourage all employees to share ideas, concerns and suggestions with their managers. Every manager will review his or her department’s scores with their staff and come up with ideas for improvement. For things that cannot be fixed locally, like benefits and compensation, our Human Resources Department will take the lead on improving things.
The input shared by our employees is invaluable as we continue striving to reach our vision. I encourage all of our employees to fill out the survey next year. Without your thoughts we cannot improve. Also, you can share your ideas, concerns and questions at one of the upcoming Town Hall meetings. You will also want to attend a Town Hall meeting because we will be rolling out our Employee Incentive Plan for this fiscal year.
Town Hall Meeting Schedule
Thursday, October 11: 12 p.m. – 1 p.m., Civiletti Conference Center (Lunch will be served)
Friday, October 12: 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.., South Chapman
Tuesday, October 16, 9 a.m. – 10 a.m., GBMC at Owings Mills
Friday, October 19, 7 a.m. – 8 a.m., rear of the GBMC Dining Room (for OR staff)
Friday, October 19, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., Gilchrist Hospice Care Corporate Office in Hunt Valley
Friday, October 19, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m., Civiletti Conference Center (Lunch will be served)
*Additional meetings will be scheduled during evening and weekend hours
Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs
If you don’t have any plans for this Saturday, September 29th, bring the family to Shawan Downs, which will once again be the home of The Legacy Chase, hosted by and benefiting the GBMC HealthCare system. The Legacy Chase has become an annual social event; marrying the excitement of steeple chasing with the beauty of the countryside. As Jenny Coldiron, president of the GBMC Foundation says, "You don't need to be an avid steeplechase fan to have fun. Pack a picnic basket and come enjoy a day in the country." In addition to the great horse races, there’s something for everyone – from wine tasting and live music to antique car displays and tons of kids’ activities including a stick pony race. For more information, go to Legacy Chase at Shawan Downs