‘We want to be per­fect’

SOMC works to keep em­ployee-sat­is­fac­tion rate above 90%

Modern Healthcare - - BEST PLACES TO WORK - By Lola Butcher

South­ern Ohio Med­i­cal Cen­ter mon­i­tors more than 185 in­di­ca­tors to track its per­for­mance on five strate­gic val­ues—qual­ity, safety, fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity, pa­tients’ per­cep­tion of care and em­ployee re­la­tion­ships—and it ap­pears headed in the right di­rec­tion. In fis­cal 2014, the hos­pi­tal posted per­fect scores on 88% of those in­di­ca­tors.

“You can’t de­liver those re­sults un­less you have a work­force of peo­ple who help each other,” said Vicki Noel, SOMC’s vice pres­i­dent of hu­man re­sources.

Lo­cated in Portsmouth, Ohio, SOMC is No. 2 on the rank­ing of large providers/in­sur­ers in Mod­ern Health­care’s Best Places to Work in Health­care for 2014, those with more than 1,000 em­ploy­ees. The hos­pi­tal is No. 13 in the provider/in­surer cat­e­gory and No. 33 on the over­all rank­ing. It’s the fifth time the hos­pi­tal has earned a place on the list.

The No. 1 em­ployer in the large provider/in­surer cat­e­gory, Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Lub­bock, Texas, is pro­filed in the main story (p. 4).

Teresa Bryan, SOMC’s di­rec­tor of so­cial work, uti­liza­tion re­view-case man­age­ment, pas­toral care and pa­tient re­la­tions, serves as em­ployee re­la­tion­ships co-chair for the hos­pi­tal. She and co-chair Ken Ap­ple­gate, di­rec­tor of hu­man re­sources, use a dash­board to mon­i­tor dozens of data points re­lated to em­ployee en­gage­ment, sat­is­fac­tion and well-be­ing. Th­ese in­clude scores from em­ployee sat­is­fac­tion sur­veys con­ducted by an out­side ven­dor; the hos­pi­tal’s vol­un­tary re­ten­tion rate; the per­cent­age of em­ploy­ees en­rolled in SOMC’s well­ness pro­gram; and sev­eral in­di­ca­tors of physi­cian sat­is­fac­tion.

Tra­di­tion­ally, SOMC’s goal for each in­di­ca­tor was to score in the 90th per­centile or higher, but in re­cent years, the goal was switched to 100% per­fec­tion.

“If it’s your mom who is in the hos­pi­tal, you ex­pect us to be per­fect, and we want to be per­fect,” Bryan said.

As of last month, SOMC was sit­ting at 93.4% per­fec­tion for re­la­tion­ships, a rolled-up score for all mea­sures in the cat­e­gory. “For em­ployee sat­is­fac­tion, we are at 99th per­centile

all the way down the list,” she said.

Noel cred­its that high sat­is­fac­tion rate to two prac­tices: man­ager ac­count­abil­ity to em­ploy­ees and the net or­ga­ni­za­tional con­tri­bu­tion process.

If any depart­ment or work group gets an em­ployee sat­is­fac­tion score be­low the 90th per­centile, the di­rec­tor or man­ager must con­duct fo­cus groups with all em­ploy­ees to find out what needs to im­prove, then follow up with the em­ploy­ees—and Noel, vice pres­i­dent of hu­man re­sources—ev­ery quar­ter un­til the sat­is­fac­tion score cracks the 90th per­centile bench­mark. In sit­u­a­tions where em­ployee sat­is­fac­tion is be­low the 50th per­centile, the di­rec­tor or man­ager is coached closely by Bryan and Ap­ple­gate to im­ple­ment a turn­around plan and must meet monthly with the “Re­la­tion­ships <50th Club” un­til prob­lems are re­solved.

“The only way to have per­fec­tion is if ev­ery sin­gle em­ployee is able to work in a great place,” Bryan said.

Through the net or­ga­ni­za­tional con­tri­bu­tion process, all direc­tors and man­agers com­plete an an­nual as­sess­ment of their em­ploy­ees to iden­tify any who qual­ify as “net neg­a­tive,” mean­ing their col­leagues would rather work short­handed than suf­fer that per­son’s pas­sive-ag­gres­sive be­hav­ior, re­fusal to follow rules, or other neg­a­tive work be­hav­iors. Any em­ployee who is iden­ti­fied as “net neg­a­tive” is no­ti­fied about the be­hav­iors that must change and meet monthly with his or her man­ager to mon­i­tor im­prove­ment.

Un­like many health­care lead­ers who de­scribe their em­ploy­ees as “fam­ily,” Noel prefers the con­cept of a “team.” If a player is not per­form­ing to SOMC’s stan­dards, he or she must be re­spect­fully es­corted off the field.

“We care about one another as fam­ily, but when you think of a fam­ily, ev­ery­one stays no mat­ter what be­cause they are fam­ily,” Noel said. “You can’t run a high-per­form­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion with only the fam­ily view. We have to have the best team.”

To raise the vis­i­bil­ity of healthy heart aware­ness, South­ern Ohio Med­i­cal Cen­ter em­ploy­ees sport red as part of Na­tional Wear Red Day. SOMC and its em­ploy­ees “Go Red” ev­ery Fe­bru­ary.

Staff mem­bers of SOMC Pe­di­atric As­so­ciates visit with Wellington the Well­ness Hound dur­ing the of­fice’s sum­mer open house. Dur­ing the event, com­mu­nity mem­bers and em­ploy­ees toured the new space and met with physi­cians.

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