Com­mit­ment to sat­is­fac­tion

St. Martin em­ploy­ees sign pledge to be sup­port­ive, re­spect­ful

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

The 125 em­ploy­ees at St. Martin Hos­pi­tal, a 25bed crit­i­cal-ac­cess hos­pi­tal in Breaux Bridge, La., each year sign a pledge re­new­ing their com­mit­ment to be re­spect­ful and sup­port­ive of one another. Their prom­ises cre­ate a cul­ture that makes for a happy work­place. “We be­lieve that em­ployee sat­is­fac­tion drives pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion,” says Dane Carriere, di­rec­tor of lab­o­ra­tory and car­diopul­monary ser­vices. “A happy em­ployee works harder and cares bet­ter for that pa­tient, and you end up with an over­all bet­ter out­come.”

St. Martin ranks No. 2 on the Best Places to Work roster for small provider/in­surer or­ga­ni­za­tions, those with be­tween 25 and 249 em­ploy­ees. It also holds the No. 6 spot in the provider-in­surer cat­e­gory and ranks No. 14 on the over­all list. This is the first year St. Martin ap­pears on the list.

RNnet­work, based in Boca Ra­ton, Fla., is No. 1 this year in the small-provider/in­surer cat­e­gory. The or­ga­ni­za­tion, which has been one of the Best Places to Work for two con­sec­u­tive years, was pro­filed in last year’s awards. Visit mod­ern­health­care.com/bestplaces to read about the company and other pre­vi­ous win­ners.

St. Martin CEO Katie He­bert sees “ex­treme cor­re­la­tion” be­tween em­ployee sat­is­fac­tion and pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion scores.

The hos­pi­tal’s fis­cal year-to-date pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion scores in both the emer­gency depart­ment and in­pa­tient units are at the 93rd per­centile, and had many months when they ranked in the 99th per­centile rank­ing.

“For our pa­tient sat­is­fac­tion to con­sis­tently be in the over-90th per­centile rank­ing speaks to the com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion of our staff to pro­vide an ex­cel­lent pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence,” He­bert says. “This can­not be ac­com­plished with­out an en­gaged work­force.”

As­so­ciate Ad­min­is­tra­tor Bryan Laper­ouse at­tributes the work­place cul­ture to St. Martin’s em­ployee be­hav­ior stan­dards. First im­ple­mented in 2010, the stan­dards were up­dated in 2013 and re­branded as Em­ployee S.E.R.V.I.C.E. Stan­dards of Be­hav­ior to re­flect seven cat­e­gories: sup­port­ive­ness, eti­quette, re­spect, vi­brancy, in­tegrity, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and ex­cel­lence in ser­vice de­liv­ery.

In the sup­port­ive­ness cat­e­gory, one stan­dard states “I will rec­og­nize, praise and thank my fel­low work­ers, as well as my cus­tomers and pa­tients,” and another af­firms “I will be a team player and work col­lab­o­ra­tively to help oth­ers, in­clud­ing those out­side of my depart­ment. I will avoid us­ing

the phrase ‘That’s not my job.’ ”

Mean­while, com­mu­ni­ca­tion stan­dards in­clude “I will give and re­ceive con­struc­tive crit­i­cism in a timely man­ner and turn it into an op­por­tu­nity to im­prove,” and “I will re­mem­ber that body lan­guage is a pow­er­ful com­mu­ni­ca­tor. I will smile and demon­strate an open, friendly pos­ture.”

The stan­dards are not just words on pa­per, Laper­ouse said. Ev­ery em­ployee signs a pledge to up­hold the stan­dards when he or she is hired, and a “recom­mit” is signed an­nu­ally there­after.

“We follow th­ese stan­dards re­li­giously,” he says. “We give the own­er­ship of ac­count­abil­ity to em­ploy­ees, and they do a great job of hold­ing one another ac­count­able.”

St. Martin’s lead­er­ship team en­dorsed the stan­dards but they were de­ter­mined by em­ploy­ees. A team of high-per­form­ing em­ploy­ees joined forces to so­licit rec­om­men­da­tions from the en­tire staff.

“Their charge was to ask and an­swer the ques­tions, ‘What do we think is im­por­tant at St. Martin Hos­pi­tal? What are the stan­dards that we hold dear, and that we think ev­ery­one in our hos­pi­tal should up­hold?’ ” He­bert says.

The be­hav­ior stan­dards also come into play in the in­ter­view­ing process. After a can­di­date has been in­ter­viewed by the hir­ing su­per­vi­sor, he or she is in­ter­viewed by a team of em­ploy­ees who eval­u­ate whether the can­di­date is likely to meet the stan­dards.

In turn, new em­ploy­ees have in­ter­views 30 days and 90 days after their hire date to see if St. Martin is the place they want to work.

“We want to en­sure that we’re truth­ful up­front so we ask them, ‘How do we stack up to what we said? Are we liv­ing up to your ex­pec­ta­tions?’ ” Carriere says. “That re­as­sures that em­ployee that they are in the right place.”

For the Jour­ney to Ex­cel­lence Win­ter Olympics, St. Martin em­ploy­ees com­peted in sev­eral events re­lated to the hos­pi­tal’s S.E.R.V.I.C.E. Stan­dards. Win­ners get a day off with pay, gift cards, a medal, other prizes and tro­phies, based on their team score.

St. Martin spon­sors and hosts an an­nual gumbo cook-off for the United Way. De­part­ments form teams and the hos­pi­tal sup­plies all cook­ing ma­te­ri­als and mar­ket­ing cam­paigns.

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