The Impact of Achieving Employer of Choice Recognition

“It was the best culture that we have ever looked at”. This is what Joyce Gioia of Employer of Choice International, Inc. had to say about Johnson Health Center’s recent recognition as a certified Employer of Choice (EOC) in an interview with The News & Advance on April 24, 2016.

Ms. Gioia went on to say how the survey results showed some of the highest scores they had ever seen, while noting that very few companies are successful in obtaining this prestigious designation on the first try.

The most exciting part of the EOC journey is not where we ended up, but where we started.

When I took the helm as Interim CEO of Johnson Health Center (JHC) in August 2014, I committed to an overarching goal of pursuing an employer of choice certification. The culture I inherited was strained, retention of good people was a challenge, and innovation and teamwork were nearly non-existent. Needless to say, the ability to recruit in this climate was difficult.

The first thing we did was create some clarity and direction around our EOC pursuit. We identified three key areas of focus and went after them with a passion;

  • Employee Engagement
  • Leadership Development
  • Community Partnerships

Another critical focus and contribution to our successful EOC journey was embedding the JHC core values (respect, integrity, teamwork, innovation, excellence) in everything we did. In other words, any and all decisions we made had to be congruent with the values. We communicated these values through all channels; the website, badges on the leading slide of every single presentation coming out of JHC, and employment related decisions.

The values are serious business if you want to become an employer of choice.

Leadership was another opportunity for us. Leading my own firm, Impact2Lead, allowed me to pilot the Impact Model at JHC. We went on a mission to develop leaders at all levels. Some stayed, some went, and some new leaders were born. It has to be that way to truly transform your culture.

In addition to the Impact Model, I pulled a page from Bob Burg and John David Mann’s “The Go-Giver,” as it related to adding value to people’s lives. We defined people as, everyone we had the opportunity to engage with be it patients, vendors, visitors, community partners and each other.

The Law of Value state; “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment”.

As a community health center with a mission to provide access to healthcare for all, going above and beyond to take care of people is our business. When you strive to touch people’s lives in a way that adds more value to them, it pays dividends beyond measurability and frankly, just makes you feel good and makes others feel good about you.

At the end of the day, it is about leading with a human touch. It is about inspiring those around you and unleashing the potential of those who want to be part of something big. This might be the reason JHC has enjoyed such a low voluntary turnover rate in the last eighteen months (5% in 2015 and less than 2% in 2016) while adding almost 35% to its workforce.

It’s one thing to say you want to be an employer of choice, it’s another to engage the employees for the journey, and then validate the effort with their feedback.

Way to go Johnson Health Center – you are truly “Impactful.”

-Gary Campbell