Culture of Excellence

As the recently appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Johnson Health Center (JHC), I took the opportunity to reflect on the seven months I spent in the interim role. From the beginning, I spent most of my energy on establishing a climate of employee engagement. As the months went by, I happily watched as a transformation slowly began.

Fast forward to February 26, 2015 and the announcement that I would have the opportunity to formally lead JHC into a new era. There was much excitement yet a degree of uncertainty given the evolving healthcare landscape.

One thing was certain though, for JHC to compete in a world of change, we would have to work smarter and be passionate about how we take care of our patients.

Before we could even think about how we would implement a smarter, more passionate way to take care of our patients, we needed to focus on how take care of each other. We would turn our focus to leadership development and pursue an employer of choice initiative.

We held our first comprehensive leadership retreat in April with the focus on becoming an employer of choice to be the provider of choice. But how to get there was the question. The answer; create a culture of excellence.

But what does creating a culture of excellence look like? Great question and one we posed to our leadership team during our first ever two-day off-site meeting.

There are many ways you can solicit information in trying to find out the secret formula and for us it was simple. We asked the following question; what service, vendor, person, or experience have you walked away from and simply said, wow? I would definitely recommend him/her/them/it to my family and friends!

There were a number of responses for various experiences but all with one thing in common; passionate focus on the customer.

We took this exercise and turned it inward – how could we replicate this passion for our own customers? How do we create this culture of excellence to drive our Employer of Choice initiative?

We all agreed this would be a journey as there was much to do to build trust and ignite employee engagement. We decided to focus on The Go-Giver principles created by Bob Burg and John David Mann but not all at once. To get this right, we first needed to concentrate on value and the impact that would result from this focus.

In the Go-Giver, the Law of Value states that your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment. Translated internally, our leadership team made the commitment to add more value to each person they came in contact with – every time.

You see, the golden rule of business as translated into culture of excellence principles says, people will assist, do things for, make things easier for, speed up the process for, and collaborate with those whom they know, like and trust.

So that’s where we start, focus on the first law and add more value to people’s lives. The Law of Value would be our North Star as Burg and Mann like to put it.

While we are in the early stages, turnover is at a record low and our patient quality measures have greatly improved. Staff is more engaged than ever and morale is high – “there is definitely a buzz around the place” notes one of our provider staff members.

Do I sound excited? Am I optimistic? Oh yes! Now, I can’t wait to apply the other four laws!