the bottom line
A Culture of Extraordinary
Care: Part 3
By Ed Yoder, MBA, MHA, RT(R), FAHRA, CRA
Now that leaders have been trained and
educated and brought on board the bus,
the next step in creating a culture of excellence is to decide what the expected
behaviors of everyone involved will be.
What will be tolerated and what will
not? How will we treat each other interdepartmentally and intradepartmentally?
This is a great exercise for your newly
on-boarded leadership team. What will
they expect from you and what will they
expect from each other? Once you have
that decided then the next trick is to roll
it out to your staff. Again, this is an excellent opportunity to get front line staff
engaged and to get them to participate in
designing these behaviors. Believe me—
they already have the ideas, it should not
be hard to get someone to lead this team
to its end goal.
Your organization’s mission statement should guide you to where this
behavior road exists. Often within the
mission are the values, within the values
lie the behaviors. Realize some organizations live these and some just have them
on paper. Your job will be to get your
leadership team and department to live
by these behaviors day-in and day-out.
This will require accountability in following the design that is brought forth.
When we started on this journey we
began with our mission which stated,
“To improve the health of the people we
serve, by providing the highest quality and
the most effective care and service—and
You have to have every individual on board to change a
culture. You have to eliminate the ones that do not want to
get on board and you have to hire the right individuals to
replace those who do not want to get on the bus.
to return value to the people of our communities.” This says a lot and within that
we have values that help us accomplish
our mission. Our values state that: We are
partners, along with our patients, patient
families, and community and we pledge
to assure mutual RESPECT in all activities and communications by following
our RESPECT behaviors.
From this, we assembled a team to begin devising what we thought behaviors
should look like and how we would like
to be treated. The plan was for the team
to begin to develop a doctrine that we
could live with and that would become
our guiding force in relation to behavioral expectations. We compared this to
when our founding fathers got together
and developed what would become the
Declaration of Independence, a doctrine
to guide a country by. We wanted a doctrine to guide our department by.
To begin, we chose individuals within
the department who gave excellent care and
seemed to have a warm and caring dispo-
sition. (Believe me, not everyone at this
time had those traits! That’s why we were
on this culture change journey in the first
place.) We selected ten employees, along
with my supervisory team, which con-
sisted of seven. Our first challenge was
to create a charter by which to guide the
team. It was decided that, based on the
Declaration of Independence, since we
were setting out on discovering a new
world, we would call our charter the
Declaration of Interdependence. With
this working title and charter we would
now begin work on developing the traits
we would expect from all employees.