3 Actionable Strategies to Energize Your Hospital’s Culture and Watch the Bottom Line Grow

It makes sense that hospitals with inspired healthcare teams and a strong culture are great places to work. But the benefits go beyond happy employees — these hospitals also have healthier bottom lines.

Whether you’re a hospital or independent specialty group, a strong culture leads to higher quality of care, a better reputation, and increased staff retention, as well as more talent attraction and operational efficiencies… all of which lead to higher margins and increased patient volumes.

The right internal program can inspire employees to provide a compassionate patient experience that reflects the values of your hospital. Just keep in mind, it’s important that your people are a part of the process and the solution when building internal programs.

Here are three actionable items that can make a difference in your hospital’s culture:

  1. Inspire your employees with a “warm-up” program. One client has embraced the L.O.V.E. program. It’s being incorporated into training, behind-the-scenes signage and during on-boarding. It’s even on staff name badges. Employees are encouraged to share the L.O.V.E. with patients and each other:
    • LAUGH:  Smile at everyone. Laugh with each other. Find happiness in little things.
    • OVER-ASSIST:  Make every patient experience as worry-free as possible.
    • VALIDATE:  Always ask if everything went great today.
    • ENJOY: Find joy in your job of caring for your community.
  1. Launch a peer-to-peer recognition program. When co-workers share gratitude and recognition among themselves, it improves relationships, boosts confidence, and positively impacts the bottom line. Here’s how one hospital shares the L.O.V.E by focusing on the positive things happening at their workplace:
    • All staff members receive perforated cards they can pass out when they see a colleague go above and beyond for a patient, a peer or the hospital.
    • One half goes in a box for leadership and the other is handed directly to the person they wish to recognize.
    • Leadership rewards those who have been most recognized by their peers throughout the year.
  1. Start a servant leadership program. Servant leaders flip the power paradigm, prioritizing the growth and wellbeing of their employees above their own needs. A servant leader earns respect by listening, inclusion, and even working in the trenches alongside their staff. One hospital trains people to think as servant leaders with a unique twist on rounding:
    • About once a month, supervisors pop in on each of their employees to spontaneously check in — not to discuss performance, but to maintain a personal connection and help them feel valued.
    • It’s a chance to ask questions and listen… to make sure everyone is feeling okay, that things are running smoothly and that everyone has what they need to do their jobs.
    • Supervisors take notes on a form and follow through as necessary.

It really is possible to shift employees’ attitudes and behaviors. But it takes commitment on the part of leadership. The good news? Research shows that the time and money you invest in energizing your culture will be reflected in a happier staff, better patient experiences and a healthier bottom line.  It’s a win-win-win.