A Deliberate Approach to Culture Change
The work environment or patient experience didn’t match senior leadership’s vision. Surveys showed that staff didn’t feel the organization was serious enough about patient safety and the patient experience. Staff turnover and time to fill open positions were high and patient satisfaction scores were below average. The hospital undertook a five year, comprehensive cultural intervention.
The hospital recognized that “programs” and long term culture change are two different things. The former promises quick results, the latter is about long term process and behavioral changes that result in a slow and steady shift in thought and practice. This shift is manifested in everyday decisions, including how they look at talent. Organizations that hire a candidate out of desperation to fill an open position, or keep a technically proficient employee who is not patient-focused or adaptable, are making conscious decisions that shape their culture.
Human Resources Plays a Critical Role
First, this hospital made culture change part of their strategic plan. Then it looked to its talent strategies. No department has a greater influence on culture than Human Resources. The staff’s attitude toward safety, change, and the ability to remain steadfastly focused on the patient and family experience starts with the ability to attract, select, train, and retain the right people.
Every hiring or promotion decision has an impact on organizational culture, so the goal is to link selection with the desired cultural improvements. Human Resources worked with department leaders to link all jobs to the mission at the beginning of the recruitment process. This link is then maintained during orientation, on-boarding, performance management, and development. Success also required a more deliberate and objective approach to selection decisions.
The New Selection System
Step 1 was the development of an organization-wide, comprehensive behavioral competency model. In 12 weeks, Talogy and the client identified a concise model of the behaviors, at every level of the organization, that supports the cultural vision. These competencies now form the foundation of the selection, performance management, and development of all employees from service workers, to managers, allied health and nursing, to senior leadership.
Step 2 was implementing the interview solutions program where hiring managers take a serious role in building their teams, and use of proven, healthcare-specific online behavioral assessments including Talogy Modular System for Healthcare (formerly known as ServiceFit® for Healthcare and NurseFit®), and Talogy Modular System for Leaders (formerly known as Select Assessment® for Leader Development). These add objectivity to evaluating behavioral skills and identify candidates who will exhibit the behaviors that support the culture.