Mike Maples, MD
We Are Not Now Who We Used To Be
Culture is like geology. It’s changing all the time – sometimes as slowly as continental drift, and at times as quickly as an earthquake reshapes a landscape. Our culture at CHCW has changed. There are the obvious and larges changes that happen when we grow and add new services and new sites. But even at our oldest and most established site (CWFM) the culture has changed.
What is culture? Culture consists of group norms of behavior and the underlying shared values that help keep those norms in place.
What is CHCW’s culture today? If you’re not able to answer that question, then you are in the same position as our managers, administrators, and me. When we articulate our values, and have discussions about how we reflect those values in our words and deeds, we will be closer to answering that question.
Why is it important? Every day, we are faced with choices about our behavior. The behavior may involve an interaction with a co-worker, a patient or another customer, or it may be a solitary task. At work, you have a job, and if you have a really good job description, it outlines all of the tasks that you do in your job. But it doesn’t guide you in deciding how you do the task. No mountain of policies, procedures and rules can do that either. Your decisions about how you behave in your work are determined by your values, and influenced by our culture. We need to give you, and new employees, a clear picture of the culture we aspire to if we hope to achieve consistent results.
Why now? Have you been wondering when you were going to hear back from us about the staff survey that you completed in the fall? We started that work, but found that we could not finish it. Let me give you an example of that: Last year, the survey said that CHCW needs a compensation system that recognizes employee merit. We agree, b
we must have a bulletproof, objective evaluation system upon which to base decisions of such importance. We haven’t made much progress on that. This year – no surprise – you said the same thing. Why is this so hard? It’s because it’s not good enough to tell someone WHAT they need to do. We need to also give them guidance that helps them decide HOW they should do it.
We will get back to the survey. Promise. But we’re pausing to first to have discussion about culture. Our response to the needs that you identify will be better if we are mindful of the culture that we promote.
And how will we decide on the culture that we want to communicate and promote?
We are inviting you to Champion our effort to improve the culture of CHCW by defining Core Values. What does it mean to treat every individual we touch – co-workers, patients, and other customers – with respect and dignity?
Five teams are being organized to define the culture that CHCW strives for.
Here are our Teams and their facilitators:
¨ Administration and – Michael Schaffrinna
¨ Community – Elizabeth Herres Miller
¨ Our Legacy – April Yates Hardy
¨ Patient Care – Judy O’Neal
¨ Education & Residency – Russell Maier
Please make your own commitment to help CHCW be the Provider and Employer of Choice every time by joining a Team.
I hope you will take on this challenge with us.
Mike Maples, MD