Have you seen my stapler?

Hi All!  Great news!  We are going to have a party!  80.2% of you took time to take the employee satisfaction survey!  Thank you so much for doing this.  These surveys are an important tool to help take our amazing organization to a world-class organization…I am not even joking.  Take a gander:

For our overall scores, it is much like the HCAHPS methodology, it is based on favorable (top box scores) and unfavorable (bottom box scores).  According to the Press Ganey database, which is the biggest in the world, the best in class healthcare score is 82.5, the average healthcare norm score is 74.3.  MMH scores:

  • 2013:  70
  • 2014:  65.8
  • 2015:  67.8
  • 2016:  82.8
  • 2017:  87.7

Wow!  In 2016 we were a best in class!  In 2017 we are WORLD CLASS!  This is indicative in many of the comments in the comments section…we are truly an employer of choice!  Meaning that the majority of people love working for us!  However, there are always areas for improvement.  I will take time to address the negative comments in here and several more blogs in the future.  Without further ado:


“Communication/transparency between senior leadership and staff. There is a sense of fear and insecurity whenever seemingly exemplary employees are fired for no apparent reason. I think it would be helpful to know that policies for progressive discipline are being implemented or be given examples of what behavior would constitute an immediate dismissal”.

First let me deconstruct the first comment regarding communication/transparency.  Communication…yep, we have some work to do here.  Part of our strategic plan will be implementing methodology to improve this.  We have started by moving the manager meeting to the day after the monthly board meeting, and dedicate 30 mins. to an hour disseminating the information from the night before for managers to present to departments.  However, this is a two-way street…we have implemented newsletters, email blasts etc. in the past, and asked what you all wanted to hear…all we heard were crickets in most instances.

The next in line is transparency…this is a tough one.  If it is transparency with financials, quality, strategy etc.  I can buy this…we can always be more transparent in this area.  With Wes White on-board there will be much more financial transparency with budget and responsibility reports.  However, if it is personnel transparency as this comment suggests…I will give an absolutely not!  After all, should we be saying hey all, Trampas Hutches is no longer with the organization because he was on dating sites on the hospital network while at work?  Then you all will ask Trampas were you on that dating site?  What do you think he will tell you?  Can anyone say lawsuit in this instance?

“There is a sense of fear and insecurity whenever seemingly exemplary employees are fired for no apparent reason”.  This seems to cross into that transparency area above.  I can appreciate the sense of fear and insecurity when not every detail is shared.  In fact this is one of the reasons I became a CEO, I felt that the old school style of “at will” termination was unreasonable.

“I think it would be helpful to know that policies for progressive discipline are being implemented or be given examples of what behavior would constitute an immediate dismissal”.  This is a more constructive statement.  First it is always the goal to redirect the behavior for success of all parties.  MMH has not had a consistent progressive discipline policy in place until this year.  Senior leadership went through great discussion, and debate trying to do the right thing in implementing this policy.  We tried to balance all sides of the employee, the organization and the patients, we tried to be as fair as possible, and put it through multiple scenarios…we knew it would be hard.  I encourage you all to go back, and take a look at policy 900.17A and B in MCN Policy Manager.

Since I have been here there have been a wide range of instances of progressive discipline.  One person had 31 incidents of improper conduct before termination, 28 were prior to my arrival.  Now the incidents range from 1-3, a lot of people own the mistake and are successful in their positions.  This is job specific, item specific, and can vary.  For example, at one of my prior jobs the IT Tech would utilize their ability to look into, email of others and was tracked looking at multiple different people’s email accounts without permission over 40 times.  Looking once without permission in this instance would constitute immediate termination as this is a gregarious violation of trust in a position where it is paramount.  The employee was terminated, denied any wrong doing even in the face of the screenshots showing proof.  They filed unemployment and were denied.

Here are examples of behavior that will warrant action and or immediate termination.  These are actual behaviors I have experienced here and other organizations:

  • Viewing significant others medical records 71 times in one day
  • On dating sites during work hours on hospital equipment
  • Destruction of hospital property
  • Intoxication at work
  • Multiple instances of tardiness
  • Gossip and spreading rumors
  • Surfing the internet for an average of 2 hours per day (all things can be tracked via IT audits)
  • Missing work deadlines multiple times
  • Selling diapers purchased in employee purchase program at higher rate than bought for profit to those outside of an organization
  • Not clocking out and notifying supervisor in order to get overtime when called in during night.  Then bragging about it in the community jump starting the investigation.
  • Patient abandonment
  • Under the influence of opioids
  • Absenteeism
  • Opioid diversion
  • Leaving drug cabinets unlocked, multiple incidents
  • Workers comp fraud
  • Insubordination
  • Negative Facebook/social media comments about workplace or people in the workplace
  • Sexual intercourse during work hours
  • Poor performance
  • Falsifying patient records
  • Poor productivity
  • Sleeping on the job
  • Violating employee standards of conduct/behavior policies

The list can go on and on.  Some of the best employees, can also have struggles in the area above.  Also, as management, our philosophy around employee resignation is that we will accept all communications of resignation or threats of resignation during a corrective action process.  We do not take any of the above lightly, we have thorough investigations prior to making determinations of phases of corrective action.  I, personally, am always communicated with during these incidences, and I can assure you that we always strive to do the right thing.

All in all, this task is always difficult for any organization.  Balancing the line of corrective action and termination, and workplace fear is challenging.  I beg you all to do two things:  1.  Consider that you will only hear one side or no sides of the incident; and 2.  Strive to be the best team member that you can be…give it your 110%, and there will never be a problem.

I will always be available if any of you have questions or are concerned with any of these things that I have blogged about today.

Have an amazing weekend!





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