Rapid Resolution to Organizational Issues

The Client

A highly-regarded, 577-bed hospital in south Florida; 32,000 hospital admissions annually; 76,000 emergency room visits each year.

The Situation

The hospital, which prides itself on treating patients as valued guests, and its employees as valued members of their hospital family, is committed to being one of the nation’s leaders in work/life-friendly policies. Administrators were taken by surprise upon learning of growing dissatisfaction among employees in areas such as communications, decision-making processes, and other work environment issues.

The Challenge

Identify the source of employee dissatisfaction, address the issues, and restore and maintain a positive work environment.

The Solution

The solution was to help the hospital’s leaders identify and better understand employee concerns. This was accomplished through the establishment of Employee Advisory Groups (EAG), which provide focused employee input that can be considered and incorporated into executive decision-making and problem-solving.

Employee Advisory Groups are designed to:

  • Provide a forum where employees can openly voice concerns and raise issues
  • Increase integrated communications
  • Provide a lasting and official structure for communication up, down, and across the hospital
  • Enhance management’s awareness of stresses impacting employees and productivity
  • Develop mutual respect and trust throughout the organization
  • Provide a confidential atmosphere for discussion of issues, problems, and potential solutions
  • Strengthen the organization through a more engaged work force

Employee Advisory Groups include employees from across the organization who can provide the unique perspective from each department or unit of the organization. IRI led the hospital’s team in creating the EAG Mission, defining membership, designing operating guidelines, and establishing the membership process and role definitions. Additionally, IRI consultants facilitated the meeting structure, education of members, and forum assignments.

The IRI approach to creating Employee Advisory Groups is a proprietary process called Fastrack Teamssm – IRI’s rapid resolution program. Fastrack Teamssm provides measurement-driven results in a compressed timeframe and within a clearly specified budget. The key to this successful process – which relies on teamwork – is identifying the right people in the organization who can quickly analyze the situation, find solutions, and implement them immediately.

The Results

Senior management observed the initial Fastrack Teams program that facilitated a group of vice presidents, directors, managers, supervisors, and employees in the formation of the EAGs. The success of the EAG helped management better understand employee concerns, solicit ideas and input, anticipate and understand the effects of management’s decisions on employees, and learn how to communicate more effectively. Since implementing the EAG, employee satisfaction has risen considerably – leading to a more informed staff that feels more engaged and vested in organizational strategy.

The hospital uses a continuous improvement (CI) process throughout the facility as a method of achieving process improvements. The Fastrack Teamssm process has been instrumental in many of them, including the following select list:

  • Patient Care Redesign
  • Social Workers Scheduling
  • Critical Care Visitation
  • Pharmacy Scheduling
  • Rehabilitative Services Scheduling
  • Respiratory Therapy Redesign
  • Employee Advisory Groups
  • ED Management Restructuring
  • ED Triage Examination Area Launch
  • Lab Specimen Transfer Process
  • Rehabilitation Productivity – Acute, Inpatient, Outpatient Ortho, Outpatient Neuro
  • Emergency Dept Security
  • Social Work – Lost & Found Process
  • ED Expanded TSU Dept.
  • Noon Checkoutsm – Testing Services, Global Discharge Process, Physician/Nurse Expectation
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