Amidst a turbulent business environment, change truly is the only constant. As the healthcare industry experiences unprecedented growth – baby boomers age, technology expands, and companies merge – organizations have no choice but to evolve their culture to keep up with new challenges. Here we share a few highlights from our panelists who shared their experience with healthcare and culture change: Paula Winkler from The Disruptive Element, Steve Arsenault from Medtronic, and Carolyn Jacobson from Fairview Health Services.
- Culture describes what we do and how we work. It speaks to key behaviors important to and embedded within an organization.
- As leaders, we shape culture through what we encourage and what we tolerate. If you don’t live it and believe it, your culture gets off course.
- In larger companies, there’s often a distinct difference between corporate culture versus team culture. You can’t expect total consistency – people need freedom to be individuals, drive innovation, and contribute to the evolution of culture.
Making Culture Initiatives Stick
- The simplest measure for leaders to drive culture change is being intentional about culture. Figure out what behaviors matter most to you, then support those behaviors through your processes, rewards systems, attitudes and mindsets.
- One of the biggest downfalls in an organization’s culture is when there’s an alleged focus on building an “accountability culture,” but it’s not enforced properly. It weakens culture when an employee doesn’t do their job and no one says or does anything about it.
- True culture change requires a lot of patience. First you must define what culture means to your company and second you must think through the people systems and ensure it’s congruent.
- In competing with the Googles and Apples of the world for attracting Millennials and GenZ to the workforce, healthcare must rely on the broader mission of the organization and industry. People are drawn to a career that helps others and fuels an internal passion.
- It’s critical to support the work habits of the next generation. At Medtronic, their match to an employee’s philanthropic organization of choice has been a huge draw in attracting and retaining the new workforce.
Culture is difficult to define and, often, even more difficult to redefine. While healthcare continues to evolve, it’s clear that an emphasis on both people and technology will be critical to fostering a culture attractive to a diverse workforce.
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