Workplace culture is a hot topic, and draws focus from employers and employees alike. “Best Places to Work” lists are popping up in every industry, and many organizations make a concerted effort to land a top spot. Companies know the value of the people they hire, and they strive to build a strong culture that works collectively to achieve the organization’s mission and vision. Having the right people in the right place at the right time is the perfect equation for producing greater returns on an organization’s investment.
In healthcare, having the right staff is vitally important for an organization that is providing patient care. Provider organizations are under immense pressure to provide high-quality care that is also cost efficient. Healthcare facilities endeavor to have a thriving, positive workforce that is open and nimble to adapt in a constantly changing environment. This does not happen inherently. Building a results-driven culture is a slow process. It takes a significant cultural shift to tackle change-resistant mindsets and gain employee buy-in to effectively transform a process.
Characteristically, healthcare organizations often stick to the safe side, cautiously evaluating risks. For risk-adverse people who are more comfortable among the familiar, change translates to stress and can easily derail the momentum of new initiatives.
This change-resistant mindset can hold organizations back from reaching their full potential. On the other hand, having strong organizational alignment is a notable characteristic of a company that has a positive workplace culture. Put simply, this means employees at all levels of the organization are pointed in the same direction and doing their part to drive results to reach company objectives. Having strong organizational alignment makes implementing a significant change a smoother process. Employees who are actively engaged and bought into an organization’s mission and vision are more willing to embrace change and do their part to follow through on the initiative.
Gauging the Current State of Organizational Alignment
When strong organizational alignment is present, all employees have a clear vision of which operational goals should be their top focus. This is aligned with their performance expectations and well communicated by leaders, along with clarity on how success will be measured.
Additionally, a sense of urgency in moving projects closer to completion implies its organizational importance. Firm milestones should be set and all employees take consistent action in moving initiatives toward completion. When barriers arise that block progress, steps are taken to ensure momentum is maintained.
The most successful change efforts include early adopters and use front-line change agents to sway the majority. These change leaders should be empowered to bring people along the journey of change and keep a positive momentum.
As the ever-changing nature of healthcare continues to push organizations to embrace change or risk falling behind, one facet of an organization’s success that will continue to be a significant resource is their workforce — their people. People drive change, and having employees who are onboard to implement strategic initiatives helps move organizations toward their goals.