Posted by Randy Berger on Oct. 8, 2018 None

Teamwork and clear measures of success as keys to CoxHealth's well-oiled machine.

When you’re busy, how do you focus? When everything is important, how do you know what the priorities are? 

In health care, we have a million things to do. We all want to focus on the things that will make us successful. And, no one succeeds alone. Health care is a team effort and working well together is key to serving our patients. 

The We Want to Know Survey gives CoxHealth leaders insight into the employee experience. 

This year’s survey drew record-setting participation and our new survey vendor, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., has an intense suite of data-analysis tools to make the most of those results. 

After analyzing this year’s feedback, leaders have a plan for improvements, starting with a systemwide focus on two survey areas that are vital to our success: 

1. I understand what I need to be successful.

2. The people I work with work well together. 

If we can improve agreement with these two statements, we will boost employee engagement and reinforce the culture that makes CoxHealth a best place to work. 

“We have always focused on key drivers of engagement, but using Gallagher’s data to narrow our focus to two questions for everyone to work on is going to help us get to the next level,” says Human Resources Vice President Andy Hedgpeth. 

“We are moving quickly and doing a very good job. Something is legitimately happening in our culture. We are improving and that is a great thing.”


Key questions

Experts with Arthur Gallagher have focused on these two key areas for a simple reason: they are connected to many other questions in the survey.

Understanding what it takes to be successful and feeling that our teams work well together mean we are more likely to positively rate other areas, such as understanding how our work contributes to CoxHealth’s mission. 

“We can’t work on 40 different things. We want to pinpoint powerful things to work on to really drive change,” Gallagher’s David Rowlee told leaders at this summer’s Leadership Development Institute. “These are the items that statistically correlate most strongly with engagement.” 

Understanding what we all need to be successful is key to engaging our own personal passion for our work. Everyone needs to see how their contribution makes a difference. 

Clarity about departmental goals can drive individual goals and can help all of us know how our work fits into CoxHealth’s mission. 

Meanwhile, improving how we work together reinforces the power we create when we work as a team – whether that’s inside our departments or between departments throughout the system. 

Better teamwork means we will continue to improve efficiency and reduce rework and redundancy, which are key dissatisfiers.



Driving change with the LEM

So how do we create a focus on these two areas systemwide? 

Hedgpeth says leaders will be driving improvements through the Leadership Evaluation Manager tool. 

All leaders using a LEM will focus action plans for their areas around these two key areas. They will work with their teams to establish LEM goals that address working well together and understanding what is needed to be successful. 

Hedgpeth notes that the record-setting 90 percent participation is a marker of high engagement. “People trust leaders to listen and they trust us to take action,” Hedgpeth says. “The LEM is a great tool for action planning and we are going to use it.” 

Here on the intranet and on, you will see examples from areas that are exhibiting great teamwork, both within their departments and across the silos of health care. 

You’ll meet leaders who are using the LEM to set clear goals for staff members – the kinds of goals that have employees leaving work with a sense of satisfaction at the end of the day. And, you’ll see areas that are working to improve, making adjustments and trying new approaches to make our workplace the best it can be. 

Building on success

As we work to make improvements, CoxHealth has some clear advantages: we have momentum in the right direction and we are already performing well. 

On the two key areas:

97% of people who took the survey – that’s almost 9,000 people – say they agree to some degree with the statement “I understand what I need to do to be successful.”

92% agree to some degree on “The people I work with work well together.” 

All it will take is a sustained, focused “nudge” to move us toward excellence. 

The vast majority of employees agree with both of the statements, but they don’t feel confident enough to select “strongly agree,” the “6” on the 6-point scale. 

It may sound like splitting hairs, but there is a big difference between agreeing and being engaged enough to strongly agree. 

As Rowlee put it: “If I am at a Valentine’s Day dinner and my wife asks if I love her and I say, ‘I tend to,’ that would alter things. 

“There is a huge difference between, ‘Yeah, I understand’ and ‘Yes, I know exactly how to be successful and what that means,’” he says. “We want to help CoxHealth leaders have the right discussions to get people moving to a more powerful position. 

“We know from our research that improving performance on these two areas will trigger an incredible improvement in engagement.”