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Hospital Uses Employee Morale Leadership Program to Increase Profits by $4.5 Million

The Situation

In early 2012, a Maine-based hospital was “on a skid” and in the red $2.5 million.

Many employees at the underperforming, 1,700-employee Pen Bay Healthcare Medical Center in Rockport, Maine, said they had been working under strained relationships, where there was often disconnect between them and supervisors.

The Solution

Wade Johnson, who served as president and CEO of the hospital from January 2012 to April 2014, stepped in to develop new workplace engagement and job fit strategies based off TTI Success Insights’ TriMetrix HD and job benchmarking solutions. His goal was to increase employee morale and executive leadership, thereby addressing the hospital’s rising deficit.

The Results

One year after implementing these strategies, Pen Bay turned a profit of about $4.5 million, according to Johnson, who worked closely with Value Added Associates Ron Price of Price Associates and Whit Mitchell of Working InSync in the turnaround process.

During the turnaround process, which included an off-campus retreat and quarterly leadership development meetings for Pen Bay’s 13-member executive team, action plans were developed to create greater self-awareness and team building.

More Results

Similar team-building solutions, including communication cards that spelled out specific “dos” and “don’ts” for employee interaction, were also developed for the hospital’s roughly 100 managers and directors.

“We were investing in our people, and that leveraged them to strengthen the organization,” Johnson explained. “Everyone on board was thrilled and excited to see change happening. These were folks who wanted to be better and do better.”

Johnson conceded employees who were looking to leave Pen Bay before he came on board saw the shift in organizational approach and stayed on with the hospital.

In addition, one employee who has been with Pen Bay for more than 25 years expressed to Johnson that he couldn’t recall a time when relationships were stronger between staff, physicians and the board of directors due to the implementation of behavioral assessments.

The AHA Moment

Indeed, a concept in assessing individuals’ behaviors and motivators that initially seemed “out of left field” for many employees ultimately made clearer their daily expectations and how to meet goals. And, more importantly, through increased employee engagement, patient satisfaction also improved.

“Bottom line, our patients have better experiences when we have happy employees,” Johnson said. “A platform was created to implement change.”

Johnson, who stepped down in April to become CEO of Walter Knox Memorial Hospital in Emmett, Idaho, said Pen Bay now administers the TriMetrix HD solution to all candidates vying for executive leadership positions. He now understands the inherent value assessments provide to organizations large and small.

“The (assessment) results really validate and puts in black and white these employees’ strengths and areas for improvement,” he said. “It’s kind of freaky how much information can be gathered on someone. This is a valuable tool all companies can benefit from. It’s that powerful.”

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