51 Characteristics of the Ideal Health Care Organization: We Compiled, Will You Help Consolidate?

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120px-Incomplete_list.svgThis post culminates a six-part series on the characteristics of the ideal health care organization.  We compiled lists of organizational traits from varied sources, some relatively well known and others less so, but all with interesting ideas.   In each case we added specifics as to how the ideal characteristics would apply in healthcare.

Our first list came from a Harvard Business Review article and our second from an earlier HBR blog post.  The third was based on a newspaper blog post by an HR expert.  We used a consultant’s list of factors that make employees proud for our fourth list.  For our fifth, we utilized the list of what gives employees trust in their organization according to Great Place to Work Institute.  The sixth installment came from a article by a healthcare HR VP of untraditional ways to retain best employees.

Now it’s time to put it together.  Herewith is the compilation of what would make for the ideal organization:74px-Blue_ribbon.svg

  1. Individual differences are nurtured.
  2. Information is not suppressed or spun.
  3. The company adds value to employees, rather than merely extracting it from them.
  4. The organization stands for something meaningful.
  5. The work itself is intrinsically rewarding.
  6. There are no stupid rules.
  7. Employees are paid a living wage.
  8. Employee’s have a financial stake in the organization’s success.
  9. The work environment is safe, comfortable, and appealing.
  10. The organization provides healthy, high quality food at the lowest prices.
  11. There are spaces where employees can rest and renew themselves, and they are encouraged to use them to take naps, etc.
  12. There is a gym that employees use on work time.
  13. Success for each job is clearly defined, and employees are allowed to decide how to achieve it.
  14. There are two-way performance reviews.
  15. Management is held responsible for treating employees respectfully and recognizing their positive accomplishments.
  16. Policies allow employees to focus on priorities, including time to work on projects they are passionate about.
  17. Incentives exist for employees to grow and to develop both “hard” and “soft” skills.
  18. The organizational focus is not on making a profit but on adding value to the world.
  19. The organization is an employee champion, offering fairness in all ways.
  20. The organization promotes continuous learning and development at all levels.
  21. The organization has strong values and ethics.
  22. The organization celebrates diversity in all respects.
  23. Leaders are visionary.
  24. The workplace is fully engaged.
  25. Every opinion counts.
  26. Goals and objectives are linked to the organizational mission.
  27. There is reinventing as needed through change management and organizational development.
  28. Employees are rewarded for modeling positive values and behaviors.
  29. The organization gives back to the community.
  30. Employees feel good about their and the organization’s future.
  31. Products and services are first rate.
  32. Employees are involved in the decision making process.
  33. Management listens to employees, and everyone trusts one another.
  34. Employees have developmental, learning and career advancement opportunities.
  35. Quality is not sacrificed to cost control – and employees believe this.
  36. Employees know about their performance and purpose.
  37. The organization is transparent about goals, pay and other matters.
  38. Employees get great benefits.
  39. Employees trust the people they work for.
  40. Employees have pride in their work.
  41. Employees enjoy the people they work with.
  42. Organizational objectives are achieved.
  43. Everyone gives their best.
  44. People work together as a team.
  45. Employees are surveyed on engagement, not just satisfaction.
  46. New hires are interviewed by peers.
  47. High-performance conversations are held.
  48. Low performers are reformed or eliminated.
  49. Weekly rounds are conducted on all units.
  50. Thank-you notes are used.
  51. The emotional demands on employees are taken into consideration.

Quite the list!  You are probably thinking that you would be thrilled to work for an organization that met even half of these criteria.

In putting it together, it was interesting to see that only one item was duplicated: living wage which we noted.  We would actually like to see that criterion strengthened: everyone is paid excellently.

Given any such enumeration, one can always add or amend.  For example, a gym is nice, but why not also a library, a soccer field, etc.?

Still, fifty-one is a pretty unwieldy number.  So we are offering an exercise for our readers: can you help us trim this list down to, say, ten items, by selection, combination, and/or categorization.  We will be working on that task ourselves and grateful for your input!

Jim murphyJim Murphy has a solo consulting practice called Management 3000, focusing on organizational development and change management. Formerly he led the Massachusetts Bay Organizational Development Learning Group, was Human Resources Director for the City of Boston Assessing Department, and served as a consultant with the Boston Management Consortium.  His consulting practice includes management coaching as well as research and writing on employee relationships, leadership, healthcare and collaborative practices.  Having produced newsletters for several organizations  and being a frequent content writer for the”Confident Voices in Healthcare” blog, he is interested in writing and research opportunities, as we all consulting and coaching. www.manage2001.com   jim@manage2001.com


BB closer Headshot 1-13 CherationsBeth Boynton RN, MS is a national speaker, organizational development consultant, and the author of the award-winning book, “Confident Voices:  The Nurses’ Guide to Improving Communication and Creating Positive Workplaces”.  She specializes in communication, collaboration, & emotional intelligence for healthcare professionals and organizations and is trained in the Professor Watson Curriculum for Medical Improv through Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She offers medical improv training for communication, emotional intelligence, culture change, and teambuilding efforts. Her video, “Interruption Awareness:  A Nursing Minute for Patient Safety” and blog, “Confident Voices in Healthcare” have drawn audiences from all over the world.  She is currently writing a core text with F.A. Davis Publishing Co. tentatively titled Successful Nurse Communication:  Safe Care, Positive Workplaces, & Rewarding Careers, practices as a Per Diem RN in a LTCF for folks with dementia, and a student of improv.  Her complete CV is online.



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