Oaklawn Hospital is a highly respected regional medical facility with more than 1,000 employees providing over 35 different medical specialties ranging from child birth and family care to neurology and surgical services.
Based in Marshall, Michigan, the 94-bed community health care center has achieved patient satisfaction scores that place it in the top two percent of Michigan hospitals, and top five percent of hospitals in the United States.
Despite its success, the hospital's HR team received regular complaints from employees about its performance management system.
We spoke with Oaklawn Hospital's Chief Information Officer, Mac McClurkan, to find out how the hospital has been able to improve the efficiency of its performance reviews, empower team leaders, engage employees, and build a culture that embraces continuous coaching and feedback.
What prompted Oaklawn Hospital to make the shift towards ongoing performance management?
Mac: The results from one of the last employee engagement surveys we ran. We received a lot of feedback from employees telling us they didn't really know what was expected of them and they didn't have a way to communicate they needed from us as an organization and from their supervisors.
Our people are the biggest reason we've been named a CMS 5-star hospital. We owed it to them and to their leaders to give them a tool and the resources to manage performance and career development conversations on an ongoing basis.
What has been the biggest improvement among Oaklawn's staff that you've noticed?
Mac: I think there are a few signs that show how much the staff values our new approach to talent management. First, we have documented evidence of ongoing communication between employees and their supervisors. Second, and this is directly linked to the first point, we've been hearing consistent anecdotal feedback that our workforce feels more connected to the work we're doing at Oaklawn. Employees see the impact of their efforts and they understand the direction we want to go as an organization.
From a talent management perspective, what's a process that the hospital has redesigned that's helped drive change forward?
Mac: Using Halogen as a tool, we were able to incorporate the redesign work we've been doing with the Arbinger Institute to adopt an "outward focus" in our work culture to not only think about one's own job, but to also focus on how each individual's work impacts others. This breaks down into a three-part method of measuring job performance:
- Effort: What am I doing to understand others' objectives and how am I adjusting my work to account for that understanding?
- Impact: How am I impacting the performance of others?
- Capability: Do I have the skills and knowledge to perform the job I was hired to do?
Halogen has allowed us to hardwire this way of thinking into all aspects of our performance management process.
How has Halogen Software helped as you've redesigned your talent strategy?
Mac: Halogen is a tool that takes all of the things our employees and leaders want, ongoing performance support and the ability to have meaningful conversations about their career aspirations, and centralize the information in one place. It's allowed us to take employee performance and development and push it to the forefront, and we can look at HR data in real-time and make good business decisions based on the information we have.
The other aspect we're working on is the integrated Learning Management System, which will help us build out a library of resources for employees who want or need development in a key competency. The ability to actually be able to link the learning activity to their performance in real-time is great because we can move ahead of the pace of our business.
Best practices in talent management in healthcare
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