What IS it about that place?
Why are we struggling with crazy high employee turnover when that organization right down the road isn’t? What makes them so great?!
If you’re like me, these are the types of conversations you have in your head all the time.
No? Huh, maybe it’s just me. But I always want to understand what makes an organization exceptional so that I can share the secrets with you.
So, here’s something I’ve learned that is definitely worth sharing. Forbes Magazine stated that the single most important element fueling successful organizations is… (insert drum roll here)… ACCOUNTABILITY!
Now, for those of you in Fully Staffed, this may come as no surprise. And for those of you who have conducted a Culture Assessment, you are already well down the road on this treasure hunt.
What is so special about accountability? Well, for starters, accountability is a primary component of employee engagement. And employee engagement leads to increased patient safety, reduced costs and, yes, higher employee retention.
But, wait, there’s even more! According to Forbes, accountability strengthens the culture, encourages excellence, sets expectations for teamwork, breeds trust in leadership, and the list goes on and on.
So, when Westminster Communities of Florida, a senior living organization with twenty-two communities in their state, said they had some best practices around culture and accountability, you can bet I was there to listen.
Having conducted a Culture Assessment and just begun work on a strategic culture plan, CEO Terry Rogers and the executive team at Westminster saw that the recommendations on culture improvement and the process to produce results from those recommendations ran parallel to what they were already doing for their Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) initiatives. In both cases, they were setting goals and continuously moving in the direction of improvement.
Rogers wanted to make the work on culture be strategic and easy, not “just something else to do” for his team. And just like that, the two ingredients came together to form a secret sauce for success—moving culture and quality together, under the caring supervision of Director of Culture and Quality Initiatives, Amanda Birch.
With accountability as one of their top focuses, Amanda and her “Culture Club” team developed a monthly accountability report, which gauges progress and identifies barriers to meeting their goals. “We’re using 3x3x3 plans (three goals, three deliverables, and three objectives—one for each month), and we see that some deliverables are met within the quarter while some get shifted into the next. That’s okay. We’re not taking a punitive approach. We want to be more supportive of culture and culture change.”
The Culture Club created a monthly accountability report template for each community. All the community has to do is check whether or not they met the planned goal and how they went about it. “We believe that all their efforts need to go into changing culture, not into doing the reporting”, says Amanda.
What were the lessons learned along the way? Westminster found that leaders were getting burned out because they were trying to do all the culture work themselves!
Hmm. Sound familiar?
But now, leaders are encouraged to get team input and make that input be part of the quarterly Strategic Culture Plan and monthly accountability report. As a new internal campaign rolls out, Amanda says, “We’ve been working with leaders to divvy out to teams the responsibility of setting goals, delivering on goals, reporting on progress, and sharing with others. We now have layers of accountability.”
Layers of accountability! What a beautiful thing!
When people have a voice, they are more likely to see themselves as an integral part of the culture. They feel a deeper sense of ownership for it. Perhaps they realize the way they show up every day matters. One by one, accountability gets stronger. The culture gets stronger. And before you know it, yours is the organization everyone is looking at, thinking, “I wonder what makes them so special.”
How can you foster accountability in your organization?
Our Workforce Relief Bundle allows you to learn what really matters to your people, and then enables you to be strategic about it! Curious to learn more? Check out our website and book a free consultation while you’re there!