HSS wins workers, patients and awards

Crain's New York—May 11, 2012

Workers who are "disengaged" from their jobs are emotionally disconnected from their workplace and less productive. That is apparently not the case at Hospital for Special Surgery, which was one of 27 companies-and the only hospital in the Northeast-to receive a Gallup Great Workplace Award, the hospital announced last month.

HSS President Lou Shapiro couldn't be more pleased with winning the award, which recognizes companies that can show how "engaged" employees drive the best outcomes. "The award is an external validation of our core focus on developing a culture that allows people to work at the highest level," he said. "That culture is a significant contributor to the success we've achieved."

The hospital has worked for years on creating a work culture that leads to better health outcomes. As proof of its success, HSS points to its first-quarter patient satisfaction scores, which were its highest ever. "It's really remarkable," Mr. Shapiro said. "It is a consequence of the passion and commitment of our people and what we're trying to accomplish."

How does a hospital ensure its workers feel they have a stake in the institution's success? HSS created an initiative that provided a road map for the hospital's leadership, management and physicians to follow. "Leadership needs to believe in an employee engagement culture," said Mr. Shapiro. "You have to make it a personal commitment and a strategic priority. You need to walk the talk, and make sure the principles are integrated into how the organization functions."

HSS makes it part of the hospital's culture that employees have what they need to do their jobs, that their opinions count, and that communication is consistently open. Any worker, said Mr. Shapiro, can "stop anyone and say, 'This is something we need to work on.' "

See the story at Crain's Health Pulse.

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