Workplace Values: Our “Secret Sauce”
July 17, 2014 § Leave a comment
By Lois Simon, MPH, President of Commonwealth Care Alliance
Integrity, Collaboration and Caring, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence.
These are the workplace values we recently adopted at Commonwealth Care Alliance.
Why did we do this? A number of years ago we developed what we refer to as our “Corporate Values”; this is a statement of our commitments in how we work with our members and community partners in care and other principles that are “outward facing” in meeting our mission. As we began more recently to contemplate the impact of very rapid growth, we thought a lot about our workplace and considered the importance of holding on to more “inward facing” values that are essential to who we are as a company and who we want to be. As our company grows, it’s important that we continue to embrace the culture, attitudes, and behaviors that have made us a successful organization and a great place to work.
We came up with our values collaboratively – as a company. Last fall, at meetings across the state, employees discussed what was important to them about our work, our work environment, and how we interact with each other. These meetings were some of the most rewarding experiences I have had at Commonwealth Care Alliance.
Our workplace values were developed out of that process and adopting them will not be about simply putting a plaque on the wall, displaying words that will be ignored and forgotten. Our values will be guideposts for what we do every day. For our values to take hold, our managers have to “walk the talk” by modeling these behaviors and values. Also, our employees need to embrace the values and incorporate these behaviors into their work and their dealings with each other.
Because we want our values to permeate everything we do at Commonwealth Care Alliance, we have a comprehensive and still-evolving plan for how we will sustain them. A few examples: We are incorporating a behavioral component into our interview process to make certain we are hiring people who are not just technically competent but who are excited about working in a place that embodies these principles.
Our values are also being incorporated into our performance review process: As an employee, you may be the best on earth in your content area, but if you’re a “lone ranger” who never picks your head up to embrace teamwork, or someone who isn’t open to the ideas of others or is difficult to get along with, you’re not going to fit in here. We have many wonderful role models throughout the organization, and we are intent upon looking for ways to develop more. We’ve developed a toolkit for our managers to aid them in their work with staff in this regard. We prize positive behavior and will soon launch a recognition program to reward employees who best exemplify our values.
Why are we being so serious about our workplace values? At Commonwealth Care Alliance, we really think they matter! Our values and culture are part of our “secret sauce” that has contributed to our organization’s success. It’s integral to how we bring in and retain the best talent, and it spills over into how we serve our members and work with our providers.
I encourage you to review our workplace values, and if you like what you see, maybe you’ll want to join our growing organization, and work with us to deliver on our mission to deliver the best possible care, to elders and individuals across the age spectrum.