While adding a new employee to a team can be motivating and inspiring, any change to the composition of an established section also comes with cultural challenges. While interviewing a potential candidate, we might ask ourselves, “Will this person fit in our dynamic work environment? Will they laugh with us the way we laugh, understand our shifting tempos, meet our expectations?” The candidate fields similar questions on the other side of the table, wondering, “Will these people like me? Will I live up to the role I’m applying for? Will I be an asset to this team if they choose me?” These common anxieties are part of being human, sharing in an endeavor larger than any one person, like the mission here at UMC. The body of employees here at UMC come together to care for our patients and provide the best possible health outcomes. As a team, and more broadly as a culture, we have people’s lives in our hands—it’s hard to think of more serious responsibility.
In a recent conversation with Jeff Dane, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of UMC, we discussed the expansion and the cultural implications of adding not just one employee but over 200 new employees at the new Health and Wellness Hospital, slated to open in December 2023. Considering that the hospital is the first remote location of UMC’s main campus, what steps need to be taken to ensure that our Service is Our Passion culture translates to the new location? Jeff mentioned two critical steps that leadership is taking to ensure consistency in our culture and our level of service. First, he established a subcommittee focused on exploring large and small details related to the establishment of the new hospital. He provided some examples, asking, “How much security do we need? How many Blue Coats? What are the hours for the retail pharmacy?” Further, directors are working with their staff to complete questionnaires that give all UMC employees a voice in the new hospital’s design. Next, to share and promote UMC’s culture of service, current directors will be responsible for educating and leading new employees joining the hospital. The Health and Wellness Hospital’s addition means that directors must be more agile and prepared to supervise employees across a wider physical space. Mr. Dane brought up Greg Roberts, Director of Supply Chain Services, as an example of his vision. He said, “Greg’s very good about being engaged with his staff. He’s responsible for the Business and Technology Center and Central Stores, but he often works in the main building with administration and a separate UMC warehouse.”
Mr. Dane by no means believes that the subcommittee or his team of advisors have ironed out all the unique challenges that may come with the establishment of the Health and Wellness Hospital. He continues to urge UMC team members to anticipate hurdles and question, as they might while sitting in a peer interview across from a candidate, how to successfully expand our pool of professionals to ensure cultural continuity, success, and the best results for our patients. As members of the UMC family, we’re in this together. No matter if the change is big or small—our ideas matter.