Focus group feedback
This past spring, approximately 120 Children's Hospital Boston employees took part in focus groups on internal communications and other workplace issues. Employees from all levels, locations and shifts participated, and six one-on-one interviews with physicians were conducted. Overall, employees expressed strong satisfaction with the hospital environment. Below are some of the key findings and the ways that leadership, namely Michelle Davis, VP, Public Affairs and Marketing, and Inez Stewart, VP, Human Resources (HR), are addressing them:
Many people voiced concerns about the overwhelming volume of email they receive.
Small Talk, the weekly e-newsletter, is a first step in addressing the problem of too many emails. In addition, targeted distribution lists are reducing irrelevant emails.
Employees without access to computers expressed concerns about not receiving information.
Dedicated bulletin boards for print versions of Small Talk and other electronic communications are being explored, as are screens for displaying announcements in the cafeteria, break rooms and elevator lobbies.
Employees would like a mechanism for
voicing their opinions to leadership and would like leadership to be more visible.
Chief Operating Officer, Sandra Fenwick, holds monthly luncheons to get feedback from employees, and Executive Walk Arounds allow leadership to meet with staff in their units. The Exceptional Care, Exceptional Service (ECES) Web site includes a call for suggestions on ways to improve the work environment. Additionally, a redesign of the intranet next year will include functions for online open meetings, department discussion groups, message boards or other mechanisms to facilitate two-way communication.
A number of concerns about HR were expressed, including a lack of responsiveness.
The new HR Employee Service Center acts as a point of entry to Human Resources and provides immediate response to employee questions and/or easy access to the correct HR contact. You can reach the center at ext. 5-7780. The reorganization and realignment of HR staff responsibilities earlier this year have clarified and streamlined access. Also, managers can always contact their HR generalist with any HR issues they might have.
Employees at the Lexington, Peabody, Martha Eliot Health Center and Waltham satellites expressed feeling out-of-the-loop and under-recognized for their roles at Children's.
A Public Affairs employee has been assigned to Martha Eliot two days a week this summer to perform a communications needs assessment. The other three sites' needs will also be assessed and addressed. The redesigned intranet will have an area for communicating news about activities at Children's satellites, and plans are underway to create opportunities for senior leaders to visit all of the satellites more frequently.