As one of the largest employers in North Texas, Texas Health is blessed to have a large pool of applicants knocking on our door — more than 150,000 each year.
To care for our growing population, we must attract talented, highly skilled and compassionate employees who can deliver high-quality, reliable and affordable care. Attracting candidates who fit best within our culture is key to improving patient satisfaction and health outcomes. It also helps us retain institutional knowledge and reduce hiring and development costs.
Finding the Right People
In our never-ending pursuit of excellence, we use data analytics and best practices to define what types of people we should hire and retain. Our pre-employment assessment allows us to identify candidates who are the best fit with our organization – and weed out those who are not. Our analysis reveals a correlation between patient satisfaction scores and how our employees score on our culture assessment during the hiring process. We also don’t wait for people to come to us seeking employment. Our sourcing team proactively searches for ideal candidates year-round, which reduces time-to-fill position costs and improves new hire satisfaction.
Additionally, we work creatively to fill shortages of essential positions when they occur. For example, we engage culinary professionals about the benefits of working in a health care setting instead of a restaurant. We also collaborate with local high schools and university administrators on ways to increase the pipeline of qualified physicians, physician assistants and nurses by engaging students about health care careers and offering scholarships.
We rolled out a new recruiting process that focused our attention on reducing the time it takes to fill more difficult positions, which enabled us to achieve of our goal of reducing the number of days between the publication of a job and getting an offer accepted by 20 percent.
Employee retention is a key performance measure and a strategic focus throughout Texas Health.
Preserving our reputation as a great place to work helps us retain the brightest talent in the region.
Ask our people why they’re loyal to Texas Health, and you’re bound to hear stories about our culture and people, our dedication to excellence, the many opportunities they receive to develop and grow – and the feeling that here, they are family. We openly communicate with our employees and assess their feedback. We also gather feedback from those who voluntarily leave the organization to identify potential issues to continually make course corrections and craft improvement plans to ensure that we are retaining our top talent.
Systemwide Retention (%)
Employees who work at the peak of their abilities enable Texas Health to grow, deliver exceptional care and fulfill its Mission “to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve.”
Strengthening employees’ clinical, leadership and technical skills also is key to advancing their professional growth and improving job satisfaction.
Operating as a high-reliability, consumer-focused organization requires the continual development of employees’ talents and the organizational agility to adapt to a rapidly changing health care landscape. To cultivate learning and provide hands-on experiences, we offer innovative educational resources through Texas Health Resources University, leadership and skill development programs, assessment tools and specialized training. These resources support and actualize employee potential and maximize workforce performance.
To make learning meaningful and relevant, we customize development based on employees’ roles, skills and career plans. Managers help identify growth opportunities, help set progression goals and coach their teams as needed.
One way we retain valuable employees is by helping them take on new roles within the system. We map their interests and expertise to internal opportunities, and then determine if additional development is needed to work in a different capacity. We then create a customized learning plan to ease their transition.
We began standardizing development programs for clinical work teams to verify that consistent, effective and timely learning occurs. This involves ensuring the right resources are available at the point of need and in the manner needed. Also during the year, we:
The effectiveness of our workforce development strategies in advancing our organization earned us prestigious rankings on Chief Learning Officer magazine’s LearningElite list in 2017.
In 2018, we will:
Employees are trained to:
Offering outstanding compensation and benefits improves employees’ financial well-being, which helps them to perform at their best.
It also helps Texas Health attract and retain top talent, which is essential to delivering exceptional care and integral to our long-term sustainability.
Texas Health’ compensation packages — collectively referred to as Total Rewards — are tangible evidence of the strong value we place on our workforce and our commitment to treating our people with fairness. Our compensation policies embody the belief that everyone deserves respect and should share in our company’s success because everyone makes a valuable contribution to it. We continually review and update our rewards programs to make certain that they reﬂect the realities of a dynamic marketplace and enable us to successfully attract and retain the right kind of talent.
We consider the unique needs of our employees and tailor strategies to address them. For example, to make medical coverage more affordable, we pay more than 80 percent of medical insurance costs and tier employee premiums based on their salary. In other words, the more you make, the more you pay for medical insurance. Employee-only coverage is available for as low as $2 per month for those with a salary under $25,000. We also subsidize health plan costs for older workers moving from full- to part-time status.
We provide family-friendly benefits and services, such as family medical leave, adoption assistance, flexible working hours, onsite child care and much more. We also increase the amount of 401(k) retirement plan contributions the longer people work with us. We contribute up to $1.25 for every dollar that employees contribute and up to 6 percent of their salary after 10 years of service, which gives us a competitive advantage.
We take equity — in wages and how we treat each other — very seriously. We evaluate our pay practices and programs each year to verify equitable compensation among all employees.
We formalized a policy to articulate Texas Health’s commitment to promoting a family-friendly workplace and to provide guidelines for supporting breastfeeding mothers returning to work. Also during the year, we began using a new survey tool to benchmark our benefits with leading companies and assess employees’ satisfaction with them. Eight in 10 employees said they were satisfied with our benefits offerings, which was higher than the industry average of 67 percent.
In 2018, we are offering a new health plan to employees through Texas Health Aetna that is more affordable and provides care through a high-performing network of providers and facilities.
We believe in clear, honest and ongoing two-way dialogue at every level of our organization.
Consistent, transparent, easy-to-understand communication demonstrates trust, integrity, inspires unity and drives our success. Highly engaged and satisfied employees are empowered to collaborate to improve patient care, more loyal and productive, and more likely to remain and grow with Texas Health — all of which are critical to our long-term sustainability.
We leverage multiple communication channels to engage our staff and clinical care teams on their roles and responsibilities, to share our expectations, and to learn what works well and what doesn’t. These may include conversations with supervisors, staff meetings, our intranet, emails and more.
To take a continuous “pulse” of our workforce, we use an online platform that distributes quick, easy and confidential surveys, which allows us to receive more timely feedback. This information helps department leaders make appropriate refinements faster, which strengthens alignment and improves workplace satisfaction.
Texas Health engages affiliated and medical staff physicians to help improve care delivery and facilitate their participation and alignment in key strategic and operational decisions systemwide. Physician leaders also strengthen peer-to-peer alignment by communicating with other doctors on key priorities.
We moved to a new measurement platform in 2017 that allows us to benchmark how our employee engagement compares with both health care organizations and companies in other industries. We were pleased to learn we again performed in the top decile. In 2018, we will introduce a tool that allows our employees to provide feedback 24/7, which will allow us to respond to questions and concerns faster.
We measure physician engagement a bit differently. We evaluate physicians’ satisfaction with the quality of care they deliver, ease with which they practice at our facilities, hospital administration performance, respect and availability of clinic staff to help with patient care. We also assess how physicians align with hospital administrators in terms of communication and responsiveness. In 2017, we surveyed 3,572 physicians and found their engagement and alignment scores ranked higher than the national average.
A safe and healthy workplace improves job satisfaction, productivity and employee retention.
It also reduces absenteeism, medical claim costs, and allows Texas Health to comply with occupational health and safety regulations.
We take a comprehensive approach to providing a safe, clean and healthy work environment, and to keep employees free from harm. Our robust safety management system contains safety programs, standards, controls, policies and procedures that all employees are required to follow.
At new hire employee orientation and throughout each year, we educate employees on safety practices on issues such as how to lift patients safely and how to manage medical waste, or how to mitigate issues in a non-violent way before they occur or escalate in the emergency department. To keep safety top-of-mind, we created an error prevention toolkit to help our clinical teams implement safety strategies, consider safety in all they do and speak up when they see unsafe behaviors. These messages are continuously reinforced throughout the year.
Our site safety management teams conduct routine assessments to identify risks and trends. As appropriate, this helps us quickly implement corrective action plans. Employees also can report safety concerns, errors, injuries and near-misses in an online tracking system that allows us to capture safety data more accurately.
Texas Health reduced injuries that kept employees from completing their shift by 24 percent and injuries caused by handling patients by 27.6 percent. Our OSHA incident rate was 3.7, which was substantially lower than the national average of 5.9 for hospitals and 15 percent less than our 2016 rate of 4.3. We launched a new tool for employees to report safety events and near-misses and reinforced that they can report concerns without fear of retaliation1. This led to a 14 percent increase in reporting, which helps us better identify trends and high-risk areas to address and improves operational effectiveness.
Unfortunately, some employees continued to experience physical attacks, primarily from patients. While the volume of attacks increased by 15.3 percent, the number of OSHA recordable injuries that resulted from them declined by 58.6 percent. We plan to continue educating our teams on steps they can take to defuse tense situations to reduce these incidents.
We also spent the year:
We believe that employees with higher well-being are happier, healthier and contribute more to their communities and their work.
Given the nature of health care, hospital settings often are stressful, so it is more important than ever that we have a strong culture and systems of support for our caregivers. We must make them feel cared for, just as they care for others. We invest in health and wellness programs to help our employees improve their well-being and productivity, and to comply with health standards and regulations.
Our caregivers are statistically less likely to care for themselves before others. To address this challenge, we designed an award-winning Be Healthy employee wellness program to motivate employees to move from awareness to action.
Through this program, we offer healthy lifestyle choices, strategies and rewards to reduce employees’ risk factors and improve their well-being. This includes health education, onsite health fairs and biometric screenings, weight management and smoking-cessation programs, and involving employees’ families in healthy activities. We regularly assess progress and develop or refine targeted interventions where they are needed most.
Texas Health was only one of 13 organizations nationally to receive Platinum recognition from the National Business Group on Health for our wellness program. This is the ninth year we have been recognized. Other highlights include:
Healthy Employees Lower Costs
The connection between employee and fiscal health remains indisputable:
North Texas has a wide representation of people who make up different races, ages and ethnicities, and who speak more than 200 languages and have unique health care needs.
Providing effective health care for each person and support for their families requires a thoughtful and inclusive approach.
We recognize that, as individuals, we bring all kinds of similarities and diﬀerences to the table — and we embrace that. We come together and capitalize on all the diﬀerences, whether that’s diﬀerences of thought, skills, ideas or points of view.
To maximize our commitment to equality, we have written policies, hiring practices and programs that embrace diversity and emphasize inclusion. We grow our multicultural and multi-aged workforce through several strategies designed specifically to individual needs. Our entities have trained bilingual interpreters, who help caregivers and patients communicate. They also have a diversity advisory team that develops diversity education, celebration and recognition programs. As patient populations become increasingly diverse, providing culturally competent care is more important than ever.
In 2017, Gen Xers represented 39.5 percent of our employees, Baby Boomers accounted for 24.2 percent of our team and Millennials represented 35.6 percent. Ethnically diverse employees comprised 42.4 percent of our workforce, and we hired 13.3 percent more military veterans and disabled staff than 2016.
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Caring for and making decisions that could potentially affect another person’s life is important work.
Equally important is thanking our employees for their dedication and commitment to excellence. Doing so helps our employees feel valued, enhances pride in their daily work, and strengthens their commitment to Texas Health.
We designed our Applause! recognition system to drive exceptional performance and reinforce our values. We recognize employees for their positive contributions, such as:
Through Applause, employees can earn points based on the impact of their contribution, which they can redeem for gifts ranging in value from $5 to $10,000. They also can send thank you cards to recognize their peers.