Texas Health People
Community Responsibility & Sustainability Report

Our People

People Highlights

Millennials’ Collaborative Spirit Enhances Texas Health’s Culture

Michelle Kirby is senior vice president and chief people officer for Texas Health Resources. She joined Texas Health in 1990 as manager, Compensation, at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth. In 1998, she became vice president, Compensation, Benefits and Human Resources Information System for Texas Health Resources. She was promoted in 2005 to vice president, Human Resources, and in 2008 became Texas Health’s senior vice president and chief human resources officer.

Kirby is a founder of Texas Health’s Be Healthy program and was promoted to her current role in the fall of 2014. She is a Baby Boomer by birth but a self-proclaimed RAB (Rapidly Adaptive Boomer – someone who rapidly adapts to changes in technology).

A dedicated, engaged and diverse team of people is what makes Texas Health a great place to work—and also serves to benefit the patients we are privileged to serve.

Currently, almost 29 percent of us are Baby Boomers (ages 51-69), 41 percent are Gen Xers (ages 35-50) and almost 30 percent of us are Millennials (ages 18-34). The rest of our family includes a small percentage (less than 1 percent) of people from the Silent Generation (age 70 and older) or Gen Z (under age 18).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. And many estimate that Millennials will make up 75 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2030. Texas Health has hired more Millennials than any other age group in the past five years. Going into 2017, Millennials and Gen Xers will represent the two largest employee populations in our system. The differences in our demographics present great opportunity, but also require changes in the way we communicate and interact with each other.

As the most diverse generation in U.S. history, Millennials are having a positive impact on our work at Texas Health. Our Millennial colleagues are even more civic-minded than previous generations and work in health care because they want to help people. In a word, they are “collaborative.” They view work culture as cooperative rather than competitive, and see work and life as a blended continuum of activity.

A recent Pew Research Center study found that more than 75 percent of Millennials say their top priority in their work lives is to make the world a better place—and they look for organizations with demonstrated similar intentions. As a Baby Boomer, these things also resonate with me and I bet they do with you as well – no matter what your age.

Millennials are changing the way we communicate, from the bedside to the boardroom. They expect highly targeted and actionable feedback about their performance to help them deliver higher-quality service. They also expect to be able to give feedback that influences the actions of the organization. And they expect that this two-way feedback be delivered in the moment – preferably using mobile technology.

Other generations such as Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are rapidly adopting these trends to the benefit of our entire organization. I think most of us (no matter what age you might be) have adopted technology quickly. We want quicker feedback about our performance and we also want to give feedback whenever and wherever.

So how is Texas Health addressing the needs of our various generations? We will be evolving our performance feedback process, as well as our assessment of employee engagement, to better embrace in-the-moment communications. We want to hear what you think much more often than just once a year in an annual survey, and we want to allow employees and managers to talk about performance more frequently with simpler tools.

We are also reviewing the entire employment value proposition to ensure optimal work-life integration; opportunities for self-assessment, learning and growth; and collaborative work structures. We also know that we will have to shorten our communications and be more concise about telling our story—so the truth is that this blog is already probably too long for the ways we will communicate with each other in the future.

Texas Health has become known nationally for our generation-sensitive culture, as seen in our recent No. 4 ranking by Fortune and Great Place to Work® in the 20 Best Workplaces for Gen X’ers and last year’s recognition as one of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials. And as a learning organization, we always want to improve and make things even better.

Our Retention Rate is Higher than the Norm

We have quite a few boomerang employees, like Monica Johnson, RN, Oncology Unit, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, who has been with us for a decade.

“I left for a year and came right back because I missed the people that I worked with, and I missed the culture,” she says. “It’s like a family here. Also, Texas Health paid for me to go to nursing school, and I still felt a dedication to them for that. I went to work for another great company, a huge company, but their culture and the way that I felt when I walked into the building was nothing like being here at Arlington Memorial. I’ve been here since 2004. I left for one year, but I will never leave again. Never.”

Mary Beth Mitchell, chief nursing information officer, Texas Health System Services, also boomeranged back to us after trying another organization. She, too, doesn’t plan to leave us again.

“I worked for Texas Health for 14 years, when I left to go to another organization. I thought it would be a good opportunity for my career growth,” she says. “However, after two years I came back to Texas Health in another role, which has turned out to be my dream job. What I discovered through my experience outside Texas Health is, while I gained valuable experience working for another organization, the culture was much different. Texas Health has a real ‘heart’ that is just not found everywhere. I think I took that for granted and didn’t realize the significance of the culture here, until it wasn’t there anymore.”

“At Texas Health, I feel like what I do matters and that we respect each other and the job we do. I will not leave Texas Health again and will stay until I retire.”

Preemies' Moms Regift Positivity to NICU Nurse Battling Cancer

Sarah Lane, a nurse in the NICU at Texas Health Fort Worth, sees miracles unfold every day: micropreemies who fit into the palm of a hand growing into healthy, chubby babies; underdeveloped lungs learning steady, unassisted breathing; and teensy organs bouncing back from major surgery. Lane always knows just what to say to help comfort families.

Now that Sarah is battling a rare form of endometrial cancer, parents of preemies she’s cared for over the years are reaching out to return the same encouragement and support that made such a lasting impression on them.

“Parents tell me that I was instrumental to their healing and provided them with such positivity that they couldn’t have done it without me, so I won’t have to do this without them,” Sarah says.

Carrie Giddens became fast friends with Sarah during the four months her sons were in the NICU. She says Sarah is like family, attending birthday parties and cookouts. They recently went shopping together for a high-end wig to lift Sarah’s spirits.

Carrie is one of nearly 20 moms of NICU graduates with whom Sarah has kept in contact on social media. The moms send Sarah inspirational messages and mail her care packages. They created a T-shirt adorned with their infants’ footprints and the words “Always preemie strong.” Sarah wears it to chemotherapy.

“The parents say I’m special to them,” says Sarah. “The support is coming full circle. We’ve all adopted the saying ‘Fight like a preemie’ because we know there is nothing as strong or resilient as a preemie!”

Texas Health Hospitals are Recognized for Their Nursing Excellence

All 14 Texas Health hospitals are recognized for excellence in nursing. Our four large hospitals have received Magnet® designation, which is awarded to exceptional, large health care organizations that meet the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) standards for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. The ANCC also designated our 10 smaller hospitals with Pathway to Excellence® status, which is designed to recognize smaller health care organizations for positive practice environments where nurses excel.

Cultivating A Learning Culture

We believe wholeheartedly that as part of our commitment to becoming our customers’ health care system of choice, it is our duty and our privilege to help our employees to continually develop their talents, gain new skills, build their knowledge and expand their experience. Developing our employees increases their value within the health care industry, improves our organization’s ability to deliver on our value of Excellence and supports our mission to improve the lives of the people in the communities we serve.

We empower our employees to stay current and to drive their career development through our expansive cutting-edge educational resources, corporate university (THRU), and career development programs and opportunities. From assessment tools and thousands of targeted learning courses and training programs to leader development programs and tuition reimbursement, we provide a plethora of opportunities, tools and resources for all our employees to discover and develop their talents, challenge themselves professionally and grow in both their careers and personal lives.

Here’s how we know that our commitment to continuous learning and growth is appreciated and valued by our people: For our 2015 engagement survey statement “This organization provides career development opportunities,” employees gave us an 86 percent favorable score, which is +.18 above national top decile performance.

Press Ganey Honors Texas Health with 32 Awards of Excellence

Texas Health’s ongoing commitment to transforming health care has earned the attention of others. In November, Texas Health will receive multiple prestigious awards from Press Ganey, the nation’s leading health care performance improvement organization.

The Pinnacle of Excellence AwardSM is given annually to top-performing organizations based on extraordinary achievement. This award recognizes consistently high levels of excellence in patient experience, employee engagement, physician engagement or clinical quality performance. Texas Health, along with six wholly owned entities and two joint ventures, will be honored with 10 Pinnacle of Excellence Awards.

The Guardian of Excellence AwardSM honors those who have reached the 95th percentile for patient experience, employee engagement, physician engagement or clinical quality. To earn the award, organizations must sustain performance in the top 5 percent for each reporting period for the award year. Texas Health, along with eight wholly owned entities and four joint ventures, will be honored with 22 Guardian of Excellence Awards.

These awards are a reflection that Texas Health is a great place to work and receive care. We earned these awards because of your dedication to each other and to our Mission. Our recent employee Engagement Survey once again placed us in the top decile. The results echo what we’ve heard as we advanced in national rankings to No. 46 on the Fortune Best Places to Work For® list and were recognized as the No. 1 Best Workplaces in Health Care two years in a row.

These recognitions are also a testament to our unwavering commitment to provide safe, quality care, and represent the hard work and dedication of nurses, employees, physicians and hospital leaders across our system. The awards represent our collective efforts to improve the quality and safety of patient care, to provide a positive and collaborative environment for employees and physicians, and ultimately, to deliver exceptional patient experiences. It’s your ongoing feedback and ideas throughout the year that enable us to continually improve our environment and the care we provide.