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Putting A Price on Clinical Culture

In 2018 a national healthcare provider reached out to Golden Source Consultants with an audacious goal. They wanted to become the employer of choice within their specialty. At the time of their request the provider had been in operation for nearly 5 years and experienced rapid growth across a twelve-state territory. In our initial conversations the leaders explained that with the team’s growth they knew they had a responsibility to get things right. This meant more than just setting up the right compensation structure or building out benefits packages. The leaders at this provider knew that culture was the lynchpin to their success.

From the beginning leadership conducted annual employee engagements surveys, allowing all employees to provide both scored and written feedback. As Golden Source reviewed the feedback in their 2018 survey, we found that 80% of the written responses indicated that clinicians were asking for improved clinical culture versus 20% of comments asking about compensation and benefits.

This began a journey to understand what great clinical culture looks like and how to build a clinical culture that attracts top talent. The use case shared here includes a population of 3,000 clinical employees. While the story of this provider creates an excellent example for other providers to model, Golden Source Consultants will also share evidence-based research that validates the experience of this use case holds up to proven science on organizational psychological theory. Knowing that building a business case for change also requires a deep understanding of the financials, we also share our perspective on how to place a value on investments in clinical culture.

Why Is It Important?  Why did the group in our example feel that clinical culture was so important to their success?

The leaders in this group understood that an organization’s culture demonstrates shared values and a commitment to success across the entire company. The better understood and adopted these shared values are the more they could expect consistent behavior in excellence, quality, collaboration, and respect. These very values were the things that already proven successful, so the provider knew that the better they could live these values the better patient outcomes, stronger relationships with their partners, and ultimately a healthier financial performance would result.

But did this provider have evidence beyond allegory to support such an investment in clinical culture? The specific answers on clinical culture may be vague, but when considering statistics from the broader business community we may be able to gain a glimpse as to the importance of culture to an organization’s performance. Here are some statistics:

  • Companies with happy employees outperform their competition by 20% and earn 1.2% -1.7% more than peer firms. [1]
  • Companies with strong corporate culture saw a 4X increase in revenue over companies without[2]
  • 94% of executives believe a “distinct workplace culture” is important to company success—and that there is a correlation between “clearly articulated and lived culture” and “strong business performance.”[3]
  • 47% of active job seekers cite company culture as their driving reason for looking for work.[4]
  • 35% of American workers say they would pass on the perfect job if they felt the company culture was not a good fit.[5]
  • The likelihood of job turnover at an organization with high company culture is a mere 13.9%, whereas the probability of job turnover in low company cultures is 48%.[6]
  • Happy workers are 12% more productive than the average worker, and unhappy workers are 10 percent less productive. In fact, unhappy employees cost American business over$300 billion each year. [7]

What these facts reveal is that poor culture hurts the bottom line and for those with great culture, they reap the rewards. Even without direct statistics on clinical culture, it is not a far stretch to understand the impact on talent acquisition, retention, patient experience, and clinical burnout rates resulting from clinical culture. Recognizing the role of culture on the organization, let us now turn to understanding what great clinical culture looks like.

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[1] https://www.levelingup.com/management/statistical-case-company-culture/

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2011/02/10/does-corporate-culture-drive-financial-performance/?sh=30c5c2a07e9e

[3] https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/About-Deloitte/gx-core-beliefs-and-culture.pdf

[4] https://builtin.com/company-culture/company-culture-statistics

[5] ibid

[6] http://qmss.columbia.edu/storage/Medina%20Elizabeth.pdf

[7] https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/new_study_shows/

 

 

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