When someone asks, “What do you do”, your answer is most likely short and to the point, describing your job or occupation. The “what” is straightforward enough to answer. If someone were curious and ask “how” do you do what you do, while the “how” may require some additional time and detail to explain, the “how” is also easy enough to answer. Not many people will ever ask, “why” do you do what you do, but if they did, what would be your answer? Think about the “why”. Why do we do what we do?
On the surface, some obvious answers to why we do what we do are; “it’s what I’m paid to do” or “my boss told me to” or “it’s my responsibility” and of course many of us will answer, simply, “it’s my job.”
Staying focused on the mission of the organization should bring us to the real why. Getting at the “real why” requires a little more soul searching.
Here are some mission statement excerpts that may sound familiar to many of you.
- At [organization name], we are committed to the care and improvement of human life. We put our patients first and affirm the unique worth of each individual. Exceptional healthcare is built on a foundation of inclusion, compassion, and respect for our patients and for each other.
- The mission of [organization name] is to provide superior patient care. Our mission statement outlines that emphasis: To operate our physician clinics and support our facilities in the delivery of superior quality healthcare services to our patients. Patients always come first.
- We are committed to delivering healthcare as it should be: patient-centered and for the good of all people …
- Rooted in the loving ministry of Jesus as a healer, we commit ourselves to serving all persons with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable.
- To provide superior quality healthcare services that: PATIENTS recommend to family and friends, PHYSICIANS prefer for their patients, PURCHASERS select for their clients, EMPLOYEES are proud of, and INVESTORS seek for long-term returns.
- Patients and patient care are our priorities. We strive to deliver the highest possible quality of care to our patients. Wholeness – in body, mind, and spirit – is basic to fulfillment of human potential.
- [our organization’s] people work with others to enhance wholeness for all those we serve.
- [Organization name] was founded on values supporting compassionate, personalized care that is focused on the unique needs of children and their families.
Chances are, as a reader of Thinking Thursday TIPs, you are part of a healthcare organization; perhaps a large, or maybe a medium, or possibly a small healthcare organization. Regardless of the size or type of healthcare organization, the patient is ultimately at the center of every healthcare organization, either directly or indirectly. For example, even though MedicalGPS does not make direct contact with patients, our clients’ patients are ultimately the reason we do what we do. As a matter of fact, MedicalGPS’ motto is, “If it’s good for the patient, it’s good for the business”. MedicalGPS’ desire is for our team to support your team so that the patient experience is as good as I can be.
It’s the real why that motivates you and me to go the extra mile. The real why is found in the mission of the organization. As tired and lame as mission statements may seem to some people, mission statements are still the foundation of the organization’s core values and points to the real why — why we do what we do. To tap into the power of the real why, that only happens when we, as individuals, genuinely believe and personally live by the real why.
Think for a minute if every member of your team lived by the real why of the organization and applied that passion to their role and responsibilities. Imagine if all of us started with the real why at the center of everything we do, on and off the job. Relationships would prosper and businesses would flourish.
If your organization subscribes to MedicalGPS’ real-time patient feedback system, M3-Patient Experience, try this as a way to show appreciation to your team members. Login to M3 and then click on “Reporting” > “Recent Results”. Scroll down the page and find at least three employees that have favorably impressed a patient so much so that the patient mentioned the employee by name in the comments of their feedback. Then print off a hard copy of the M3 “Flash” report and write a short “thank you” note expressing your gratitude to your team member. Thank the team members for putting the patient first, demonstrating compassion, and encountering patients in a way that there is no doubt that the team member is focused on the real why.
In his book titled, Excellence Wins, by Horst Schulze, Mr. Schulze talks about the importance of a vision and mission statement. You can dig deeper with our popular article: “Excellence Wins in Healthcare: Why Vision Statements Matter.”
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Jerry L. Stone