• Carol Bross-McMahon

Culture wake-up call: “People leave because of their leaders.”

Yesterday an esteemed healthcare leader from the Cincinnati Business Courier’s panel discussion said this, and all agreed: “People leave because of their leaders.”


That’s a pretty powerful statement, considering a cafeteria worker in a company as large as Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (employing nearly 16,000) is rarely likely to run into CEO Michael Fisher’s office. But Fisher, along with his fellow panel members, said they are consistently aware that positive company culture – no matter the industry – is key to business success and to creating a sustainable workforce.


Yesterday’s “The Future of Health Care,” at Memorial Hall, which included C-suite leaders from our area’s top health care systems, spanned topics like innovation in treatment, reducing the infant mortality rate, creating healthier communities, and lowering healthcare costs. However, the topic that earned at least 20 of the 75 minutes was workforce culture.


Key calls-to-action for company leaders:

  • Create a culture of innovation. When employees can participate in building the future of the business and contribute ideas, they feel valued. Don’t just collect innovation ideas, but vet them, put viable ideas into action, and reward employees for contributing them.

  • Build an environment of appreciation. Never forget that employees are people first. They want to know they belong and are valued. That need is in the middle of Maslow’s hierarchy but might as well cascade all the way through it. Simple but sincere words of appreciation go a long, long way.

  • Provide continued training. The best workers are those who feel prepared to deliver on company expectations. Feeling ill-prepared leads to self-doubt and frustration. Give your employees opportunities to grow, and they’re more likely to stay focused on your organization rather than searching job listings for your competitors.

David Fikse, president of Mercy Health-Cincinnati, talked about building a pipeline of future workers, preparing their organization with in-demand skills. They do this through their Mercy Neighborhood Ministries program, giving adults, especially those who live in underserved communities, a path to long-term employment that literally changes their lives. Their Home Care Aide Training program is just one example of a way to prepare individuals to provide compassionate home health care to older adults many of whom suffer from poverty, infirmity and loneliness. In that relationship, both parties win.


The Marketing Pack is currently helping one of our clients create a culture of value and appreciation. The goal: to create happier, more satisfied employees whose attitudes and actions will, in turn, be evident to customers – earning them a strong reputation for customer service.


Check out the rest of the topics raised at the session by clicking here

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