Tyler & Company Interviews President and CEO of Scripps Health

Tyler & Company sits down with Chris Van Gorder, President and CEO of Scripps Health and author of The Front-Line Leader.  In the interview Chris Van Gorder discusses his book and how he led Scripps through a turnaround in finance, culture and satisfaction.

Tyler & Company: A central thesis in your book warns that the more complex or large the organization, the easier it is to lose the connection with front-line employees who create value for patients. Of the approaches you’ve taken to maintain that connection, which do you consider the most universal or essential?

Van Gorder: We’ve realized over time that employees’ fear of asking hard questions and raising concerns diminishes when there is trust and a relationship with management. For example, with Scripps Employee 100 program, several other executives and I meet with front-line, non-management staff members one day each month for six months. We start with introductions, Scripps’ history and career paths, then incorporate presentations throughout that day. By sharing valuable feedback, we can learn where we can change and improve. Concluding with a Q&A session, we found that the quality of questions by front-line employees improved substantially after meeting one time with this set group vs. congregating with many different front-line employees during open forums.

Nevertheless, it’s extremely important to start somewhere – to begin taking action in building relationships with staff. Over time, efforts will develop into a multi-faceted approach. About 25 percent of my time is spent communicating with staff at all levels via programs targeting front-line employees, middle management, alumni and physicians; my daily market news e-mail that reaches hundreds of employees; and open-staff Q&A forums.

The full interview is published on Tyler & Company’s website. Read the full article.


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