Engaging the Workforce: Best Practices from JPS Health Network

In Part 2 of this insight series, we shared the importance of leadership engagement in driving employee happiness, engagement and performance. In Part 3, we’ll dive deeper into the concept of employee engagement.   

With more than 6,500 employees, JPS Health Network, a publicly supported healthcare system, is the eighth-largest employer in Fort Worth, TX. At one point in its past, team members had little pride in the organization and employee engagement wasn't even measured.

Since taking over as president and CEO in 2009, Robert Earley has focused on three simple rules: Own it. Seek Joy. Don't be a jerk. The result? A cultural transformation in which employee engagement has increased to the 91st percentile; patient satisfaction has improved from the 3rd to the 78th percentile; and the percent of patients who leave the emergency department without being seen is down to just four percent from more than 20 percent a decade ago.

"Many of our patients are scared, lonely, and list no next of kin. I want them to feel like they're eating comfort food when they come into any of our clinics," explains Earley. "I find that people believe us when we believe ourselves."

Earley asks each of his employees -- whether they push a broom, hold a scalpel or wear a suit -- to take time each day to ask, "What did I do for the patient today?" He contends that when an individual and an organization are singularly focused on the patient, everything else falls into place.

JPS also ensures transparency of and accountability for performance against organization-wide goals with pillar communication boards in every unit and department. Another priority: recognizing high performers. In fact, 100 front-line staff are hand-picked to attend each quarterly Leadership Development Institute for high fives with leaders while they walk a red carpet.

"I don't think we live in a world of bosses anymore who tell us what to do," Earley adds. "We need leaders who inspire. Leaders say, 'We have an interesting challenge ahead of us. What's our collective thought process to tackling it?' That's the path to transforming healthcare."

Stay tuned for Part 4 in which we’ll discuss physician engagement. In the meantime, you can also view the full conference proceedings infographic.

Download the Insight

Print Page