November 9, 2007

elevate Answering the Tough Questions

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Medical Center leadership answers the tough questions about what the elevate program is and what it means for the people who work at VUMC.

Question: I work in a department that serves both the Medical Center and main campus. We've never received the year-end bonuses given to VUMC staff. Why not?

Answer: The Medical Center's annual success sharing bonuses are a response to the competitive forces at work in health care.

To succeed financially, VUMC has to do a great job of managing patient satisfaction, promoting high quality and safety and ensuring consistently high productivity. Success sharing is an incentive program tailored for a health care environment, one more way to remind staff of the role they have in improving quality and service and controlling cost.

There are a handful of central departments — chief among them VUPD, Human Resources, and Environmental Health and Safety — where a number of staff focus primarily on the Medical Center. Regretfully, we're unable to single out staff in these departments for VUMC job evaluations and bonus eligibility.

Dividing these departments into those who are eligible for bonuses and those who are ineligible would serve to separate teams instead of unify them. Alternatively, making everyone in these departments eligible would inappropriately spread success sharing well beyond the Medical Center.

Fortunately, there are other ways available to those of us in central departments to reinforce how we value our staff members. As individuals choose where to work, they must weigh their options against what they value most.

Within Vanderbilt, there are many different options to consider. Some areas provide enhanced flexibility, some areas have greater opportunity for work-life balance, while other areas provide eligibility for different programs linked to individual or organizational success.

— Kevin Myatt, associate vice chancellor and chief human resource officer