November 16, 2007

elevate Answering the Tough Questions

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Brian Laden

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 officially report to several people in several departments. In the community survey, however, you can comment on only one supervisor. Is there a way we can register separate responses for each of our supervisors?

Answer: We have discussed this question with our survey vendor and believe that this would add a level of complexity to the survey without adding corresponding value. Ultimately, each of us has one supervisor to whom we report. If an individual reports to more than one person, it's a question of who has the greatest oversight and who is most responsible on a daily basis for overall performance.

The community survey is great for measuring satisfaction across the organization. It is also intended to be a starting point for dialogue within departments. It is not designed to impart anyone's individual opinion. If something at work dissatisfies us, there's no point in waiting for the survey. We need to communicate that dissatisfaction.

That's part of what elevate is about, opening channels of communication within our organization. The first recommendation is to talk to the supervisor and explain your concerns. If you approach the matter with a good purpose, you'll probably receive a reasoned response.

If you're unsure how to broach matters with a supervisor, consider calling on the services of Work/Life Connections Employee Assistance Program, 936-1327. Experienced counselors are available to help you find solutions to any personal or stressful problem.

Our Human Resources employee relations consultants are also available to help you with work related problems, and can be reached at 322-7259.

— Pam Brown, director, Human Resources Organizational Effectiveness