August 11, 2000

Staff satisfaction survey spurs recommendations

Featured Image

At the Belle Meade Country Club this week, members of the Belle Meade Barracudas swim team presented Monroe Carell Jr. (center) with a donation to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. (photo by Anne Rayner)

Staff satisfaction survey spurs recommendations

Four VUMC task forces have developed recommendations in answer to the results of last spring’s staff satisfaction survey. In May, the recommendations were approved by the Vice-Chancellor’s Advisory Committee and the Clinical Enterprise Group. The recommendations deal with compensation and benefits, fairness and equality, hiring and promotion, and quality of work life. Permanent committees have been established to guide the improvements in each of those areas.

“The goal of the survey and recommendations is to help make VUMC the region’s employer of choice,” said Marilyn Dubree, director of patient care services and chief nursing officer.

The satisfaction survey drew 5,180 respondents. The task forces — whose members were drawn from the hospital and clinic and from the schools of medicine and nursing — reviewed the results of the survey against national benchmark data.

While some of the recommendations are achievable in the short term, others may take more than a year to implement fully, Dubree said.

Here is a summary of some of the main proposals:

• provide communication and education to support human diversity in the Vanderbilt work place

• regularly gather data regarding human diversity in terms of employee recruitment and retention

• develop a “cafeteria” benefits plan, whereby staff pick from among various benefits options

• look into expanding tuition assistance for employees

• streamline hiring and job reclassification

• establish pay for performance across VUMC, that is, base some part of each staff member’s salary on his or her job performance per the Vanderbilt performance development program

• provide managers with additional training to ensure fair conduct of performance development and of the pay for performance program

• expand child care options and introduce a sliding fee based on employee income

• look into providing a range of new services for employees’ family dependents, such as elder care and sick child care, to be charged on a sliding fee based on employee income

• provide more information to staff regarding opportunities for job advancement at VUMC

• expand training and development opportunities for staff who aspire to become managers, as well as for existing managers

• improve staff awareness of existing benefits, and make it easier for staff to take advantage of these benefits

• look into allowing more flexible work schedules, including options such as telecommuting, job sharing and a four-day work week

• look into providing opportunities for participation in employee wellness programs during work hours

• train managers to communicate more effectively.

VUMC will begin by establishing permanent committees on compensation and benefits, hiring and promotion, quality of work life, and human diversity. The committees will first do cost and benefit analyses of the recommendations. Certain recommendations could prove impracticable for financial or regulatory reasons.

“The four standing committees will provide accountability for change,” said David Posch, VMG chief operating officer. The committees, which will report to the Human Resources Policy Advisory Board, will include members from across VUMC. Committees are scheduled to be in place by the end of July. Leaders are considering mounting another staff satisfaction survey in May 2001.