At the recently expanded Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital near Houston, Texas, Joshua Butler, Operations Manager of Environmental Services, embraces the welcome experience as an essential part of providing great care—not just for patients, but for his team. We began by asking him, “How do you try to provide a great work experience for your teammates?”
Butler understands an important part of a welcoming management role is the gift of Listening. “You would be surprised how many people never even want to bring up issues. I think finding solutions begins with talking about the problem,” Butler told us. “I always strive to make things fair for my team. I always want them to feel like they have a voice, that they can always come to me.”
“I had a teammate who was really stressed while trying to become a nurse assistant. She told me she missed a class to become CPR certified and would not be able to meet her deadline. It was really bringing her down. [With the support of my Director,] I called the education office of the hospital and was able to schedule her in for a class at no charge!”
The Welcome Experience isn’t just about empathy and openness, though both certainly reap rewards. It’s also about action—making things happen for team members and patients.
“There was a time when I walked into a patient’s room and they explained that their dog was home alone. The patient was down because they didn’t have anyone who could watch the dog. We tried calling a few places but had no luck. I explained to some nurses what was happening and we discovered that one of them lived in the same neighborhood as the patient. This nurse was more than happy to stop by to feed and care for the patient’s dog. The patient was so happy to have help—and make a new friend in the neighborhood.
“Another time, during the night shift, I found a patient in the lobby crying. She had just received terrible news, could not get a hold of her family to get a ride, and her phone had died. I found an extra charger in the lost and found, and we were able to charge her phone and get her an Uber to take her home to her family. I later received a thank-you card in the mail. Those are the [Welcome Experience] moments I have learned to live for.”
But sometimes all you need is empathy to make people feel welcome—and improve patient outcomes. “The hospital hired a new nurse who was relatively shy. I invited her to our huddle and introduced her to our team. With a little bit of a push, this nurse agreed to come, and we were able to do some icebreakers. This nurse felt so welcomed that she has become close with our department, calling us her first Houston friends. She now visits our huddle meetings frequently, which help us keep a good client relationship.”
Obviously, a Welcome Experience can mean many different things. So we asked Butler, “What does providing a Welcome Experience mean to you?”
“Providing a warm and friendly environment where people feel like they belong. Where diversity and inclusion are a huge part of our culture and everyone feels safe.”
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