Communications and Culture Initiative: One Year Later

April 28, 2021 by

By Ann Kellams, MD, IBCLC, FAAP, FABM, Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs, Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics

Q: What are you working on, one year after the launch of the Communications and Culture Initiative?Dr. All Kellams
A: We recently sent a survey to all Children’s Hospital team members, asking questions like, “How you are doing?’, “What is your experience at work like?”, and “What we should be focusing on this year?”

Q: Did you have a good response rate?
A: We had over 250 responses!

Q: What stood out in the results?
A: The biggest thing is that the survey, rather than serving as a comparison to the last survey for how far we have come, is more of a statement of our current state during this global pandemic! We are not comparing apples to apples, since COVID-19 has changed every aspect of our work, but what this round gave us is a look into how people are thinking and feeling right now, in the midst of all of this. It gives us a good place to start.

It was also great to know that people are enjoying the newsletter and the quotes of the week and the little “random acts of kindness” that we have been putting out there. We also learned that the listening sessions with leadership have been viewed as valuable. And then there are the things to work on, like supporting each other and giving each other grace and respect despite all of us feeling a bit “crispy” to say the least!

Q: What was a proud moment for you/the group over the last year?
A: Raising over $1,000 for UVA Children’s with the sweatshirt fundraiser was great, and I also love it when I hear back from people after the newsletter comes out, for example, about how much they appreciate the work.

Q: Based on your experience and the survey results, what will you focus on this coming year?
A: More listening sessions! More team building, seeking even more involvement and buy-in for the importance of culture and joy in the workplace. Continuing to identify pebbles in the shoe that we can quickly fix and advocating for the bigger “boulders” related to the overall system that we think need changing.

Learn more about the survey results here

Find your Communication and Culture Rep here


Want to learn more about this group and get involved? Here are the details:

What is the Communication and Culture workgroup?
A workgroup is a multidisciplinary group of individuals from different clinical roles and areas that have been working for the past several months, charged with proposing the Service Line in response to the Listening Sessions in the various clinical locations, the Employee Engagement survey results, and the Service Line Communication survey results

Why was the workgroup formed?
The Listening sessions, and the engagement and communication survey results all highlighted some opportunities to work on with regard to communication and culture. We used A3 thinking to address the issues, and looked into the business literature on culture change, and narrowed down to 12 strategies that we presented at WCHOOT.

What is the purpose of the workgroup?
To put together a proposal for the service line to implement to address communication, culture, and unhealthy workplace behaviors with the goal being that this is the place that we would all recommend to friends and family as a great place to work and receive care.

How did the workgroup come up with these strategies?
The workgroup reviewed the suggestions from all of you in the Communication Survey results, looked in the Business Literature, and performed a feasibility/impact analysis and narrowed it down to the proposed activities

What is the workgroup’s motto?
Our motto is “Together We Make a Difference”

Is this just “one more thing” or will it be extra work for me?
We hope not! Our hope is that participating in your clinical area will be easy and fun! We are trying to make it as simple as possible for units to participate and for everyone in the Service Line (and other Children’s services—ex. Radiology, ED, Surgery) to be exposed to the theme of the month and/or the activities in some way.

What are Communication and Culture Reps? And what are they expected to do?
Our hope is to identify someone in each clinical who would serve as “Communication and Culture Reps” and would help organize and facilitate the activities on your unit. Any “goodies” will be provided to you, and you can customize/enhance the activities to fit your area—just try to keep the spirit of the activity in whatever you do. NOTE: If your area does not yet have LIP and/or nursing champions, please email us the name of the person who would be excited to serve in that role (see the attached list).

This sounds like fun, how can I get involved?
The workgroup will be meeting once/month on a Tuesday at noon, and all are welcome to join. Contact to join the workgroup.

How will we keep this going?
Our workgroup is committed to meeting monthly to plan and shore up the next months’ activities.

How will we measure success?
We will measure our success with the next Employee Engagement survey and a Communication Survey each summer.

When did this all start?
January 6th, 2020!

Filed Under: Features