How your voice is creating change at Michigan Medicine

February 4, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,
Team members from the University Hospital Operating Rooms, which made a number of improvements following the 2019 Employee Engagement Survey.

Last April, Michigan Medicine staff shared their voices and feedback during the 2019 Vital Voices Employee Engagement Survey.

Since then, much work has been done to take the collective feedback and use it to improve processes and launch new initiatives designed to make Michigan Medicine a better place to both work and receive care.

Improving communication and employee input

Survey results and comments identified that employees would like more communication about the direction in which the organization is headed, what colleagues are working on, and what opportunities are available to get involved. They would also like a more active approach when it comes to seeking input from employees.

Michigan Medicine leadership and the Department of Communication have partnered to launch several communications to keep faculty and staff better informed.

  • Marschall Runge, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of Michigan Medicine, launched a blog titled “A Minute with Marschall”
  • The bi-weekly Take 5 shares organization-wide updates for leaders to cascade to their employees during huddles, team meetings and other updates.
  • Employees at Michigan Medicine was launched on Facebook as a way to connect with staff on social media.
  • The Adult Hospitals launched a weekly video series called “Short Takes,” which shares updates about hospital initiatives, current events and other important news and information.

The organization continues to seek input from employees, as demonstrated in the recent Michigan Medicine vision statement survey issued to all faculty and staff, and the soon-to-be-unveiled new Michigan Medicine brand.

“We sought feedback from faculty, staff and learners in various ways — including online surveys and focus groups — to help create a vision for Michigan Medicine and the next iteration of our brand campaign,” said Rose Glenn, chief communication and marketing officer for Michigan Medicine. “We knew that our starting point had to be with our faculty, staff and learners. Our people make us the extraordinary organization that we are, and their active involvement in our process was of primary importance.”


Michigan Medicine leadership also is taking action on understanding and reducing burnout among staff.

A committee has formed to review and analyze the survey comments related to burnout to determine possible drivers. The group will be conducting focus groups to take a deeper dive into possible causes and determine the resources needed to better support staff.

Departments are contributing to improvements, too

Along with these and other initiatives in progress, units and departments have put together their own action plans to address survey scores and opportunities for better teamwork and engagement.

For instance, the team from the University Hospital operating room (UHOR) chose to work on professional growth.

“Based on our survey scores, the OR leadership team recognized a need to put more emphasis into professional development for our staff. This coincides with our Magnet efforts to empower our staff to own their professional practice,” said Clare Walsh, UHOR nursing supervisor. “We as a leadership team focused on partnering with groups such as our unit-based committee (UBC) and the OR Love committee to really allow them to own their development, with our leadership group supporting their efforts.

“For example, our UBC and leadership team partnered to host a presentation for all our staff that focused on career development, the Framework, tuition reimbursement and advanced education opportunities, and skills development. We also recommend our employees participate in quality initiatives within the department and across the hospital.”

The team in the Frankel Cardiovascular Center (CVC) operating rooms chose to focus on communication and seeking input from staff based on results from the 2019 survey.

“Transparency is a focus for our leadership team with our staff — we talk to our staff about the importance of taking the survey so they can share with us what is or isn’t working,” said David Bertasio, clinical nursing director of the CVC OR/PACU. “Then, post survey, we have open dialogue in our monthly staff meetings, and with our UBC, about the results so that we can work as a team to create action plans to improve our work environment.”

Save the date: the 2020 survey is coming soon!

The 2020 Vital Voices Employee Engagement Survey will take place April 13 – 24. A faculty survey will also be conducted during the same timeframe, with both administered by Press Ganey.

Stay tuned to Headlines for more details about this year’s survey in the coming weeks.