Spotlight on Action - Pediatrics

June 1, 2018

Pediatrics Workplace Survey Leadership Team

Pediatrics Workplace Survey Leadership Team
Picture (from left to right): Suzanne Monk, Operations Manager - Marion Miller, Administrative Supervisor - Michael Radynski, Administrative Supervisor - Kathy Antos, Administrative Supervisor - Ashwin Pamudurthy, Lead Administrator - Juliet Pisano, HR Generalist

The Yale Department of Pediatrics is comprised of 155 staff members and 232 faculty members. It is a regional and national center for referral and consultation that provides comprehensive pediatric care.

Clifford W. Bogue, M.D., chair, notes on the Pediatrics’ website that the department is “dedicated to providing the highest quality education in the field of pediatrics; to providing leaders and leadership for the field; and acquiring and disseminating new scientific knowledge pertinent to the causes and treatments of pediatric disorders.

Recently, members of the Pediatrics Workplace Survey leadership team, responded to a series of questions about their results rollout and action planning.

Q: How were the survey results reviewed and what was the initial reaction?
The 2017 WPS results were initially reviewed by Juliet Pisano, human resources generalist (HRG), and Ashwin Pamudurthy, vice chair of Finance & Administration for Pediatrics.

Upon learning the results when they were presented to the department’s workplace survey committee, Kathy Antos, administrative supervisor, reported that, “We were very excited to report to the staff that based on the survey results, the Department of Pediatrics showed improvement in all 12 survey dimensions since the last survey in 2014. Excellent news to share!”

Q: How was the action planning committee formed and when did you learn the results?
Ashwin Pamudurthy recruited leadership from the administrative, clinical, and business office teams to be a part of the initial action planning committee.  They learned the results in June 2017.

Q: Who did you collaborate or partner with to review, analyze and action plan?
The committee consulted with HRG Juliet Pisano to review and analyze the survey results, and to begin brainstorming possible action items. Workplace Survey Project Lead Debbie Stanley-McAulay, met with Ashwin Pamudurthy and the Pediatrics leaders from the clinical, business office, and administrative teams to discuss the WPS results in June 2017.  When the action planning committee decided to present the results at a special staff meeting, they contacted Debbie who volunteered to attend the meeting and briefly discuss the goal of the survey and the positive results for the department

Q: Please share the timeline of when results and action plans were presented until action plans were implemented.
All staff were invited to a special staff luncheon meeting in November 2017.  Kathy Antos and Michael Radinsky, administrative supervisors, presented the WPS results. For those who were unable to attend the meeting in person, they provided instructions to participate in the meeting via videoconference.

Action plans were also presented at the staff luncheon meeting. The implementation of the action plan was discussed by the Workplace Survey Committee, which planned to begin in early 2018 and is currently in process.  Three components of the action plan are:

  1. Performance Management – Re-education and implementation of the clerical and technical employee Performance Feedback Process throughout the department
  2. Decision Making – Form issue-specific working groups, with participation across all segments of the departmental team, to study issues and participate in departmental decision-making process
  3. Staff engagement – Establish an Employee Engagement Committee to address employee morale/engagement.

Q: What did collaboration or partnership look like?
Representatives of the Workplace Survey Committee have met with Michele Potter from Best Practices and Juliet Pisano to discuss the need to implement the FOCUS process throughout the department, and they specifically identified the need to initially educate research faculty and staff about the FOCUS process.

They will be working with the YNHH Volunteer Office regarding new volunteer opportunities for staff members at the Children’s Hospital (e.g. “lunch dates with pediatric patients”). 

There are plans to collaborate with Lisa Kimmel and Danielle Casioppo from the Being Well at Yale program to introduce staff to new initiatives related to employee wellness. 

The Workplace Survey Committee is committed to promoting positive employee engagement throughout the department. To help achieve this goal, they invited the staff to join its newly formed Employee Engagement Committee.  They will look at ways to improve Pediatrics’ workplace experience as well as explore ways in which they can share their caring spirit with those in our local community.

At the Employee Engagement Committee kickoff meeting, the committee decided to explore these ideas:

  • Wellness ideas such as Walking Buddies and meditation sessions
  • Employee recognition ideas
  • Starting a departmental “Green Team” that supports Yale’s Sustainability Plan 2025
  • Community engagement efforts, e.g., setting up “lunch dates” with pediatric
    patients at YNHH
  • Promoting the New Haven Reads program
  • Developing a departmental welcome program/buddy for new hires

The Employee Engagement Committee will meet monthly; however, members will spend time during their lunch hours working together on their ideas. They believe that the possibilities to do great things for the department and our community are endless! 

Q: Do you believe the work will help transform or change the organization? 
Absolutely! By promoting the FOCUS program, Pediatrics’ will encourage managers and staff members to discuss performance goals, meaningful feedback, and opportunities for career growth.

By tapping in to the expertise of its staff, Pediatrics’ will come up with best practices that can be implemented throughout the department.

The department believes that by promoting employee health and well-being they will create an awareness of health-related issues that may have been ignored in the past.  By feeling good about themselves, staff members will strengthen the organization and bring about positive change.  Pediatrics’ also feels strongly about helping those in need; they will provide staff members with opportunities to share their compassionate spirit throughout the community.

Q: What single piece of advice would you share with a leader?
Use the survey data to gauge the current pulse of the department. This will inform strategy planning, which includes setting inspiring goals for managers, supervisors, and staff.

Q: What single piece of advice would you share with a team?
Never underestimate the value of teamwork!  Use the survey as a tool to identify both the strengths and opportunities of the teams in the department.  Where are they strong?  Where can they be stronger?  How can they keep up a positive momentum while looking at areas for improvement and innovation?  There are many avenues to take!

Q: What do you see as a benefit of this survey for a leader?
Because of the high participation rate, this survey allows for a high-level analysis and understanding of how they have improved and it helps identify areas to focus on moving forward.

Q: What do you see as a benefit of this survey for a team?
Based on the data provided by the survey, team members can recognize opportunities for improvement and growth, which will ultimately lead to more effective, more innovative, and more satisfying team experiences.

Q: Where is Pediatrics now in the Action Planning Process and Rollout?
During the next 6 months, they will be working to educate departmental areas that are not currently involved in the FOCUS process about the value of having these discussions with staff members. 

As processes change throughout the department and the university, Pediatrics will rely on input from staff members in order to make informed decisions moving forward. 

Members of the Pediatrics Workplace Survey Committee

Kathy Antos – Administrative Supervisor
Marion Miller – Administrative Supervisor 
Suzanne Monk – Operations Manager
Ashwin Pamudurthy – Vice Chair of Finance and Administration
Juliet Pisano – H.R. Generalist
Mike Radynski – Administrative Supervisor  

Members of the Pediatrics Employee Engagement Committee

Linda Aidoo – Financial Analyst
Kathy Antos – Administrative Supervisor
Brenda Burgos - Senior Administrative Assistant
Marion Miller – Administrative Supervisor
Christine Mulvey – Clinical Project Manager
Rosemary Rubsam – Senior Administrative Assistant
Heidi Runda -Senior Administrative Assistant
Elizabeth Wiener- Senior Administrative Assistant