Stanford Health Care Helping its teams in the field Premium

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Health is a demanding sector: medical workers need to be responsive, calm, and efficient while providing the best possible care. Their professional responsibility — and the lives of their patients — is on the line. At the same time, they cannot lose sight of the need to control costs. The role of managers at Stanford Health Care is to help staff fulfill their mission.

Based on an interview with David Jones, chief HR officer, Stanford Health Care.

Biographie

David Jones Chief HR officer at Stanford Health Care
With a master’s degree in human resources from the University of West Virginia, David Jones boasts over 25 years of experience HR leadership positions. He has helped companies with their HR transformation work in several different sectors: e-commerce, financial services, and, above all, the medical. He joined Stanford Health Care in January 2017.

Based in Palo Alto, Stanford Health Care is a university medical center with a worldwide reputation for its quality of care and research work, driven by cutting-edge Silicon Valley technology. Stanford is a leading actor in the prevention and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, with strong expertise in neuroscience and organ transplantation. It includes Stanford Hospital, also based in Palo Alto, which is ranked as one of the top 10 hospitals in the United States, and more than 60 clinics in the San Francisco Bay Area, staffed by 11,890 employees, 2,500 physicians, and 3,000 nurses. In short, Stanford presents a sizable challenge in terms of HR management.

Waking up to the importance of teams

Connecting the motivations of individual employees to an organization’s collective mission is a prerequisite for success. And that’s something that doesn’t pose any problems at Stanford Health Care: the health sector attracts people who are naturally motivated by the desire to help and care for others. “Our activities are vital — in the true sense of the word — for our patients. We intervene at key moments in their lives, which engages our staff on a very deep level,” explains David Jones, HR director at Stanford. Nevertheless, as Jones points out, this engagement is affected by several variables: “There are the long commutes to our sites, the heavy workload, and the high risk of burn-out among health professionals, which is something we are very attentive to.”

But the single factor that has the greatest impact on staff engagement is the feeling of belonging to a strong, close-knit team, which counterbalances the negatives. “The culture specific to each team is really crucial when it comes to the way employees feel. We try to make sure that everyone operates in a supportive environment. The role of managers is to create a positive team experience, which our patients are the first to benefit from. For our employees to enjoy their work, we have to put them in a position where they can make the most of their strengths and interests.”

Ramping up the attention given to employees

Excerpt from Business Digest N°298, July-August 2019

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INTERVIEW

David Jones Head of human resources, Stanford Health Care

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