The Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth project ran for three years and was set in place to support the Hospital on their mission to provide excellence in service as a key differentiator to their offering as a healthcare provider. The focus of this project was to bring service to the forefront – with private healthcare becoming an increasingly competitive market, the true differentiator as a business and for patient care was to offer an excellent customer experience. The inspiration for this was the level of service expected of a five star hotel.
This programme extended beyond the original intention and also acted as a bridge to bring the two sides of the organisation; hospital and hospice, together in alignment with one clear and common set of values and beliefs, in order to deliver consistent service across the staff population. Working in partnership with the Board Members, Bridge put in place a full internal Brand2Life campaign entitled “Excellence – Making the Difference”. Following a series of focus groups and management briefings, we began reworking the vision and values into clear and dedicated language that the general population could easily understand and action.
Once this work was completed, we hosted a launch day in which all staff were invited to a drop-in centre where they completed a staff survey, found out more information about the upcoming year and had the opportunity to meet the Bridge Team in a fun and informal environment; complete with a magician and giveaways. Internal marketing, including posters, banners, awards and articles in the HJE newsletter, further supported the campaign. Bridge also started an employee-to-employee recognition programme where employees would nominate each other for a Magic Moment award for great service – be it for colleagues, customers or for the business.
Phase One of the 550-employee development programme consisted of a bespoke 5-module training suite. Each half day module was designed to underpin the values and service vision, and was designed to bring the values to life and reinforce the importance that they play as a key component in the success of the hospital. Customer service was at the forefront of all sessions, including activities and skills centred around empathy, emotional intelligence, personality types and NLP to better understand how to deliver a customer-focused service. Groups of 15 delegates from across the hospital would attend the sessions. This mixed group attendance allowed for us to further embed a ‘one team’ mindset and supportive ‘one team’ culture. This was also complemented by senior leadership development and middle management sessions on coaching skills.
Delivering excellence was initially a challenge at HJE, as customer service was not one of the organisation’s key drivers. However, the Excellence programme changed staff mindsets as service became a direct extension of their daily duties and Bridge saw the creation of a more empathetic and happy culture.
The Excellence programme was fully bespoke for HJE and Bridge worked in partnership with key stakeholders to develop initiatives that were internally run and managed. As part of the Bridge methodology, ‘always be handing over’, it is equally important that we develop an internal brand that has longevity and the scope for the client to manage, independent of Bridge involvement.