"Our people are our greatest asset.
Unfortunately, for many organizations, this is simply a statement (a statement, by the way, that makes me cringe as I wrote in my last blog). The organization actually revolves around something else. It may be shareholders. It may be production. Perhaps it's simply the comfort and enrichment of the top corporate execs.
Explore other organizations, though, and you'll see action that backs up this statement. They invest in their people through training, offer great benefits, and develop a healthy corporate culture. And organizations put the utmost value on their employees reap huge rewards such as attracting the best talent and organizational growth and success.
I experienced this "people are our greatest asset" value last year at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa as my mom battled health issues. But Saint Francis doesn't say asset. They start with a Core Value of Dignity which they define as, "Respecting each person as an inherently valuable member of the human community and as a unique expression of life." Saint Francis applies this Core Value to both employees and their "customers."
As my mom's kidneys started to fail, she entered Saint Francis. While the entire staff -- doctors, nurses, technicians, facilities and cafe employees -- was incredibly friendly and helpful, one nurse stood out among everyone.
Meaghan was my mom's nurse and was truly an angel. You could tell she believed in the Dignity value by how she spoke to and interacted with her coworkers, both up and down the org chart. She cared about my dad who was losing his wife and partner of 60 years. She went out of her way to accommodate every wish my dad spoke and offered my dad a "servant" mentality. Most of all, Meaghan cared for my mom even though my mom didn't realize she was being cared for.
Watching Meaghan and others as both a son losing his mom and as a bystander who promotes excellent people strategies, I thought Saint Francis must be doing something right. How can everyone across the board be so respectful of each other as well as "customers?" Well, without even looking at the Saint Francis website, I could have told you they valued people simply by experiencing and observing how Saint Francis employees acted. Their value was truly lived out day after day, one interaction at a time.
Perhaps Saint Francis, when "talking" about Dignity as a Core Value, they have the patient front-of-mind. But that's the thing about Valuing Others. It's a mindset that applies to all individuals: customers, employees, vendors, and even the surrounding community.
I'm thankful Saint Francis believes in human dignity and has a mindset that revolves around valuing people. And I will join them by doing my best to spread the "Value Others" message. Our jobs, our country, and our world will benefit if we truly embrace the unique person we all are.
Will you join me?