Operations management forms the core of any company, as it is fundamentally responsible for delivering services that generate revenue, drive growth and mainly to ensure the company can meet the needs of its customers, while remaining competitive in the marketplace. While the importance of having an efficient Operations team is indeed high in any industry, one can always argue that this is significantly more important when it comes to healthcare. It's crucial for hospital administration, doctors, nurses, medical documentation specialists and any other parties associated with providing healthcare services to ensure they set standard policies, processes and practices that promote customer service and satisfaction at the same time maintaining high quality services and financial efficiency in the system. That said, it can be sometimes quite challenging to achieve these objectives with the number of variable factors and ever-changing dynamics in healthcare organizations, which is why it becomes essential for organizations to not only have a "great" operations team but also to set up a pathway for the team members to continuously upskill and build capabilities to achieve “operational excellence.”
In this article, I have tried to shed some light on the core values that OG Healthcare focuses on to achieve operational excellence. These values form the foundation of our operations and encompass multiple subsets of these values that, aside from helping achieve operational excellence, help upskill the employees to continually improve quality of service and efficiency, enhance customer satisfaction, achieve the required competitive advantage that is much needed to establish and improve the company's reputation in the market.
Before I speak about our core values, I also think it is worth mentioning that it was Mr. Tony Hales, CEO of OG Healthcare, during one of those casual meetings with the staff about a decade ago, very naturally and spontaneously listed out these values that laid the foundation of building the well-known and very popular “OG Culture!” However, it is our managers and their team members who were instrumental and play a key role to help entrench these values and culture in every individual of our organization.
Process and Data-driven Culture
Customer First (employees being our first-line customers)
Be Straightforward (not being rude)
Respect Everyone (EVERYONE)
Have No Ego
Learn Something New Every Day (SOMETHING and EVERYDAY)
Process and Data-Driven Culture
The foundation of operational excellence is a process and data-driven culture. This means that employees should always follow a set of standardized procedures that have been proven to be effective in achieving desired outcomes. The company should also gather and analyze data on a regular basis to identify areas that need improvement. To achieve this, the company should implement a system that can track and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine if the processes are delivering the desired outcomes.
As mentioned earlier, our employees form our first line of customers, and it becomes our responsibility to prioritize their well being so that they demonstrate the same behaviour with all our other customers and clients. Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal of any business, and to achieve operational excellence, the company must prioritize the needs of its customers. This means that all processes and procedures should be designed with the customer in mind. Employees should be trained to provide excellent customer service and to address any concerns or issues that customers may have.
Being straightforward in an organization means that the company values honesty, transparency, and clear communication. This is essential in operational excellence because it helps to identify problems and opportunities for improvement. Employees should be encouraged to speak up if they notice any inefficiencies or areas for improvement. This can be achieved by fostering a culture of open communication and having an open-door policy where any employee can speak to anyone in the company at any given point in time. This culture or policy ensures that we receive early feedback on any issues or gaps we may have in Operations.
Respect is a fundamental value in any organization. Employees should treat each other with respect, regardless of their position, background, experience, or job role. This fosters a positive work environment and creates a culture of collaboration and demonstrates kindness and positivity in the workspace. When employees feel respected, they are more likely to be motivated and driven to be creative, innovative, and productive, thereby helping achieve operational excellence.
Have NO Ego
A company that prioritizes operational excellence should have no room for ego. Employees should be encouraged to work collaboratively and to focus on achieving the best outcomes for the company as a whole, rather than just focusing on personal gains. This can be achieved by creating a culture that values teamwork and recognizes the contributions of all employees at different levels. Our weekly employee recognition program is one of such efforts to highlight the achievements of our employees across all departments who go that extra mile to showcase our values and culture to the customers.
Learn SOMETHING new EVERYDAY
Continuous learning is key to upskilling and achieving operational excellence. Employees should be encouraged to learn new skills and improve their knowledge through training programs, workshops, and other educational opportunities. OG’s OnTrack program provides a platform and early opportunity for employees to enrol different levels of customized management training to help upskill employees and provide them with knowledge that prepare them for the future. This not only improves their job performance but also helps the company to stay competitive in a rapidly changing business environment.
Before I conclude, I would like to reiterate that achieving operational excellence is not an overnight process. It takes every individual in an organization to live by their company’s core values every single day, in every single decision they take, and every single action they perform on a day-to-day basis. As the famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle, says, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”