employee engagement

Engaging Our Enterprise Through Servant Leadership

Joe Patrnchak, an expert on servant leadership, presents the concept to UConn Health deans, directors, department heads, and other leaders. (Photo by Janine Gelineau)

Managers and directors continue attending a series of leadership development workshops as part of Dr. Andrew Agwuonbi’s efforts to improve employee engagement.

Central to that is a shift in philosophy to what’s known as servant leadership.

The most recent installment of the development series featured a presentation from Joseph Patrnchack, who served as chief human resources officer at the Cleveland Clinic before founding Green Summit Partners, an HR consulting firm specializing in employee engagement. He told the crowd of deans, directors, department heads, and other leaders that engaging the workforce through servant leadership provides guidance and inspiration to be an effective leader.

“Building an engaged enterprise is realizing what kind of leadership it takes to create high levels of employee engagement across your organization,” Patrnchak said. “Engagement has both emotional and intellectual components and equally important, the combined result is extra on-the-job effort.”

Leaders can’t force their people to be highly engaged, he said, but they can create an environment and a culture that encourages them to become engaged.

“The most important thing an organization’s leaders can do to promote engagement is to demonstrate that they care about their people,” Patrnchak said. “Applying the principles of servant leadership assists leaders to move from a command and control, position power style to one of empowering others and putting others and the organization first.”

The leadership development series has had five workshops so far. They serve as a platform for UConn Health leaders to learn what is needed to improve the culture and improve the workplace for its workforce.

–Alexis Crean

Employee Engagement Survey: Final Days

employee-engagement-630x420[1]Those who haven’t taken the employee engagement survey introduced earlier this month only have until Monday, May 30, to respond.

So far 43 percent of active regular payroll employees have participated, according to Press Ganey, the survey administrator.

As the survey period winds down, Dr. Andy Agwunobi, CEO and EVP for health affairs, addresses a few questions:

Q: If the survey is confidential, why does it ask about our work area?

AA: It is confidential. The responses go directly to Press Ganey and the data are delivered to UConn Health leadership with no identifiable attributes. The basic demographic questions are standard practice, are not tied to any responses, and do not in any way diminish the responses from the rest of the survey.

Q: The questions feel like they’re focused too much on clinical positions. What about the rest of us?

AA: It was not the intent to focus too much on clinical positions so this feedback is a learning experience; the next survey will be broader and worded in a way that ensures everyone feels represented. While we understand no survey is perfect, please answer as best you can so your opinions can be captured. It is my hope that all employees will participate, as every voice matters.

Q: How does this survey fit into the big picture here?

AA: I am committed to building a great culture at UConn Health, a place where we feel happy to come into work and as a result we accomplish excellent service whether clinical, research or academics. We partnered with Press Ganey to make a legitimate effort to collect honest data from employees that can be used to help shape UConn Health’s workplace culture moving forward. I’ve said it before: It’s important every employee has a voice and that we hear as many of those voices as possible. Clinical, research or education – all responses are valued, and really, needed, in order to be effective in helping us strengthen our organization. This is just the latest (and currently most visible) of several approaches I’ve been taking to engage employees and solicit feedback. Recent examples of that include our town hall meetings and our “Dear Dr. Andy” feature, which you will find in the Pulse every Friday.

More information about the employee engagement survey is available on UConn Health Express.